Gestational diabetes mellitus is a spike in blood sugar levels during pregnancy that is caused due to hormonal imbalance.

Elevated levels of hormones like estrogen, cortisol and human placental lactogen interfere with insulin secretion leading to gestational diabetes. However, soon after delivery blood sugar levels come to normal.

Risk Factors Of Gestational Diabetes

  • BMI or body mass index is above 30
  • Pre-existing gestational conditions
  • Ethnicity and genetic inheritance
  • Diabetic condition in the family or sibling
  • Hormonal imbalance caused due to medications in pregnancy
  • High blood pressure and preeclampsia
  • Have given birth to large babies weighing more than 9 pounds or 4.082 kg, in the first delivery.

Symptoms

  • Increased tiredness
  • Increased rate of urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased infections in the sexual regions
  • Fatigue and nausea

Diagnosis And Treatment

Gestational diabetes usually occurs at around 24th week of pregnancy. Diagnosis pertains to initial assessment of risk factors like obesity, personal history, glycosuria or family history of diabetes. In the case of high glucose levels, the person undergoes diagnostic methods of Oral Glucose Tolerance Tests (OGTT) or Glucose Challenge Test.

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) helps in maintaining a balanced and nutritive diet for the individual based on maternal height and weight are highly recommended. Maternal Insulin Therapy (MIT) can be advocated in the form of administering insulin injections. Oral glucose-lowering agents or physical exercises are also recommended to control blood sugar levels.

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