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Gestational Diabetes - The development of INSULIN RESISTANCE or type 2 DIABETES during PREGNANCY. Many women are able to manage gestational diabetes through nutritional EATING HABITS and daily exercise. In nearly all women gestational diabetes goes away within a week of delivery and for a third of women diabetes is never again a health concern. Because gestational diabetes results from the effects in the woman’s body of hormones the placenta produces, there are no certain measures to prevent its development. Once you know your blood sugar patterns, you'll know when you're on target or, conversely, why you're not. Depending upon your type of treatment you may need to check you blood sugar once every few days or multiple times a day.
A more comprehensive log includes the blood sugar levels at various times on different days, and includes notations about exercise, food (carbohydrates) and medication doses. This intensive log is used when you are taking multiple doses of insulin or using an insulin pump.
Although Type 2 diabetes is preventable and treatable, it can cause serious health consequences if left uncontrolled. We want to make your experience easy and help you quickly find information that matters to you. If any post or images that appear on the site are in violation of copyright law, please email me and I will remove the offending information as soon as possible. Gestational diabetes causes, complications, and risks, Webmd provides a comprehensive look at gestational diabetes, a condition of pregnancy in which blood sugar levels are too high.
Gestational diabetes symptoms, causes, treatment – what, What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes? Symptoms and treatment of canine gestational diabetes, Gestational diabetes in dogs affects pregnant females.
What is gestational diabetes?: american diabetes association®, What is gestational diabetes? Diabetes acquired during gestation period, a period of fetal development in the uterus from conception to birth is termed as gestational diabetes or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Being one of the most common health problems for pregnant women, gestational diabetes affects about 18% of pregnant women, as per the records of American Diabetes Association.
Since, the rise in blood sugar levels occur after the development of the body of the fetus, no birth defects or body deformities are observed, unlike babies who are born to women who have been diagnosed of diabetes prior to pregnancy.
High levels of insulin interfere with fat metabolism, leading to an increase in the size of the baby and the formation of macrosomia or a “fat baby”.
Elevated levels of glucose can also affect the lungs of the newborns, thus requiring more oxygen and causing breathing problems, commonly termed as respiratory distress syndrome. Often women are subjected to constant hormonal fluctuations, more so during pregnancy, which in turn, affects the functioning of insulin. However, the transfer from the blood and the utilization of glucose by cells requires a hormone called insulin that is released by the pancreas.
Failure of the pancreatic beta cells to produce adequate amounts of insulin or insulin resistance developed by the body’s cells in pregnant women does not allow her body to counteract the effect of the rise in the blood sugar levels, thus leading to hyperglycemia and gestational diabetes. No symptoms have been identified so far for gestational diabetes, which makes it mandatory for conducting glucose-screening tests during the 24-28 weeks of pregnancy.
She is then made to drink large quantities of a sugar drink and the measurement of the blood sugar levels is done two hours after the consumption of the drink. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can pose serious health problems for both the baby and the mother. Once you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a team of health care providers including a gynecologist, a registered dietician, a diabetes specialist or a diabetes educator can advice you on the different ways of bringing your blood sugar levels under control.
Frequent breast feeding or feeding using a feeding tube that goes directly into the stomach of the baby is one of the most effective ways of keeping blood sugar levels at an optimum level in babies. Yet another treatment involves the intravenous infusions of glucose in the infants to make up for the low levels of glucose. Even though, it is normal to gain weight during pregnancy, it is advisable to keep your blood sugar levels under control by balancing your intake of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Consult a professional nutritionist, who will help you design a well-balanced diet including the correct ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Gestational diabetes is a temporary phase and pregnant women, generally do not remain diabetic after the delivery. The excessive GLUCOSE (sugar) that circulates in the mother’s BLOOD crosses the placenta.
When symptoms do occur they may include frequent URINATION, increased thirst, and increased hunger. Women for whom lifestyle measures do not maintain stable blood glucose levels typically require insulin injections through the remainder of pregnancy. However, in some women who have high risk for diabetes in the first place gestational diabetes may persist to become conventional diabetes.
Lifestyle measures to maintain nutritious eating habits, daily exercise, and healthy weight help the body use glucose and insulin as efficiently as possible. When you write down the number it is easier to see your blood sugar patterns and know when you are on target or, conversely, why you are not on target. If you are treated with diet alone, and your blood sugar is under control, you only may need to check every few days. This is suitable when your treatment doesn’t change or put you at risk of having a low blood sugar. Use this log when you want to understand how your blood sugar is responding to different foods, activities and medication. To find out how much you have learned about  Monitoring Your Diabetes, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section.  The quiz is multiple choice.
SparkPeople’s Type 2 Diabetes Condition Center will show you how nutrition, fitness and lifestyle changes can help you manage your condition and prevent complications. Women who have never experienced diabetes and have been diagnosed with abnormal blood sugar levels only during pregnancy suffer from gestational diabetes. However, insulin imbalances in the mother can certainly affect the metabolism of glucose in the growing fetus. This not only predisposes newborns to obesity and diabetes but also subjects them to many birth traumas like collar bone fracture, damaged shoulder nerves, etc. Excess production of red blood cells gives a flushed and red appearance to the newborn babies skin and makes them more prone to jaundice. Reduction in the levels of minerals is yet another sign of a hypoglycemic newborn, which manifests itself in the form of muscle twitching and cramping.
