Of all the restrictions while being pregnant, managing blood glucose levels is important for both the mother and child to prevent unwanted complication during and post labor. Better control over blood glucose levels leads to a successful pregnancy.
What is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus?
Studies report that on an average 2-4% of women develop temporary diabetes known as Gestational diabetes at 20-22 weeks of their pregnancy. This is because the pregnant body is not able to secrete an increased amount of insulin to overcome its resistance levels. The typical symptoms of diabetes such as polyuria, polyphagia, and polydipsia are not evident in GDM. It is mandatory for women to undergo glucose tolerance test at the fifth month of pregnancy to rule out diabetes. GTT is a series of a simple urine test for all pregnant ladies to diagnose for diabetes.
Urine glucose test:
The doctor performs the urine glucose test in their office by asking for a urine sample from the client. Mid-stream urine is generally collected and dipstick tests are performed on the spot for immediate results. The normal urine glucose level in 0-0.8 mmol/Lt. A range of 2+ sugar in urine when pregnant indicated diabetes induced by pregnancy. To confirm the diagnosis a blood test may be warranted.
Women who are at great risk of gestational diabetes mellitus:
Some women are at great risk for gestational diabetes while others are not. Common risk factors are,
- Being overweight: Women who have a body mass index of 30 or more and are pregnant are at higher risk for GDM. Their extra weight affects insulin’s ability to keep the blood sugar level under check.
- Women having excess abdominal fat: Women with higher levels of tummy fat are more likely to have diabetes diagnosis in their second trimester.
- Age: Elderly primi, getting pregnant above the age of 35 is also a risk factor for GDM.
- Family history: if diabetes runs in the family, then the women are at great risk for GDM.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes:
Most of the pregnant women with diabetes face no symptoms through a few of them may experience,
- Unusual and excess thirst
- Frequent urination in large volumes
- Excess glucose in urine and blood.
Preventing Gestational Diabetes:
The preventive strategy depends on the cause of the problem, if GDB is due to family history or advanced age of the mother, then it cannot be prevented. But if the mother is overweight and does not eat a balanced diet then GDB can be managed with lifestyle modifications such as routine exercises, eating right, cutting down carbs, etc. The blood sugar levels during ovulation do have an impact on developing diabetes during pregnancy. These women were already pre-diabetic before getting pregnant and thus their symptoms worsened. Thus it is important to stay active and eat right throughout one’s life, leave alone pregnancy.
Apart from lifestyle modifications, women in the second-trimester pregnancy should keep an eye on the scale. Frequent monitoring is mandatory to avoid complications.