What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It is characterized by an abnormally high blood sugar level (glycemia) that was not present before pregnancy.

If left untreated, gestational diabetes can lead to complications for both mother and baby, such as:

Macrosomia (large baby)

Difficult delivery Increased risk of preeclampsia

Increased risk of cesarean section

Neonatal hypoglycemia Type 2 diabetes for mother and child later in life

Who is at risk for gestational diabetes?

Some women are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes than others, including:

Women who have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy

Women who are overweight or obese before pregnancy

Women with a family history of diabetes

Women who have previously had a baby weighing over 4 kg

Women over 25 years old Women of African, Asian, or Hispanic ethnic origin

How is gestational diabetes diagnosed?

Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy through an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

This test involves drinking a glucose solution and then measuring your blood sugar levels while fasting and one or two hours later.

Fasting blood glucose measurement is also a good indicator of gestational diabetes.

How is gestational diabetes treated?

The treatment for gestational diabetes aims to maintain your blood sugar within a healthy range. This may include:

Lifestyle modifications, such as healthy and regular eating and regular physical activity.

Monitoring blood sugar at home using a glucometer.

Medications, such as insulin, if lifestyle changes are not enough to control your blood sugar.

How to prevent gestational diabetes?

Although you can’t always prevent gestational diabetes, you can reduce your risk by:

Maintaining a healthy body weight before and during pregnancy.

Adopting a healthy and balanced diet.

Exercising regularly.

If you have a family history of diabetes, talk to your doctor about your risks.

Gestational diabetes is a common complication of pregnancy, but it can be effectively managed with appropriate treatment. If you are pregnant, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your risk of gestational diabetes and undergo recommended screening tests.

Source : Afiya Fo Her / www.afiyafrica.com

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