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Gestational Diabetes: How to Control High Blood Sugar in Pregnant Women – Learn the Risks and More | health news


Gestational diabetes is a type of high blood sugar or diabetes that develops during the second half of pregnancy in women who do not already have diabetes. Women who develop gestational diabetes generally have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Dr. Astha Dayal, Chief Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, shares, “Globally, about 2% to 10% of pregnant women may develop gestational diabetes, but the incidence is much higher among Asians. During pregnancy, our body becomes insulin resistant. , which means we use insulin less effectively to digest sugars or because of hormonal changes we can’t produce enough insulin, and this condition returns to normal after delivery, but about 50% of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. .”

Gestational diabetes: diagnosis and risk

So how to diagnose gestational diabetes? “We diagnose gestational diabetes through the glucose challenge test, where 75 grams of glucose is given and the sugar level is checked over 2 hours to see if the woman can digest the sugar load. A value above 140g/dl indicates gestational diabetes,” says Dr. Astha. kind

Talking about the risks, Dr. Dayal said, “If you have gestational diabetes, the baby is more likely to gain weight at birth, making delivery difficult or cesarean section more likely. There is also a higher risk of respiratory problems. At birth, low sugar, or infant hypoglycemia, jaundice, premature birth and childhood obesity.”

How to manage gestational diabetes

Management of gestational diabetes begins with lifestyle changes, involving supervised diet and exercise. Dr. Dayal lists the following ways through which one can manage gestational diabetes:

1. Balanced Diet: Follow a balanced diet low in sugary foods and refined carbohydrates but rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Eat small frequent meals and eat your carbohydrates throughout the day to help maintain stable blood sugar levels. One can also visit a dietician for a supervised diet plan.

2. Act, but with caution: Regular exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity and control sugar levels. If there are no other high-risk factors during pregnancy, one can engage in regular moderate physical activity, such as walking, swimming or prenatal yoga.

3. Monitor blood sugar levels: It is very important to monitor blood sugar levels regularly (weekly or fortnightly if well controlled or more frequently if uncontrolled) as advised by your doctor until delivery, as sugar levels tend to rise with pregnancy. Keeping track of your levels can help you understand how different foods and activities affect your blood sugar and allow you to make necessary adjustments.

4. Weight Management: Try to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and do not gain more than 1-2 kg per month. Losing weight during pregnancy is not recommended, but if you are overweight, you can lose weight under the supervision of a doctor to manage gestational diabetes.

Also Read: Controlling High Blood Sugar: How To Manage Diabetes In Winter – 10 Key Points

5. Control stress levels: Stress management is also important, as high stress levels can affect blood sugar levels. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or prenatal massage should be practiced to help reduce stress.

6. Be aware of: You should also read about gestational diabetes, talk about it, educate yourself about gestational diabetes, and seek help from your doctor, support groups, or other pregnant women who have experienced gestational diabetes.

“About 90% of pregnant women can manage their sugar through lifestyle changes, but about 10% need medication or insulin to effectively manage blood sugar levels. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice carefully and attend all prenatal appointments. You may need multidisciplinary care. You should plan the delivery at a tertiary care birthing center with the facility of a good NICU and endocrinologist, with your obstetrician to closely monitor your condition and provide guidance,” says Aastha Dayal.