Gestational diabetes is a condition where a woman’s blood sugar level becomes high during pregnancy. In India, GDM is a big problem, and the GDM rate in India is as high as 26.3% which is the highest in the world. GDM has significant adverse health impacts on both fetus and mother. The offspring of GDM show an increased risk of both short-term and long-term adverse health effects. For short-term adverse effects, numerous reports show an increased frequency of macrosomia, congenital heart disease, hypoglycemia, persistent hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia, hyperbilirubinemia, transient tachypnoea, polycythemia, respiratory distress syndrome, and intrauterine growth retardation. For long-term adverse health effects, ailments like central nervous system (CNS), respiratory disease, intestinal atresia, anal atresia, renal & urinary defect, upper limb deficiencies, lower limb deficiencies have been reported. Furthermore, there are high chances of pre-diabetes and diabetes in the offspring of GDM. Thus, the best solution to solve these problems is to detect GDM at an early stage of pregnancy by frequent screening. It is also advisable to control high glucose levels throughout the pregnancy.
There are two classes of gestational diabetes. Women with class A1 can manage it through diet and exercise. Those who have class A2 need to take insulin or other medications.
Women with gestational diabetes usually don’t have symptoms or may chalk them up to pregnancy. Most find out that they have it during a routine screening. You may notice that:-
- You’re thirstier than usual
- You’re hungrier and eat more than usual
- You pee more than usual
Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors
You’re more likely to get gestational diabetes if you:
- Were overweight before you got pregnant
- Are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Native American
- Have blood sugar levels that are higher than they should be but not high enough to be diabetes (this is called prediabetes)
- Have a family member with diabetes
- Have had gestational diabetes before
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or another health condition linked to problems with insulin
- Have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or other medical complications
- Have given birth to a large baby (weighing more than 9 pounds)
- Have had a miscarriage
- Have given birth to a baby who was stillborn or had certain birth defects
Take these simple steps to stay healthy:
Eat a healthy, low-sugar diet. Talk to your doctor to be sure you’re getting the nutrition you need. Follow a meal plan made for someone with diabetes:
- Avoid sugary snacks like cookies, candy, and ice cream, fruits, carrots, and raisins. Add vegetables and whole grains, and watch your portion sizes.
- Have three small meals along with two or three snacks about the same times every day.
- Get 40% of your daily calories from carbs and 20% from protein. Fifty percent of the carbs should be complex, high-fibre carbs, with fat being between 25% and 30%.
- Aim for 20-35 grams of fiber a day. Foods such as whole-grain bread, cereals, and pasta, brown or wild rice, oatmeal, and vegetables and fruits will help get you there.
- Limit your total fat to less than 40% of your daily calories. Saturated fat should be less than 10% of all the fat you eat.
- Eat a variety of foods to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals. You may need to take a supplement to cover your bases. Ask your doctor if they think you should take one.