Around 18% of pregnant women experience gestational diabetes. The female body becomes more insulin resistant during pregnancy. This occurs to make more glucose available to provide nourishment to the growing baby. For most women, the pancreas will adjust production when the body requires more insulin. With gestational diabetes, the pancreas cannot keep up which causes blood sugar levels to rise.
What Are the Signs of Gestational Diabetes?
Most women who develop gestational diabetes notice no symptoms. That’s why it is important to follow your recommended regimen and have screening tests done between weeks 24 and 28. The most common method used to screen for this condition is an oral test. The patient is given a sweet liquid to drink. A blood test is done an hour later to check glucose levels.
When the results are high, a longer test will likely be required. The patient will have to fast, then drink the liquid again. Their blood is tested while fasting and again after hour one, two, and three.
Gestational Diabetes Treatment
Most gestational diabetes can be managed by adopting a healthy lifestyle. That includes exercise and eating nutritious foods that release sugar slowly like vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Some women may be prescribed an anti-hyperglycemic medication to help balance blood sugar.
Insulin injections are also used. Patients may need up to three per day and will be taught how to administer the injection themselves. By managing blood sugar levels and staying in touch with your doctor, you can enjoy a comfortable pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby.
If you are thinking about getting pregnant or are currently pregnant, contact Women’s Health and Menopause Center today to schedule an appointment for proper prenatal care to ensure optimal health for you and your baby.
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