Patient's Complete Guide to Gestational Diabetes

Overview of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes (حمل میں ذیابیطس) is also known as diabetes during pregnancy refers to increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy. The condition usually occurs during the second and third trimesters.

Gestational diabetes occurs when your body is not able to produce enough insulin. This type of diabetes usually disappears after childbirth. This condition can increase pregnancy complications and after-birth troubles.

It also increases your risk of being affected with type 2 diabetes later in life. Type 2 diabetes can be classified into two types i.e., class A1 and class A2 diabetes. Class A1 gestational diabetes can be managed through lifestyle changes while in the case of class A2 diabetes, insulin and medication is required for condition management.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy are responsible for increased insulin resistance in the body. Due to increased insulin resistance, you experience increased blood sugar levels in late pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

There are no evident symptoms for gestational diabetes. By taking your medical history into account, your physician can make a diagnosis. However, some women may experience signs like:

  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Feeling constantly hungry
  • Blurred vision
  • Yeast infection
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting

Causes of Gestational Diabetes

Insulin resistance is the reason behind gestational diabetes. It refers to the inability of body cells to respond to produce insulin. This reduced insulin sensitivity can result in a constantly higher level of glucose in your bloodstream.

Hormonal imbalance in pregnancy is responsible for gestational diabetes. These hormones include estrogen, progesterone, placental insulinase, placental lactogen and growth hormones, etc.

Risk Factors of Gestational Diabetes

Here are some prominent risk factors for gestational diabetes. These include:

  • Being prediabetic
  • Family history of gestational or type-2 diabetes
  • Personal history of gestational diabetes
  • High blood pressure in pregnancy
  • PCOS
  • >25 years maternal age
  • Race (American, African, Hispanic, and Pacific Islanders populations are at greater risk)
  • History of pregnancy complications
  • History of birth defect
  • Being overweight

Complications of Gestational Diabetes

If not managed properly, gestational diabetes can bring along several pregnancies and birth complications. Some of these are:

  • High birth weight
  • Severe breathing difficulties
  • Early labor and before time delivery
  • Low blood sugar level (of the baby)
  • Still birth
  • Stuck shoulder in the birth canal (shoulder dystocia)
  • Increased risk of C-section
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Future risk of type-2 diabetes

Prevention

We don’t know exactly what can be done to prevent the onset of gestational diabetes. However, healthy habits can help to limit the complications associated with gestational diabetes. Some of these include:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight while planning pregnancy
  • Making wise dietary choices
  • Doing enough physical activity
  • Gain healthy weight during pregnancy
  • Working on stress management

Diagnosis

There are two ways to diagnose gestational diabetes. These include:

  • Glucose Challenge Test (GCT): This test measures your blood glucose level exactly one hour after drinking a sugary solution. If the blood glucose level is high during GCT, then your physician may recommend follow-up glucose testing.

  • Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): This is also known as follow-up glucose testing and is similar to GCT. The difference is that you are given a sweet liquid solution before testing and your blood glucose level is monitored three hours later to diagnose gestational diabetes.

Treatment of Gestational Diabetes | When to Consult a Doctor

Here are some of the common treatment options that can help to manage gestational diabetes.

1- Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes are considered to be the first treatment option against gestational diabetes. Here is what your physician can recommend to you to sustain pregnancy with gestational diabetes.

  • Make wise food choices especially when it comes to carbs
  • Consume enough fiber in your diet
  • Eat a diet rich in protein
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Stay physically active
  • Make blood sugar level monitoring a habit
  • Stick to the treatment plan

2- Medications

If lifestyle changes are not helpful then your physician can prescribe you oral medications and insulin to control your blood glucose level.

Note: Consult your doctor before taking any medications

3- Post-Delivery Follow Up

Once you sustain a pregnancy with gestational diabetes, six to twelve weeks of post-pregnancy follow-up is recommended to see if your glucose level has returned to normal.

Healthcare Providers

Consult with Best Doctors for Gestational Diabetes

Dr. Ehsan Ashraf Makki, Diabetologist
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Dr. Amena Moazzam Baig Mirza, Endocrinologist
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Dr. Imran Rashid, Nephrologist
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Dr. Tahir Hameed Malik, Endocrinologist
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Dr. Nauman Tariq, Nephrologist
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Dr. Abeera Mansur, Nephrologist
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Dr. Hameed Tajammal Khan, Nephrologist
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Dr. Tashbeeb Gulzar, Nephrologist
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Dr. Tashbeeb Gulzar

Dr. Fateh Sher, Nephrologist
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Dr. Fateh Sher

Speciality for Gestational Diabetes

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