Are Diabetes and Pregnancy Related?

When diabetes affects a pregnant woman, it is known as gestational diabetes. It can appear in a woman during pregnancy even if she previously had the condition. Generally, it develops in 2 or 3 percent of the woman who are pregnant which can complicate the further life of the mother or the baby.

What is Gestational diabetes?

Due to reduced production of the hormone insulin in the mother’s body, gestational diabetes develops as the deficiency in the production of insulin checks the breaking down of sugar, which acts as a fuel for the body. As a consequence, the blood sugar level rises which are passed on to the placenta to the developing body. This can be a serious threat to the mother as well as the baby. This form of diabetes generally starts in the second half of pregnancy and it goes away after the baby is born.

What Causes Gestational Diabetes?

At such a crucial phase of your life like pregnancy it is essential for you to know what causes gestational diabetes. Even the scientists are having a vague idea about what causes gestational diabetes. It is a general belief among them that the hormones produced in the time of pregnancy check the action of insulin if the insulin is not enough according to the requirement of the body.

The disease affects the women who are above the age of 35 and have family history of type 2 diabetes. At the same time, obese woman and those who have given birth to a large baby and that too with an abnormality are likely to be affected by gestational diabetes.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes:

Some of the vague symptoms are excessive thirst, increased need to pass water and increased hunger.

The effects of gestational diabetes:

Effects on the fetus during pregnancy If the blood glucose level is high, the baby may come out with a larger frame which is perilous for both, mother and the baby. As a consequence, in some cases, a caesarean delivery is needed.

Effects on the mother:

This type of diabetes is not a life threatening one for most of the women but in some cases, it can create complications building up high blood pressure. Moreover, those women with gestational diabetes are most likely to be affected by adult onset diabetes.

Treatment for Gestational Diabetes:

The first and foremost criteria for the treatment of gestational diabetes are self help i.e. the treatment should begin from home by controlling blood sugar level and maintaining a planned diet and exercise. Home glucose testing kits are available from chemists. These usually involve taking a tiny blood sample with a pinprick device. The blood is put onto a strip and inserted into a glucose-measuring device, which gives the blood glucose level.

Prevention of Gestational Diabetes:

The only way to reduce the risk the developing gestational diabetes is by following a healthy lifestyle i.e. maintaining a healthy balanced diet and going for a regular exercise regime to maintain a proportionate weight according to their height. To help reduce the risk of getting gestational diabetes, women should make healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a balanced diet, taking regular exercise and maintaining the correct weight for their height.

What to Eat with Gestational Diabetes?

As everyone are aware of the fact is that diet and diabetes are inter-related in the same way diet plays an important role in gestational diabetes. The obvious question comes in mind is what to eat with gestational diabetes? Some of the diet tips for pregnant women suffering from gestational diabetes are listed below:

  • Avoid food items like cakes, cookies, ice-cream, candy, etc. or food containing high amount of simple sugar.
  • Try to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as they good source of fiber and contain sufficient amount of natural sugar.
  • Instead of one large meal it is advisable to break your meal into two small meals.
  • It is advisable to eat healthy food choices like fresh fruits, dry fruits, salads, carrot, whole grain, pasta and bread for between the meal snacking.
  • Try to avoid saturated fats like butter, fatty meats, whole milk cheese, bacon and cream.
  • Lastly drink plenty of water and make sure that you eat carbohydrate and protein based bed-time snack.