The basics to following a gestational diabetic is simple once there is understanding of how your body breaks down food and how your body handles glucose when pregnant. All pregnant women undergo changes in their hormones that will change through the course of pregnancy and in most cases, resolve themselves after the baby is born.
Here you will find free gestational diabetes information and answers to the most often asked gestational diabetic questions.
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Managing Gestational Diabetes
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Causes & Testing
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Gestational Diabetes and Tests
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Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes
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Gestational Diabetes Studies
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Studies on Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes Background
About four percent of women develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancies. Diagnosis, knowing the risk factors and treating it by proper management will greatly increase the deliverance of a healthy baby. A gestational diabetes diet should always be followed.
During pregnancy, a woman develops hormonal changes. The placenta makes increased amounts of hormones. This interferes with her body’s ability to manage glucose (sugar) level. She develops an insulin resistance. As the pregnancy furthers, this resistance can increase because the placenta grows larger. This causes larger amounts of hormones to be made and increases the insulin resistance. Most of the time, the pancreas can produce enough insulin to ward off the insulin resistance. In some women, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin. This makes their sugar level increase, causing gestational diabetes.
A pregnant woman is tested for gestational diabetes between her 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. If the test comes back as abnormal, she will be tested again within a few hours.
If in a high risk category, a pregnant woman should be tested as soon as possible. If the test is negative for gestational diabetes, she will be tested again between their 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy for confirmation of not having the complication.
Testing is done by drinking a sweetened solution. Within 60 minutes, blood will be taken out of the arm. It measures how well the sugar is processed in the body and determines the blood sugar level. If it is higher than 140 mg/dl, it is considered to be gestational diabetes. This is why following a gestational diabetes diet is so important.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include being overweight before becoming pregnant, being of a certain ethnic background and having sugar in the urine. Also, previously having elevated glucose that is not at the diabetic level, having a family member who is diabetic, having had a baby birthed stillborn or weighing at least 9 pounds and or having gestational diabetes in an earlier pregnancy are risk factors. Unfortunately, many pregnant women who do not have these risk factors can still develop gestational diabetes.
Treatment and management
Insulin is the only medicine used, when necessary, to treat gestational diabetes. There are specific ways to manage it such as checking the blood sugar level 4 times during the day, checking urine so the doctor know will know if it is being controlled and making sure that the gestational diabetes diet guidelines are being followed. Also, keeping high blood pressure under control, making sure that calories consumed daily are spread out evenly, exercising after permission from the doctor and watching weight gain are major parts of managing gestational diabetes.