Diabetic patients should not be the only ones who should be concerned about diabetes blood sugar levels. If you are pregnant, you may have to check your diabetes blood sugar level.
For most pregnant women, pregnancy is a period where one must be extra careful about health. Now it seems an expectant mother also has to worry about checking her diabetes blood sugar level. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in some pregnant women. It is estimated that at least 4% of pregnant women in America have the condition. This may seem like a small figure but the actual numbers may be more than 100,000.
The second and third trimesters are the most crucial for pregnant women as far as gestational diabetes is concerned. Women who have family members with type 2 diabetes and those who have had pre diabetes blood sugar levels have a higher risk of getting gestational diabetes. In general though, women who have had no diabetes themselves may develop gestational diabetes blood sugar levels. Causes
Medical practitioners are still not definite about why a pregnant woman may have a diabetes blood sugar level. There is some evidence though that the hormones at play during pregnancy may have a role in increasing the chances of diabetes blood sugar levels in expectant mothers.
The placenta in the womb is believed to produce hormones that impedes the work of insulin in the mother's cells. This is the reason why a gestational diabetes blood sugar level may be detected only in the later stages of pregnancy since the advanced stage also means having more placenta.
If the insulin is affected and prevented from performing its natural function of allowing glucose in cells for energy production, the body's glucose will begin to accumulate in the blood which will result in a diabetes blood sugar level diagnosis. Just like type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance.
Gestational diabetes blood sugar level usually disappears after a woman has given birth but having had it once increases the risk of having it again in a succeeding pregnancy. There have also been cases of women eventually developing type 2 diabetes. There is a possibility that a developing diabetes condition will only be made obvious during pregnancy.
It is important that gestational diabetes should be treated at once since this may have bad effects on the unborn child. The excess glucose in the mother's system may find its way into the baby thereby increasing the baby's glucose supplies. Glucose may be stored in the baby's body and manifest itself as fat, resulting in a fat baby.
The baby's pancreas may also try to increase its production of insulin. Too much insulin may mean that the baby could be born with hypoglycemia and breathing complications. There will also be long term effects on the baby. Untreated gestational diabetes in a pregnant woman could increase the baby's chances of later becoming overweight or developing diabetes as an adult.
Since gestational diabetes must not go untreated for a long time in pregnant women, regular check ups during pregnancy is advised. Once diagnosed, a pregnant woman may simply be asked to maintain a meal and exercise plan to keep glucose levels normal.