The Sugary Disease (or Dealing with Gestational Diabetes)
Afraid of getting gestational diabetes? A GDM diagnosis may seem scary, but GDM is actually fairly common. It affects one in 10 expectant women and is likely to occur during the last 3 months of pregnancy.
While the potential complications from not treating it are serious, it’s not harmful to you or your baby as long as it’s diagnosed early and managed well.
It’s not clear why some women get GDM and others don’t.
When are you at high risk?
1. Are you overweight (having a BMI of 30 or above)
2. Do you have a high level of abdominal fat
3. Are you aged 35 or above
4. Do you have a family history of diabetes
5. Have you been put on bed rest?
Those who are inactive are more likely to put on pregnancy weight and be at risk of developing GDM
Signs of GDM are:
1. Extreme thirst
2. Frequent and copious amounts of urine
3. Fatigue (which may be difficult to distinguish from pregnancy fatigue)
Frequent urine tests and a glucose screening test between weeks 24 to 28 of your pregnancy are done to check on your sugar levels. If your doctor picks up a high sugar level, he’ll give you a glucose tolerance test to determine if you have GDM.
Left untreated, excessive sugar will circulate in your blood and enter your baby’s bloodstream through the placenta, putting you and your baby at risk of complications. Babies of mothers with GDM can grow too large, making delivery more difficult and a Caesarean more likely. It can also predispose your child to diabetes and obesity.
To prevent GDM:
1. Stay active
2. Adopt a healthy diet.
3. Limit your fat intake and avoid sugary, processed foods.