Gestational diabetes – what should you know about it?
Diet and healthPregnancy and childbirth
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Gestational diabetes – what should you know about it?

More and more pregnant women are facing the problem of gestational diabetes. How to diagnose this disease? Does it threaten the woman and the child? How to treat it? Check it out!

Gestational diabetes – what is it?

Gestationaldiabetes is too high level of glucose in blood during pregnancy. Doctors reassure you – elevated blood glucose levels during pregnancy are not a threat to your baby, but they can lead to macrosomia (also called LGA), which means the fetus may be too large for its gestational age. A fetus that is too large often means a more difficult delivery, which is why many such pregnancies end in a cesarean section

Gestational diab etes does not endanger the baby during pregnancy, but it can be a problem after birth. Babies with diabetic pregnancies produce more of their own insulin, which can lead to blood sugar levels that are too low in the baby’s first few days. The baby’s body has to get used to the new sugar levels and start producing less insulin. But don’t worry – if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your baby will be monitored for it in the hospital after birth.

Gestational diabetes – how to diagnose it?

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed on the basis of blood test results. The standard in Poland is to order a fasting blood glucose test during the first control visit during pregnancy (it should take place before the 10th week of pregnancy). The norm is up to 92 mg/dl. Patients with normal fasting glucose levels are referred between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy for an OGTT, or 75g oral glucose load test.

If the fasting glucose level is already above normal at the beginning of pregnancy, the doctor orders an OGTT at this point. It is important to know that women who belong to a high-risk group are referred for an OGTT test right away.

Gestational diabetes – risk groups

Pregnancy diabetes does not threaten all pregnant women. The high-risk group includes women who:

  • are obese (BMI over 30),
  • have PCOS,
  • have close family members (parents/siblings) with diabetes,
  • have insulin resistance,
  • have given birth to a child weighing more than 4 kg,
  • were diagnosed with gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.

What is an OGTT test?

TheOGTT test is the only glucose loading test recommended in Poland. OGTT involves drawing blood from the patient three times:

  • fasting (at least 8h after the last meal),
  • 1 hour after drinking the 75g glucose solution,
  • 2h after drinking the 75g glucose solution.

Remember that 3 days before the test your diet and the amount and intensity of physical activity should be at your “standard level”. During the test you should sit and rest. It is also important to drink the glucose solution within 5 minutes, preferably in small sips.

Gestational diabetes – how to treat it?

First of all, consult your results with a good gynecologist. If the doctor treating your pregnancy does not clear up all your doubts, it is worth consulting another. If you have a diabetes mellitus, it’s a good idea to consult another doctor.

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your doctor will probably recommend that you measure your finger blood glucose four times a day (fasting and one hour after your main three meals). You should keep a record of your measured glucose levels and what you ate. The SweetPregna app can help you keep records. It’s worth testing!

Main Photo: freestocks.org/pexels.com

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