One of the most common pregnancy complications – gestational diabetes (medically: gestational diabetes) is a disorder of sugar metabolism, which is usually limited to the time of pregnancy. An excessive blood sugar level can have adverse health consequences for both the mother and her child. About five to ten percent of all pregnant women are affected. Often the gestational diabetes is only after the 24th week of pregnancy. What exactly is on it now and what every expectant mother should consider, you can find out here.
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Possible causes of gestational diabetes
To date, the causes are not yet conclusive and clarified to the smallest detail. Scientists and physicians currently assume an interaction of several factors:
- Some pregnancy hormones counteract the hormone insulin, which is responsible for lowering blood sugar levels. Therefore, to maintain a healthy blood sugar level, the pancreas must produce more and more insulin. In women who have gestational diabetes, the pancreas is not capable of such extra performance.
- Some women are prone to diabetes because of certain risk factors, such as obesity (BMI greater than 27) or familial predisposition.
- Many experts also see a reason for the development of gestational diabetes in common malnutrition or overeating during pregnancy. In the erroneous assumption of having to eat for two, the insulin distribution can sometimes increase considerably.
If obesity is added, insulin cannot work properly. Within the cells, a so-called insulin resistance develops. As a result, the sugar remains in the bloodstream. The blood sugar level rises.
- The diet with plenty of white flour, sweets and sweet drinks increases the risk.
The fatal is that this particular diabetes usually remains undetected until the 24th, often even until the end of the pregnancy because it does not cause any discomfort. Typical symptoms of high blood sugar levels, such as excessive thirst or frequent urination, are often absent in pregnant women. He also causes no pain. Nevertheless, the consequences for mother and child can be severe.
Possible consequences of gestational diabetes
Both during pregnancy and after childbirth, as a result of a permanently high blood sugar level during pregnancy, the following problems may occur:
- Urinary tract infections
- Pregnancy poisoning (Gestosis)
- Due to the high blood sugar level of the mother, the blood sugar level of the baby is also too high. The infant organism produces more insulin, which can lead to unhealthy, disproportionate growth.
- The amount of amniotic fluid is usually exaggerated because the unborn children renounce more urine. There is a risk of premature birth.
- Newborns weighing more than 4,000 grams are not uncommon in women with gestational diabetes.
- Often a Caesarean section is necessary.
- Due to the size of the child, spontaneous deliveries of women suffering from pregnancy diabetes are more likely to have problems. Because the baby does not fit easily through the birth canal, a precautionary episiotomy is usually necessary. Some mothers with gestational diabetes also use the suction cup during birth.
- As a result of hypoglycemia ,there is a risk of collapse both in the mother and the child under the birth.
- Mother and child are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Currently, pregnant women should not be surprised by the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. As part of the preventive program, all statutory health insurance companies pay a so-called pre-test from the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy and, if necessary, a further control test.
To do this, the woman on non-sober stomach drinks 50 grams of water-dissolved sugar. After an hour, the doctor takes her blood and determines its sugar value. If the value is less than 135 mg/dl, the result is considered inconspicuous and the test is over. If he lies about it, the doctor carries out a second test.
This glucose tolerance test, also called sugar stress test, certainly detects gestational diabetes.
For this, the woman drinks 75 grams of water-dissolved sugar on an empty stomach. Two hours later, the doctor takes her blood and determines the values. If the blood glucose value is above 91 mg/dl in the wholly fasted state and at more than 152 ml/dl two hours after the exercise test, gestational diabetes is present.
Attention! Women who have been diagnosed as having a ” high- risk pregnancy, ” who have a history of diabetes, or who have already given birth to a child over 4,000 grams, should have the test taken by the 13th week of pregnancy.
Treatment of gestational diabetes
The good news: only 30 percent of all affected women need insulin therapy. In the majority of cases, changing the diet or diet can correct diabetes. Where “diet” does not mean that the expectant mother should eat less, but the right thing:
- Whole Grain Products (They cause slow insulin secretion, making them healthier.) Food cravings decrease.)
- A lot of vegetables and fruits. Watch out for fruits with the fruit sugar!
On the other hand, it should refrain from simple carbohydrates, such as those found in cakes, white bread or sweets. Also, about the dietary change, a detailed consultation from an expert is recommended. Corresponding addresses get the expectant mother from her midwife or the gynecologist.
The diet of a diabetes patient in individual cases depends on various factors, such as the glycemic index of different foods.
Weight loss and breastfeeding reduce the risk of later diabetes
In a long-term scientific study, scientists accompanied about 300 women who had gestational diabetes, up to 19 years after birth. The result: During this period, 147 of them developed type 2 diabetes.
By nursing their child for at least three months, the mothers reduced their diabetes risk by about 40 percent. Also, the likelihood of later diabetes disease depended on the reduction in body mass index during and after pregnancy.
- Five to ten percent of all women fall ill with gestational diabetes.
- Risk factors include inheritance, obesity or a disturbance of the metabolic process due to hormonal changes.
- Thanks to good prenatal care, diabetes-related complications are rare today. Most children are born completely healthy.
- However, affected women are at an increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus type 2 with advancing age.
- Therefore, the mother should be about every two years determine their blood sugar levels.