Gestational Diabetes – Risks, Symptoms and Remedies


In some cases, expectant mothers tend to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy and it usually resolves after child birth. This condition has serious effects on the fetus, if it is not treated properly. About 4% of pregnant women suffer from gestational diabetes across the world and most of them give birth to normal healthy babies. Just by following proper diet and lifestyle changes, expectant mothers can control the effects of gestational diabetes.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a medical condition in which pregnant women exhibits high blood glucose levels, without previous diagnose of diabetes. The insulin hormone regulates glucose in the bloodstream and if the there is a problem with insulin receptors, the glucose level in the blood increases and cause serious effects on the fetus. The pregnancy hormones tend to interfere with the insulin receptors and results in gestational diabetes.

Who are at Risk of Gestational Diabetes?

  • Pregnant women who have had gestational diabetes in their previous pregnancy
  • Expectant mothers who are obese with BMI over 30
  • Women in their older age; as women age, the risk becomes higher
  • Pregnant women tested positive for sugar in their urine during early prenatal tests
  • Women with a family history of type-2 diabetes or siblings having insulin dependent diabetes
  • Pregnant mothers with high blood pressure

What are the Symptoms?

Generally, there are no symptoms observed in gestational diabetes, however some women may experience extreme thirst or abnormal fatigue as symptoms. It is necessary to have an antenatal glucose screening test between 24 weeks and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Pregnant women who are at high risk of gestational diabetes will be advised to take up blood glucose screening test to detect it.

How to Handle Gestational Diabetes?

  • Have a balanced healthy diet and maintain a pregnancy diet plan. Try to limit your carbohydrate intake and add more protein to your diet. Keep a track of your dietary foods by writing them down as it will help you maintain your blood glucose level.
  • Exercise regularly to keep a check on the weight gain above normal level. Try aerobics, brisk walking, swimming etc., to stay fit and burn the extra glucose energy.
  • Check your blood sugar level regularly even at home. Knowing that your blood glucose level is normal will give you some peace of mind.
  • Have regular antenatal checkups with your gynecologist. In these visits, the physician can examine your blood pressure, glucose level and weight gain.
  • Following a healthy lifestyle by avoiding junk food, overeating and oversleeping can help you improve your overall blood glucose level.


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