By: Engracia S. Arceo, MPH , RMT
Pregnancy is one of the most exciting stages in a woman’s life. The wonders of carrying another human being inside your womb are unexplainable. Whenever your unborn child moves, you feel the entire movement in your tummy. You know that a miracle of life is happening inside you. Your body is the temporary sanctuary of your little angel. Therefore, you have to take care of it. Any disorder you experience has a direct effect on your child. For many pregnant women, diabetes during pregnancy is their worst enemy. If you are pregnant and you think you have the illness, here are the things you should know about the condition.
Diabetes during pregnancy or also known as gestational diabetes is a common problem for women. It affects 3% of most pregnancies. Doctors often diagnose it during the 24th to the 28th week of gestation. It occurs to women without previous manifestation and diagnosis of diabetes. High blood glucose level characterizes the condition. Although sugar in the urine is not a common sign, some women may exhibit it.
Experts cannot pinpoint one definite cause of diabetes during pregnancy. They say that it is a combination of several factors. It is common to women who have a family history of the disease. During pregnancy, the placenta releases hormone in the blood that counteracts with the effect of insulin. Because of the interaction, the body has less ability to control the blood glucose level. As a result, the pregnant woman can experience a shoot up in the sugar level. Other contributing factor is the diet of a woman. Some think that because there is another human being inside, they have the excuse to overeat. Women who become overweight are at higher risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy.
When a woman with family background of diabetes or a woman who reaches an alarming weight gain, her doctor will recommend the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The laboratory procedure is advisable during the 24th to 28th week of gestation. In the procedure, the medical technologist will extract blood to determine your fasting blood sugar level. Right after the first blood extraction, they will ask you to take oral solution of glucose. On the first, second and third hour after the glucose intake, they will again withdraw blood from you. Bt analyzing the sugar content of in your body and comparing it to a reference value, your doctor can have an idea whether you have the illness.
If you are positive for the diabetes during pregnancy, then your doctor can refer you to an endocrinologist. Together, they will monitor your condition. Oftentimes, they will require you to watch out your food intake.
Diabetes during pregnancy has serious complications for your unborn child. Your health problem causes the immature pancreas to overwork. Most babies born from mothers with diabetes are overweight due to the excess glucose in their body
Diabetes during pregnancy is a serious condition you should never take for granted. The earlier the diagnosis, the better will be your prognosis and the less its effect to your baby. To avoid any complication, make it a habit to have prenatal checkups during your pregnancy.