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Gestational Diabetes

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes experienced by females during pregnancy. It is determined by high levels of blood sugar that develop or are first identified during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the body experiences countless hormonal changes which lead to affecting insulin, which is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. In certain situations, the body doesn’t have the efficiency of producing enough insulin to fulfill the elevated demand which results in gestational diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms

There are various symptoms of gestational diabetes experienced by a female. Here are some of the most common gestational diabetes symptoms which include:

  • Frequent urination.
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Increased hunger
  • Blurred vision
  • Recurrent infections
  • Slow healing

Gestational Diabetes Causes

The exact cause of gestational diabetes is not comprehended entirely, but it is believed to inculcate an amalgamation of hormonal, genetic, and lifestyle factors. Some of the risk factors that contribute to gestational diabetes development:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Genetics 
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Age
  • Previous history of gestational diabetes
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed by a healthcare provider around 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. This is a stage when hormones are produced by the placenta. It is an organ in the uterus and ensures supplying nutrients including oxygen to the baby. To confirm the diagnosis, healthcare providers will involve certain tests for testing blood sugar during pregnancy such as:

  • Glucose challenge test- The patient is asked to drink a sweet liquid and after about half an hour, a blood test is initiated to check the level of blood sugar. If the blood sugar is high, then the doctor will recommend a glucose tolerance test. 
  • Glucose tolerance test: An oral glucose tolerance test is performed if challenge tests are not normal. The patient is also asked to fast before the test. The healthcare team will begin with drawing blood before and after three intervals, the patient has to drink a sweet liquid. With this test, gestational diabetes can be confirmed.

Gestational Diabetes Treatment

The main goal of gestational diabetes treatment is keeping levels of blood sugar within a target range to ensure the best health of a mother and the baby. The options for gestational diabetes treatment are:

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy: It is recommended to manage blood sugar levels and inculcates spreading out carbohydrate intake and comprising numerous healthy foods.
  • Regular Physical Activity: Regular physical activity is recommended by a doctor to keep the blood sugar levels down. Without a doctor's consultation, it shouldn’t be started and must understand the right level of exercise during pregnancy. 
  • Blood Sugar Monitoring: It is very important to monitor sugar levels daily. It involves the use of a glucose meter for checking the levels three-four times a day. The healthcare provider offers particular instructions on target blood sugar levels.
  • Insulin Therapy: If levels of blood sugar are high even after lifestyle changes, then insulin injections might be needed. The doctor will provide guidance on the appropriate insulin dosage and administration.
  • Oral Medications: Oral medications are recommended in certain cases if blood sugar levels cannot be controlled through diet and exercise. Although, oral medications used for gestational diabetes are less common when compared with insulin therapy.
  • Regular Prenatal Care: Regular visits to a doctor for monitoring the gestational diabetes progression and the well-being of both the mother and the baby. These visits might involve regular blood sugar checks, ultrasounds, and other tests.

Why should you choose BM Birla Hospital for gestational diabetes treatment?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre is a super speciality hospital with modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology in Kolkata. BM Birla Heart Research Centre is the only hospital offering super speciality cardiac care in entire eastern India. With a 200+ bed capacity, cardiac rehabilitation services, cath labs and modular OTs, BM Birla Heart Research Centre has made a mark with its singular focus on the treatment of a variety of cardiac ailments. Here are a few advantages of choosing BM Birla Heart Research Centre for gestational diabetes treatment in Kolkata -

  • Highly qualified and experienced cardiologists
  • Cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • The transparent pricing structure for cost-effective treatment. 
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate


How to control Gestational Diabetes?

It is important to control gestational diabetes by following the instructions of a healthcare provider like making lifestyle changes, eating a healthy diet, regularly exercising, and checking blood sugar levels frequently.

How to avoid Gestational Diabetes?

You can avoid gestational diabetes by avoiding a diet full of sugar, limiting desserts and beverages, avoiding packaged fruit juices, not skipping meals, especially breakfast, etc.

Can gestational diabetes go away during pregnancy?

Yes, usually gestational diabetes goes away after pregnancy but can again return in future pregnancies. 


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