Gestational Diabetes

The rising rate of Gestational Diabetes

 

Even if you’ve never had to think twice about blood sugar, gestational diabetes is now a possibility. Monitoring your health is crucial during pregnancy. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), or high blood sugar during pregnancy used to be relatively rare, occurring in about 3 percent to 4 percent of pregnancies. But due to dietary and lifestyle changes in the recent years, the rate has doubled in Indian women. Fortunately, even if you are diagnosed with the condition, you can work with your doctor to find the best way to manage your health.

That may involve some chances to your diet and exercise regime, or even medication. Remember that you’re not alone, the condition is manageable for most women, and it will end once you’ve given birth.

For many women, there are no symptoms of gestational diabetes, and it has to be tested and diagnosed by a doctor. Most women get tested for gestational diabetes around weeks 24 to 28 of their pregnancy. But women with a family history of diabetes can have risk of developing gestational diabetes much earlier. Having gestational diabetes puts you at an increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

70 percent to 80 percent of women diagnosed with GDM eventually develop type II diabetes. But, by making lifestyle changes, you may help reduce your risk of getting diabetes later on, by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly may help manage your risk.

Being overweight is a major risk factor for GDM but only about half of women diagnosed with it carry excess pounds. Age is also a factor; women of age 25 and older, but especially older than 35, are at greater risk. Genes play a role too: You can be healthy and lean and still develop GDM because of a genetic predisposition or other factors. Though some women require insulin injections, most GDM cases can be treated through regular exercise and dietary changes, such as eating fewer sweets, cutting down on carbonated drinks and having smaller, more frequent meals.