What is Gestational Diabetes?
What is Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes is a diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and usually lasts only until the birth process. Gestational diabetes that affects 9.2 percent of pregnant women generally occurs between the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy, although it is not possible to occur in any week.
Unlike diabetes in general, gestational diabetes occurs when insulin production is insufficient to control body glucose levels during pregnancy. High levels of glucose in this blood can harm the mother and child, but the risk can be suppressed if handled quickly and precisely.
The cause of gestational diabetes is not known for certain, but the factor that often triggers is hormonal changes. During pregnancy, the placenta will produce additional hormones such as estrogen, HPL (human placental lactogen), and hormones that increase insulin resistance. Over time, these hormones will increase and affect the performance of insulin.
The higher the influence of hormone on insulin, blood sugar levels will increase and this increases the risk of gestational diabetes. In addition, a woman is also at risk of developing illness if she has reached the age of 25 years and over while pregnant, has high blood pressure (hypertension), has a family with a history of diabetes, overweight before pregnancy (BMI above 25), had given birth to infants Over 4.5 kg, had a miscarriage, had previously had gestational diabetes, or race factors such as African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Middle Eastern or African-Caribbean descent.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Not all pregnant women can experience symptoms of gestational diabetes, but these symptoms can be felt when blood sugar soaring (hyperglycemia), such as:
- Often feel thirsty.
- Frequent urination.
- The mouth is dry.
- Easy to feel tired.
- Blurred vision.
However, not all of the symptoms listed indicate a gestational diabetes condition. Talk to your doctor to find out more about the condition.
Gestational Diabetes Disease
In general, the doctor will perform a physical test and ask for some things like symptoms experienced, duration of symptoms, personal and family medical history (especially diabetes), conditions experienced in previous pregnancies, the increase or decrease in body weight drastically and infant weight from pregnancy previous. If doctors feel the symptoms experienced lead to gestational diabetes, a series of tests may be suggested, such as:
- Early oral glucose tolerance test (TTGO). In this test, the doctor will check the blood glucose levels 1 hour before and after consuming the liquid sugar syrup provided by the doctor. If the test results above 130-140 mL / dL, your doctor may recommend a further oral glucose tolerance test.
- Oral glucose tolerance test (TTGO) continued. In this test, the patient is asked to fast overnight before undergoing a blood test in the morning. After the first blood is taken, the doctor will give the liquid syrup with more sugar than the initial TTGO. After that, blood taking will be done every hour for 3 times. If there are 2 results with high levels, the patient may be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
In general, your doctor will advise you to perform a blood test early in pregnancy if you have any symptoms or conditions that are at high risk. Patients who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes are usually advised to perform routine checks, especially in the last 3 months of pregnancy.
An infant exam may also be performed to ensure the baby gets the proper oxygen and nutrients in the uterus. In some cases, postnatal examinations in both mother and infant may be performed to detect further risks.
On the other hand, if the patient is diagnosed free of gestational diabetes, the doctor may still recommend routine checks, especially for potential patients, in order to be monitored properly.
Gestational Diabetes Disease
For the health of the mother and baby, there are several treatment steps that doctors usually recommend, including:
- Monitor blood glucose levels. To avoid further complications, your doctor may recommend regular blood checks, such as 4 to 5 times a day, in order to be properly monitored. This is usually done by using a small finger injection (lanset) and glucose levels are detected directly using a special tool. If necessary, your doctor may advise to inject or consume insulin in order to maintain glucose levels until delivery.
- Ultrasound examination. In addition to the mother, the doctor may perform routine baby checkups with the help of ultrasound to monitor the growth and development of the baby. In addition, the doctor can also look at the Baby’s Birth Estimate (PHL) and if the mother does not deliver within the prescribed time, the doctor can immediately take immediate action, such as induction or caesarean section. In certain cases, your doctor may advise to give birth prematurely to avoid further complications.
- Healthy diet. For pregnant women, especially those diagnosed with gestational diabetes, regulating a healthy diet is essential, such as consuming vegetables, fruits, grains, to foods with fiber, nutrients and low fat intake. A common weight loss is not recommended, but this can be done when planning a pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about the right diet and nutritional levels for your condition.
- Sports. In addition to maintaining food intake, exercise is also often a matter of note before, during and after pregnancy. By doing regular exercise, the body will stimulate the transfer of glucose to the cell and turn it into energy. In addition, exercise can also increase the sensitivity of cells to insulin so that blood sugar levels are more controlled. In addition, doctors usually recommend some special exercises to help reduce the discomfort during pregnancy such as backache, muscle cramps, swelling, constipation, difficulty falling asleep and preparing the patient through childbirth.
Treatment to control gestational diabetes differs for each case. Ask your doctor for the right treatment for you.
Gestational Diabetes Complications
In general, pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes give birth to healthy babies. However, if these conditions are not handled appropriately, there are several complications that can occur in the baby at birth, such as:
- Being overweight caused by excess blood glucose levels (macrosomia).
- Premature birth resulting in respiratory distress syndrome (respiratory distress syndrome). It can also occur in babies born on time.
- Born with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) due to high insulin production. This condition can also cause seizures in infants, but can be handled by giving them sugar intake.
- Risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes as adults.
In addition to babies, new mothers also have the potential to experience complications, such as:
- Conditions of hypertension or preeclampsia that can endanger the lives of mothers as well as infants.
- Potentially gestational diabetes in subsequent pregnancies or type 2 diabetes after a period of time. This can be prevented by consuming a high intake of fiber and nutrients.
Complications that occur should be addressed to prevent the occurrence
Advanced complications or death, especially in infants.
Gestational Diabetes Prevention
Until now, there is no certainty if gestational diabetes can be prevented completely, but there are several ways that can be done to reduce the risk of this disease, including:
- Routine foods with high intake of nutrients and fiber, such as vegetables, fruits and seeds. Get used to set a balanced portion and reduce food with fat or excess calories.
- Regular exercise to maintain body fitness before and during pregnancy.
It is recommended for mild to moderate exercise such as swimming, brisk walking or cycling at least 30 minutes per day. If not squeeze, do a short but periodic exercise to meet those needs, such as
Walking or doing homework.
- Weight loss when planning to conceive by adopting a healthy diet for better long-term effects.
- Perform a complete examination before planning a pregnancy to ensure excellent body condition.
Consult your doctor when planning a pregnancy to find out the proper preventive measures for your body condition.