Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes which is seen in pregnant women who have increased blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Studies suggest that the prevalence of gestational diabetes can be as high as 9.2%.Unlike other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes isn’t permanent. Once the baby is born, the blood sugar will return to normal levels most of the times.

Gestational diabetes is seen affecting mothers in the late pregnancy, ie after the baby’s body has been formed. Therefore it does not cause any birth defects, however, may interfere with the normal growth pattern of babies.

Effect on the baby

  • If your blood glucose levels are high your baby will also have high blood glucose.
  • Baby’s pancreas will have to make extra insulin to control high blood glucose.
  • The extra glucose in baby’s blood is stored as fat if untreated or uncontrolled.
  • Baby born larger than normally called macrosomia, which can lead to difficult delivery.
  • Can have breathing problems called respiratory distress syndrome.
  • More likely for baby as it grows to become overweight and develop type 2 diabetes.

Effect on the woman

  • Preeclampsia (high blood pressure, sometimes with fluid retention and proteinuria)
  • Polyhydramnios (excessive accumulation of amniotic fluid )
  • Maternal birth trauma
  • Higher chances for C-Section
  • Developing Type 2 Diabetes
  • Reoccurrence in next pregnancy

Who is at a risk of Developing Gestational Diabetes?

About 5 to 18 percent of all pregnant women are likely to get gestational diabetes during pregnancy. The following factors may predispose you to gestational diabetes:

  • Age of 25 or older
  • Family history of Diabetes
  • Overweight as suggested by the Body mass index
  • Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Have a medical condition that makes diabetes more likely such as Glucose intolerance
  • Have had Gestational diabetes before
  • Certain ethnic subgroups such as African American, Native American, Hispanic or Pacific Islander

Prevention of Gestational Diabetes

Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that you won’t get Gestational diabetes. However, there are some things you may do to reduce the risk of developing it:

  • Eat a balanced diet: chose food high in fiber and low in fat and calories. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Control on portion sizes
  • Regular exercise: Try and exercise for 30 minutes daily with some moderate form of exercises such as swimming or a brisk walk
  • Lose excess weight before pregnancy: If you are planning a baby, losing a few extra kilos may help you have a healthier pregnancy. Doctors do not recommend losing weight during pregnancy so plan the weight loss before you conceive.

 

 

 

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Steps to prevent Diabetic Neuropathy

Early detection of diabetes and tight control of blood sugar levels may reduce the risk of developing diabetic neuropathy.

Treatments for diabetic neuropathy includes 3 main components.

Tight control of blood sugar levels

Care for the feet to prevent complications

Control of pain caused by neuropathy

Although there is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, use of these treatments can improve painful symptoms and prevent complications.

Control blood sugar levels — One of the most important treatments for diabetic neuropathy is to control blood sugar levels. Symptoms of pain and burning may improve when blood glucose sugar improves. If blood sugar levels are not adequately controlled with the current treatment regimen, a different regimen may be recommended.

For people with type 1 diabetes, this may mean taking more frequent insulin injections or using an insulin pump.

For people with type 2 diabetes, this may mean taking an additional oral medication or starting insulin injections. (more…)

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Diabetes and Heart Disease

People with diabetes have an elevated risk of heart disease, which develops at a much earlier age, and are two to four times more likely to succumb to heart disease as compared to those who are non-diabetic. But through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, it is possible to maintain a healthy heart.

Did you know, that nearly two-thirds of people with Diabetes also have high blood pressure?

The silver lining is that once you know the link between diabetes and heart disease, you can take the necessary steps to keep both conditions at a very manageable level. (more…)

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Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes mellites is an epidemic of modern civilization. With the modern technology, comfort and convenience has come, but the well-being and health is taken away. Increase in the sedentary lifestyle has led to increased incidence of many diseases. Diabetes is one of them.

Diabetes is not just a disease of high sugar levels as perceived conventionally. Many metabolic and vascular complications are occurring independent of the sugar levels.

Neuropathy means damage to the nerves. Neuropathy is a common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is seen in 26 percent of people with type 2 diabetes at the diagnosis of diabetes itself. (more…)

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Insulin and how does it impact the body

Not everyone is aware of the primary function of the pancreas, but what this often overlooked organ does is produce one of the most important hormones needed for the well-being of our body: Insulin.

The insulin hormone produced by the pancreas  helps in maintaining normal blood glucose level. Glucose is produced by the body after the consumption of carbohydrates, and the presence of insulin allows the body to store this glucose or use it as energy. Insulin is the main hormone that keeps a perfect balance of glucose in your body, because without it your glucose levels will be high.

Glucose or sugar is the substance that provides our cells, and subsequently our body, with energy. However, our cells cannot directly absorb sugar directly. This is where the role of insulin comes into play. After every meal, there is a rise in the body’s blood sugar level and this spike is what signals the pancreas to release insulin. The insulin helps the individual cells in absorbing the glucose, and using it for energy. Due to a change in our activities or the amount and type of food we consume there are those times when the sugar levels in our bodies are high, and other times when the sugar levels are low. In both these cases, it is insulin that helps bringing about a balance in our body’s sugar levels. Whenever there is an excess of glucose in the body, the insulin helps in storing the excess sugar in the liver in order to be used when the body’s sugar levels fall. (more…)

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