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GESTATIONAL DIABETES

What is gestational diabetes?
What are the causes?
What are the symptoms?
How is it diagnosed?
What is the treatment?
 
Wednesday, 05 May 2010
Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
 
What is gestational diabetes?
What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes (or gestational diabetes mellitus, GDM) is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy (especially during third trimester).

Out of every 100 pregnant women, three to eight get gestational diabetes.

What are the causes?
What are the causes?

Gestational diabetes is caused when the body of a pregnant woman does not secrete excess insulin required during pregnancy leading to increased blood sugar levels.

What are the symptoms?
What are the symptoms?The condition is a difficult to diagnose since the symptoms may be vague and mild in most cases. Some of the common symptoms that may manifest themselves in varying degrees are:

  • Excessive thirst and increased urination
  • Unexplained excessive weight gain or weight loss
  • Constant fatigue and tiredness accompanied by nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
How is it diagnosed?
How is it diagnosed?The main method of diagnosis of gestational diabetes is the detection of traces of glucose or high levels of urine in the blood. The specific test for diagnosis is called Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. In this test, the pregnant woman is made to drink a glucose solution and a urine test is done an hour later to check for the level of glucose in her body. The normal value of blood glucose after 8 hours of fasting is 70 to 110 mg/dl.

What is the treatment?
What is the treatment?

The goals of treatment are to keep blood sugar (glucose) levels within normal limits during the pregnancy, and to make sure that the growing baby is healthy

One can keep their blood glucose in control with the help of a

·   a planned meal

·   physical activity

·   insulin (if needed)

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