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Gestational Diabetes In Women

A kind of diabetes called gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects pregnant women. It is distinguished by elevated levels of glucose that appear during pregnancy or are initially detected there and usually resolve after childbirth. Gestational diabetes can affect the mother and the unborn baby, requiring careful monitoring and management. This article will explore the causes, risk factors, symptoms, complications, management, and prevention of gestational diabetes, providing valuable insights into this common condition affecting pregnant women.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Gestational Diabetes In Women

Main Causes 

The exact causes of gestational diabetes in women are not fully understood. However, hormonal and metabolic changes during pregnancy play a significant role. The placenta, which aids the infant’s growth, creates hormones that could disturb the mother’s insulin sensitivity. Because of this, the body’s cells eventually develop insulin resistance, which causes blood sugar levels to rise. Additionally, pregnancy hormones can increase the production of glucose by the liver. These factors combined contribute to the development of gestational diabetes. While the precise triggers may vary from person to person, certain risks of Being obese, possessing a family history of diabetes, being pregnant, being older than 25, having a history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and belonging to certain ethnic backgrounds, such as Hispanic, African-American, Asian, or Native American all raise the chances of gestational diabetes.

Risk Factors For Infant And Mothers Having Gestational Diabetes

Risks associated with gestational diabetes might affect both the mother’s and child’s health.

Understanding these potential risks is important for managing the condition effectively. If you’re seeking specialized care and support for gestational diabetes, consulting with the best gynecologist in Dubai can provide expert guidance and personalized treatment options.

Here are the risks faced by both the mother and the infant:

Risks for the Mother:

  • Preeclampsia:   Preeclampsia, a syndrome distinguished by hypertension and organ damage, is more likely to affect women with gestational diabetes, affecting the kidneys and liver.
  • Cesarean Delivery: Gestational diabetes increases the likelihood of needing a cesarean delivery. This may be due to concerns about the baby’s size, difficulties during labour, or other factors.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: In mothers having gestational diabetes are more likely to occur in later life. To stop or delay the start of type 2 diabetes, regular monitoring and lifestyle changes are crucial.

Risks For The Infant:

  • Macrosomia: The condition known as macrosomia, which causes babies to be larger than typical, is more likely to occur in moms with gestational diabetes. As a result, there may be difficulties in giving birth, such as shoulder dystocia, in which the baby’s shoulder becomes wedged beneath the mother’s pelvic region.
  • Hypoglycemia: Shortly after birth, newborns of gestational diabetic moms can get low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This happens because the mother’s increased blood sugar levels cause the baby’s release of insulin to increase after birth; insulin production may continue while blood sugar levels drop.
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Babies of gestational diabetic moms may be more likely to experience respiratory distress syndrome, a disorder in which the infant’s lungs are underdeveloped and cause breathing problems.
  • Jaundice: Jaundice in newborns of women with gestational diabetes may be more likely to occur, a condition characterised by yellowing skin and eyes due to elevated bilirubin levels.

It is crucial to remember that many of these hazards can be reduced with adequate monitoring and control of blood sugar. Regular prenatal care, close monitoring, and adherence to the recommended treatment plan are crucial for minimising complications and ensuring the well-being of both the mother and the baby.

Symptoms And Diagnosis:

In most cases, there are no overt symptoms of gestational diabetes in women. On the other hand, some women may endure frequent infections, excessive thirst, frequent urination, and weariness. Since these symptoms are not specific to gestational diabetes, a diagnosis is typically made through routine screening tests. To identify gestational diabetes, doctors frequently use the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) before and after consuming a glucose solution.

Management And Treatment:

Controlling glucose levels within a specific range is the main objective of controlling gestational diabetes to reduce hazards for both the mother and the unborn child. This is accomplished by making lifestyle changes, including eating a balanced diet, frequently exercising (light but frequent exercising can be beneficial for the pregnant mother and the infant’s health), and monitoring glucose levels, or oral medicines may occasionally be administered for this purpose. Effective management depends on frequent prenatal checkups, continuous supervision, and cooperation with medical specialists.

Prevention And Healthy Pregnancy Habits:

While gestational diabetes cannot always be prevented, adopting healthy habits before and during pregnancy can reduce the risk. A healthy lifestyle includes eating a balanced diet full of veggies, fruit, and whole grains, sustaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and controlling gestational weight gain are important factors in prevention. Women having gestational diabetes must be especially vigilant in practising healthy habits and undergoing screening tests as their healthcare provider recommends. 

For comprehensive prenatal care and expert guidance on managing gestational diabetes, consider seeking support from the best maternity hospitals in Dubai.

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