Most people know that diabetes has two main types (known as Type 1 and Type 2), but did you know that there is a third type that only affects pregnant women? The third type, called gestational diabetes, affects up to 9% of pregnancies in the United States each year. If left untreated, the disease can cause harm to the developing fetus.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that is caused by the body's inability to produce insulin or to react correctly to insulin. Sometimes, a woman whose body normally produces enough insulin will have trouble keeping up with the increased insulin needs during pregnancy. This causes gestational diabetes.
What Are the Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes?
Most of the time, gestational diabetes does not show any symptoms. For that reason, all pregnant women should have a glucose screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to check if you have the disorder.
If you have certain risk factors that lead to an increased chance of having gestational diabetes, you may need to have the glucose screening test at a place like Central Iowa OB/Gyn Specialists, PLC earlier in your pregnancy. These risk factors include:
How Can Gestational Diabetes Affect the Fetus?
When a pregnant mother has gestational diabetes, the high glucose levels caused by improper insulin usage are passed to the baby. This can lead to high birth weight in the baby, also known as fetal macrosomia. Because of the baby's size, it can be difficult for a woman to safely give birth naturally; tearing of the birth canal, bleeding, and uterine rupture can occur. In the child, fetal macrosomia can lead to an increased risk of obesity during childhood and of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes throughout his or her life.
How Is Gestational Diabetes Treated?
In order to prevent the negative effects of gestational diabetes, women should begin treatment as soon as the condition is diagnosed. Your doctor will work with you to formulate a personalized treatment plan that will protect you and your baby. You will likely have to use a blood glucose meter to monitor your body's glucose levels before and after meals. You will need to stay away from foods that cause a spike in glucose levels, such as foods that are full of sugar or white flour. Your doctor may also recommend an exercise plan. Physical activity can lower the risk of high birth weight in your baby.
How Can Gestational Diabetes Be Prevented?
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, there are a few ways that you can lower your risk of contracting gestational diabetes.
This is the biggest way that you can lower your risk of gestational diabetes. While you should not lose weight if you are already pregnant, getting to a healthy weight before becoming pregnant is a great idea.
Eating a lot of healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and staying away from unhealthy sweets during pregnancy can help to keep you and your baby healthy.
Some women are afraid to exercise extensively during pregnancy because they fear it might hurt their babies, but moderate exercise during pregnancy can greatly contribute to your health.
Gestational diabetes can be scary, but it can be easily prevented if you take the initiative to eat healthy and stay active during your pregnancy. By taking a few minutes each day to prepare healthy meals and exercise, you can stay healthy yourself and set your baby up for a life of better health.
I used to be skeptical about chiropractic healing. However, that was before I tried it for myself. I was in an accident that did serious damage to my back. I followed all of the doctor’s recommendations, did my physical therapy, and still didn’t feel any better. That was when I finally decided to try going to my friend’s chiropractor. It was such a relief when I finally started to feel better thanks to the great chiropractic care I received. That’s when I decided to start researching chiropractic care and how it could be used to treat different conditions. This blog contains the results of that research. If you’re looking for a way to feel better, you too may benefit from chiropractic healing. These articles will help you learn how.