Gestational diabetes: what are its causes?

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, causing glucose levels to rise during the gestational period and, as a general rule, return to their average level after pregnancy. It is essential to control glucose levels during this period so that complications do not arise.

The leading cause of diabetes in pregnancy is that the hormones cannot cause enough insulin to be secreted during this period. The hormone located in the pancreas regulates the amount of glucose in the blood, which causes the amount of blood sugar rises.

In addition, other factors can cause diabetes in pregnancy, such as a family history of diabetes, pregnancies in women-over 35 years of age, or obesity.

While routine blood glucose values ​​are between 70 and 105mg, which can rise after meals, a blood glucose level greater than 128mg would indicate hyperglycemia.

How is diabetes diagnosed in pregnancy?

To diagnose diabetes in pregnancy, two different tests can be carried out:

  • O’Sullivan test: Glucose is administered and measured at other times in this test. First, 50 grams of glucose are administered orally, and a measurement is taken after one hour. A new administration is performed if the blood glucose level rises to 139 mg.
  • In this second administration to diagnose diabetes in pregnancy, it is increased to 100 grams of glucose, and a previous measurement is made and then every hour for 3 hours. If the values ​​are above 95 mg, 180 mg, 155 mg, and 140 mg in each of the measurements, they indicate diabetes in pregnancy.
  • Glucose overload: This test to diagnose if there is diabetes in pregnancy is performed in a single step. 75 to 100 mg of glucose are administered, and a measurement is made beforehand and every hour during two hours of fasting. Blood glucose levels of 92 mg, 180 mg, and 153 mg in the respective measures would indicate a case of diabetes in pregnancy.

Symptoms of gestational diabetes

On some occasions, diabetes in pregnancy does not present physical symptoms, but on other events, they may present some, usually associated with hyperglycemia:

  • Frequent urination
  • copious urine
  • Acetone odor in urine
  • frequent thirst
  • Ketotic halitosis
  • Tiredness

Control of glucose levels during gestational diabetes

The control of diabetes in pregnancy must be done strictly, and the medical indications must be followed, since otherwise, health problems may arise for both the mother and the baby.

Controls of blood glucose levels for cases of diabetes in pregnancy should be done on an empty stomach and one hour after the main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) using a glucometer, which will determine the values.

When adopting healthy lifestyle habits is not enough to reduce diabetes in pregnancy, the doctor may use a small amount of insulin or oral medications.

Habits for diabetes in pregnancy

With regular monitoring and compliance with diet and physical exercise regulations, many women manage to keep diabetes under control during pregnancy.

Some of these recommended habits are:

  • Perform physical exercise within medical recommendations since physical activity helps reduce blood glucose levels.
  • Within the diet for gestational diabetes, it is recommended to distribute carbohydrates throughout the day. This includes products such as rice or pasta consumed in small amounts during meals.
  • Include foods such-as fruits and vegetables, rich in fiber.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats and cholesterol-rich foods.
  • During diabetes in pregnancy, intervals of three hours should be maintained between each information, and fasting should not exceed eight hours.
  • The diet for diabetes in pregnancy must contain a sufficient caloric intake since weight loss is not recommended.

Diabetes after childbirth

Diabetes in pregnancy usually disappears in a large percentage after birth, although medical controls should be followed to recheck glucose levels, and diagnostic tests can be re-performed.

If the doctor considers it, you can have routine control from time to time and recommend some guidelines to follow.