Understanding Gestational Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

August 30, 2023

A type of diabetes that appears during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. It is a condition that impacts how your body uses glucose (sugar), resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. At Al Hilal Hospitals, we understand the importance of giving pregnant women with gestational diabetes complete care and support. This article will discuss gestational diabetes, including its signs, causes, testing, effects on the unborn child, and the necessity of adhering to a healthy diet and treatment regimen. We will also discuss gestational diabetes management tips to guarantee a safe pregnancy for both the mother and the unborn child.

Pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes can develop gestational diabetes, a transient version of the disease. The hormone that controls blood sugar levels, insulin, makes the body more resistant to it throughout pregnancy. Because of this resistance, the pancreas might find it challenging to create enough insulin to counteract it, which would result in high blood glucose levels.

Because gestational diabetes frequently has no outward signs, periodic screening is crucial during pregnancy. But occasionally, women may have minor symptoms like:

  1. More frequent thirst: Feeling thirstier than normal.
  1. Frequent urination: A greater than usual need to urinate.
  1. exhaustion: Excessive tiredness or exhaustion.
  1. Hazy or blurry vision: Experiencing hazy or blurry vision.
  1. Repeated infections: A greater propensity for infections, especially urinary tract infections.

Regular prenatal checkups are essential for tracking blood sugar levels and spotting gestational diabetes early.Make an appointment for a consultation with one of our knowledgeable healthcare professionals at Al Hilal Hospitals if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant and have worries about gestational diabetes. We will walk you through the procedures for diagnosis, management, and screening.

In treating gestational diabetes and fostering a healthy pregnancy, proper nutrition is crucial. The skilled dietitians at Al Hilal Hospitals can create individualized food regimens that are suited to the particular requirements of expectant women with gestational diabetes. Typical dietary recommendations for women with gestational diabetes include:

  1. Keep an eye on your intake of carbohydrates: They might have a big impact on your blood sugar levels. It is recommended for pregnant women who have gestational diabetes to spread out their daily carbohydrate intake and to pick complex carbs with a low glycemic index, such as whole grains, vegetables, and legumes.
  1. Including lean proteins in meals: Lean proteins help maintain blood sugar levels and supply vital nutrients for both the mother and the unborn child. Lean proteins are best found in poultry, fish, tofu, and lentils.
  1. Choosing heart-healthy fats: Making this choice will improve overall health and help control blood sugar levels. Heart-healthy fats can be found in foods like avocados, almonds, and olive oil.
  1. Steer clear of processed and sugar-rich foods: These foods can produce sharp rises in blood sugar levels, so it’s best to minimize or stay away from them.

Our skilled medical staff at Al Hilal Hospitals carefully collaborates with pregnant moms to create individualized treatment strategies for gestational diabetes. The following treatments are possible, depending on the severity of the condition:

  1. Dietary Management: The foundation of gestational diabetes treatment is a well-balanced diet that controls blood sugar levels.
  1. Regular Exercise: Physical activity, as advised by a healthcare professional, can help regulate blood sugar levels and enhance insulin sensitivity.
  1. Blood Sugar testing: Regular blood sugar testing enables medical professionals to track the efficacy of the treatment plan and make appropriate modifications.
  1. Insulin Therapy: Insulin injections may be necessary to properly manage gestational diabetes in some situations if lifestyle changes alone are insufficient to maintain blood sugar levels.

Depending on the stage of pregnancy and personal health considerations, the target blood sugar range for pregnant women with gestational diabetes may change. Blood sugar levels are typically checked before meals and an hour or so afterward. The healthcare professionals at Al Hilal Hospitals will set up individualized target ranges to maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout pregnancy.

During pregnancy, gestational diabetes can have an impact on both the mother and the unborn child. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels may result in issues like:

  1. Macrosomia: When a mother has elevated blood sugar levels, the baby may grow larger than normal, which can complicate delivery and increase the risk of damage to both mother and child.
  1. Preterm birth: Premature birth can raise the risk of pregnancy, which could pose health risks for the unborn child.
  1. Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a disorder marked by high blood pressure and the potential for organ damage. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes have a higher chance of acquiring it.
  1. Respiratory distress syndrome: Babies with undeveloped lungs born to women with uncontrolled gestational diabetes may have trouble breathing.
  1. Hypoglycemia in the newborn: Because of the mother’s abrupt decrease in glucose production after delivery, the newborn may experience low blood sugar levels.

Al Hilal Hospitals is dedicated to giving pregnant women with gestational diabetes all the attention and assistance they need. To guarantee a healthy pregnancy and lower the risk of problems, we emphasize the following recommendations:

  1. Routine prenatal checkups: These enable the monitoring of blood glucose levels and the early identification of any issues.
  1. Adherence to treatment plans: Effective management of gestational diabetes depends on adhering to dietary recommendations, participating in regular physical activity, and taking recommended medications (if required).
  1. Blood sugar monitoring: Tracking blood sugar levels on a regular basis makes it possible to spot patterns and promptly modify the treatment strategy as necessary.
  2. Information and support: At Al Hilal Hospitals , we provide counseling and educational materials to provide pregnant mothers with the information and skills they need to effectively manage gestational diabetes.

Although gestational diabetes is a serious health risk during pregnancy, its effects can be reduced with the right management and care. At Al Hilal Hospitals, we are committed to giving expectant moms with gestational diabetes individualized support, thorough treatment, and educational materials.

You can ensure a successful and healthy pregnancy for both you and your unborn child by following a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, checking blood sugar levels, and listening to medical advice.  Make an appointment with Al Hilal Hospitals right away to start on the path to the best prenatal care.