Gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is the high levels of glucose (ie sugar) in the blood during pregnancy and is considered an intolerance to carbohydrates (sugars).

In women with gestational diabetes, blood sugar usually returns to normal soon after delivery. But if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. You’ll need to be tested for changes in blood sugar more often.

Women who develop gestational diabetes are, on average, older than the majority of pregnant women who are overweight.

These women have a normal glucose reaction before pregnancy, and most will return to normal immediately after.

Hormonal changes occur in pregnancy that make glucose tolerance difficult. Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to cause a physiological stress, which leads to an increase in the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. Both of these hormones work to a certain degree in all humans all the time, and part of their effect is to raise the level of glucose in the blood.

In stressful situations, their excretion increases, which is why blood glucose levels rise. Among the other hormones that raise blood sugar, we also find glucagon secreted from the pancreas , in addition to hormones related to pregnancy and secreted by the placenta . These hormones raise the level of glucose (hyperglycemia) in the blood and contrast the activity of insulin (anti-insulin).


For most women, gestational diabetes doesn’t cause noticeable signs or symptoms. Increased thirst and more-frequent urination are possible symptoms.

Risk factors.

Some women have a greater risk of gestational diabetes. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include the following:

Overweight and obesity.

▪️ A lack of physical activity.

▪️ Previous gestational diabetes or prediabetes.

▪️ Polycystic ovary syndrome.

▪️ Diabetes in an immediate family member.

▪️ Previously delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms).

▪️ Race — Women who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian and Asian American have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.


Gestational diabetes that’s not carefully managed can lead to high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can cause problems for you and your baby, including an increased likelihood of needing a C-section to deliver.

Complications that may affect your babyIf you have gestational diabetes, your baby may be at increased risk of:

▪️ Excessive birth weight. Higher than normal blood sugar in mothers can cause their babies to grow too large. Very large babies — those who weigh 9 pounds or more — are more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, have birth injuries or need a C-section birth.

▪️ Early (preterm) birth. High blood sugar may increase women’s risk of early labor and delivery before the due date. Or early delivery may be recommended because the baby is large.

▪️ Serious breathing difficulties. Babies born early to mothers with gestational diabetes may experience respiratory distress syndrome — a condition that makes breathing difficult.

▪️ Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth. Severe episodes of hypoglycemia may cause seizures in the baby. Prompt feedings and sometimes an intravenous glucose solution can return the baby’s blood sugar level to normal.

▪️ Obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.

▪️ Stillbirth. Untreated gestational diabetes can result in a baby’s death either before or shortly after birth.

Complications that may affect youGestational diabetes may also increase your risk of:

▪️ High blood pressure and preeclampsia. Gestational diabetes raises your risk of high blood pressure, as well as preeclampsia — a serious complication of pregnancy that causes high blood pressure and other symptoms that can threaten the lives of both mother and baby.

▪️ Having a surgical delivery (C-section). You’re more likely to have a C-section if you have gestational diabetes.

▪️ Future diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, you’re more likely to get it again during a future pregnancy. You also have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes as you get older.

Treating gestational diabetes.

From the moment of diagnosis, treatment is based on pregnancy-specific nutrition with little available sugar.

If the desired HbA1c glucose levels are not reached, glycated hemoglobin, that is, less than 6%, insulin should be added. The drug is the only drug approved today for lowering blood sugar levels in pregnancy.

In addition to an accurate balance of glucose scores, it is important that, in the event of a woman having gestational diabetes, careful follow-up of the development of the pregnancy and the fetus.

Diet to be followed during pregnancy if a woman has gestational diabetes.

Here are some goals of healthy eating during pregnancy if a woman has gestational diabetes:

▪️ Eat three small meals and two or three snacks at regular times daily, provided you do not miss any small meals or snacks.

▪️ Eat fewer carbohydrates for breakfast compared to other meals. In the morning, insulin resistance is stronger.

▪️ Eat a fixed amount of carbohydrates at every meal and snack.

▪️ If the pregnant woman suffers from Cravings, she should eat a piece or two of crackers, cereals, or pretzels before getting out of bed, and eat small frequent meals throughout the day, while avoiding fatty and fried foods. But if a woman is taking insulin and suffers from Cravings, she must know how to treat hypoglycemia.

▪️ Choose foods high in fiber, such as wholegrain bread, cereals, pasta, rice, and fruits and vegetables.

▪️ Eat foods that contain less sugar and fats.Drink at least eight cups (or 1.89 liters) of fluid a day.

▪️ Include an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals in the daily diet.

Pregnant women can talk with their doctor about taking prenatal vitamins and mineral supplements to meet the pregnancy’s nutritional needs.

Does the mother still have diabetes after giving birth?

In general, blood sugar levels return to normal after childbirth because the placenta, which was producing the extra hormones that caused insulin resistance, is expelled from the woman’s body at birth. The doctor checks the mother’s blood sugar levels after childbirth to make sure that the blood sugar level has returned to normal. Some doctors recommend an oral glucose tolerance test 6-12 weeks after birth to check that the mother does not have diabetes, and then do the test every 1-3 years after that.

A woman with gestational diabetes has a 60% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Therefore, she should check her blood sugar level during regular health checks. By maintaining an ideal weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising, a woman who has developed gestational diabetes can reduce her risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It should be noted that breastfeeding may help the mother lose the weight that she gained during pregnancy.

In addition, a woman who developed gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy is 40-50% likely to develop diabetes during her next pregnancy, so a woman who has had gestational diabetes in the past is advised to speak with a doctor if she is planning to become pregnant again to find out about changes in the pattern Life to have before the next pregnancy.

References :

السكري الحمليGestational diabetes/

السكري الحملي/

www.clevelandclinicabudhabi.aeسُكري الحمل

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