Gestational Diabetes

What is Gestational Diabetes All About

Gestational diabetes is also known as Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). Gestational diabetes is defined as glucose intolerance of variable degree with onset or first recognition during present pregnancy.

Glucose is the prime source of energy for your body. If your body is not able to use the sugar (glucose) present in your blood, the level of sugar in your blood becomes higher than normal. Gestational diabetes starts when glucose is not able to leave the blood and get transformed in to energy. Glucose level increases in the blood which is harmful for the pregnant woman as well as her unborn baby.

Alternating hormones and weight increase are part of a sound pregnancy. But, both changes make it hard for your body to keep up with its need for a hormone called insulin. Gestational diabetes begins when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. When that happens, you are said to be standing within the radius of GDM.

The concentration of GDM varies worldwide and among different racial and ethnic groups within a country. Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes attacks about 4 % of all pregnant women.

If the diabetes is not treated quickly, your baby is likely to have problems at birth. Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes carry the risk of the following illnesses:

1) Macrosomia (large, fat baby)
2) Shoulder dystocia (birth trauma)
3) Neonatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar in the newborn)
4) Prolonged newborn jaundice
5) Low blood calcium
6) Respiratory distress syndrome

Even if gestational diabetes vanishes after the baby's birth, it makes you prone to GDM in your next pregnancy and later in life. That is why it is important that you take help of different medications and therapies to tackle it. If you take care of certain things, you may not get diabetes at all when you're older.