Gestational diabetes: A Must Know

Gestational diabetes   forms part of the various forms of diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong illness that is caused by an individual’s inability to control high sugar levels in the body due to lack of sufficient insulin in the blood or one has too much insulin in the body making it hard for the body to respond appropriately. Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to break down sugar in your blood to be used as energy.

There are two types of diabetes, namely

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetes insipidus

Anyone is at risk of acquiring diabetes due to poor lifestyle or dietary choices. This is also applies to pregnant women who given certain predisposing factors may become vulnerable to gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes mellitus.

Given than insulin is a hormone that helps the body breaks down sugar, during pregnancy with several hormones at work, it is expected for one to generate more insulin to help meet the sugar needs of both mother and foetus. However in certain women, there arises an instance where their bodies cannot produce the additional insulin required during pregnancy. This is what results in gestational diabetes.

Causes of gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs in close to 7% of pregnant women. This condition is mainly as a result of pregnancy related hormones which in a way inhibit the role played by insulin so as at to enable the unborn foetus get the required sugar. These hormonal interferences necessitate that the body has to generate more insulin, which tends to be problematic in some women.

Given this, pregnant women need not worry given that many a time gestational diabetes if well managed tends to disappear with the birth of the child. However in some instances children born of women who suffered from this form of diabetes become vulnerable to juvenile diabetes.

It is therefore recommended that pregnant women observe their clinic appointments throughout the pregnancy so that any signs of diabetes can be picked up by the health care provider sooner than later.

One may thus ask, what are the signs of gestational diabetes?

Signs of gestational diabetes

These include:

  • Frequent urination: Whilst it is common for pregnant women to experience the desire to urinate more than usual, there are cases where this desire supersedes the normal expectation.
  • Thirst: This is associated with the huge amounts of water eliminated from the body through frequent urination
  • Increased fatigue: This is caused by the imbalances in the sugar levels. Persons suffering from diabetes experience fatigue due to the improper breakdown of the sugar consumed to produce the required amounts of energy, hence the consistent feeling of fatigue.

The above symptoms are not unique to diabetic women, but also to every other pregnant woman. This makes it necessary for all pregnant women to seek help so as to reduce their risks of acquiring gestational diabetes

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