Our body converts carbohydrates from the diet into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream. The hormones released by the placenta, a channel used for the movement of nutrients, blood and water from the mother to the fetus, render the insulin dysfunctional, thereby requiring three times more than the normal levels that are maintained in the mother’s body. Strong family history of diabetes, obesity, an age over 35, high blood pressure, an unexplained still birth in the past, etc., can also increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes in pregnant women. An oral glucose tolerance test is conducted to test for the ability of the woman’s body to metabolize sugar.
A higher than normal range of glucose levels indicates a higher susceptibility of the pregnant women to develop gestational diabetes and makes it extremely important for her to constantly monitor her blood sugar levels. Hence, maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy diet and exercise can help a woman suffering from gestational diabetes in controlling her blood sugar levels and giving birth to a healthy baby.
Physical activity or moderate exercises during pregnancy including walking for about 30 minutes a day, yoga and light aerobic exercises that do not place a lot of strain on your abdominal area can mimic the effects of insulin in driving the movement of glucose into the cells from the bloodstream.
Moreover, studies have found that breast feeding has a strong impact on glucose metabolism in babies and hence can help in stabilizing the blood sugar levels. Babies diagnosed with respiratory distress syndrome require an external source of oxygen or a breathing tube to enable the proper functioning of their lungs. Make healthy food choices and stay active to allow your body to utilize glucose more efficiently.
In order to stabilize your glucose levels, do not skip meals and avoid foods containing animal fat, trans fatty acids, refined sugar and other high sugar containing foods like cakes, ice creams, candies, cookies , chocolates, soft drinks and soda. It can, however, put them at a higher risk of developing diabetes during the next pregnancy or diabetes mellitus during the later stages of their lives.
Doctors believe the rising levels of hormones the PLACENTA produces at this point in pregnancy interfere with the ability of the woman’s body to properly metabolize INSULIN. When it reaches the fetus the excessive glucose fuels fetal growth, resulting in fetal size up to 20 percent greater than normal.
Because these are common in pregnancy, however, they are difficult to distinguish as symptoms of diabetes.

The safety of oral antidiabetes medications in pregnancy remains undetermined, though some doctors offer this treatment. One in five women who has gestational diabetes will develop conventional diabetes within five years of her baby’s birth, and about two thirds of women will develop the condition later in life. For most people, trying to remember multiple blood sugar numbers and what was happening at the same time as the blood sugar check is difficult and often inaccurate.
In contrast, if your blood sugar is not well controlled and you are starting medications or taking insulin or pills that increase you insulin levels you should check multiple times a day.
Approximately 17 million Americans are diabetics.The first thing you need to do is find yourself a good internal medicine physician in general practice. Even though, insulin cannot cross the placenta, glucose and other nutrients can pass through, leading to the accumulation of glucose in the blood of the fetus, which forces the fetus’s pancreas to produce ample amount of insulin for metabolizing glucose. Moreover, delivery becomes possible only through a cesarean operation, which causes discomfort to the mother during her post-delivery period.
Other prominent symptoms of hypoglycemic newborns include poor suck, refusal to feed, jitteriness, high pitched cry, lethargy, temperature instability, hypothermia, listlessness, etc. Glucose enters the cells and is metabolized further, to be used as a primary source of energy.
After being made to fast for 4-6 hours, the blood sugar levels of the expectant women are measured. Besides monitoring the mother’s glucose levels, it is just as important to frequently regulate and monitor the blood sugar levels in infants to avoid complications like seizures. Keep a track of your calorie and sugar intake and constantly monitor your glucose levels using a glucose meter or strips.
If the blood glucose levels remain high, despite a change in your eating habits, you should consider consulting a doctor and taking oral medication or insulin injections for controlling blood sugar levels.
Moreover, regulating blood glucose levels in pregnant women plays a crucial role in preventing obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, among other things in children. Routine URINE tests at each prenatal doctor visit screen for the overflow of glucose in the urine, which indicates high blood glucose. Diligent management of blood glucose levels helps maintain normal growth and weight of the fetus. When taking insulin, you also need to record your insulin dose, and usually your food and carbohydrate intake and activity level.
Do not adhere to crash diets that deplete your body of all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Diabetes that manifests earlier than 24 weeks in pregnancy is nearly always diabetes that was undetected at the start of the pregnancy. Health-care providers routinely test for elevated glucose in the woman’s blood circulation between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. Ask you doctor for blood sugar monitoring and log book recommendations that are specific for you. This physician can tell you in quite exact terms what your condition is and work out a treatment and diabetic diet plan, not one that will cure your disease, but one that will control it and keep you alive with the least possible damage to your system. Gestational diabetes goes away shortly after delivery, though women who have gestational diabetes have increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. A fetus larger than about eight pounds often has difficulty passing through the birth canal. The circumstance of an overly large fetus, called macrosomia, often necessitates birth by CESAREAN SECTION (surgical delivery) to safeguard the health of both baby and mother. Findings of an elevated blood glucose level at two or more of the four drawings of blood over the course of the test generally establishes the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. As well, the newborn infant may experience HYPOGLYCEMIA (low blood glucose) in the first hours after birth.

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