Gestational Diabetes Mellitus occurs in pregnant women when the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin. When there is low insulin in the blood sugar levels go up. About 3-5% of pregnant women are affected by this condition. The increase in the level of blood sugars may have effects on the baby developing in the womb.
It is therefore very critical to detect and treat the condition before the baby is affected. Women with a history of gestational diabetes need to be tested of diabetes after delivery because they run a high risk of getting diabetes in the years after the pregnancy.
Testing for gestational diabetes Mellitus
It is highly recommended that all pregnant women be tested for gestational diabetes mellitus. This can help to contain pregnancy complications which include the following:
- A large baby that can weigh up to 4.1kg. This will increase the chances of the mother being injured or a caesarian section may be required.
- Preeclampsia – This is a kind of high blood pressure that occurs in during the last half of the pregnancy.
- A pregnant woman is tested for preeclampsia in the 24to 28th< weeks of the pregnancy. Testing may be done earlier than this where:
- The condition was noticed in a previous pregnancy
- Where the mother is obese
- Sugar or glucose is noticed in the urine
- Family history shows strong presence of diabetes
On the day of the testing no special meals are required. You will be given 50gms of glucose which is formulated specially into a drink which you should finish in a few minutes. One hour later your blood sample will be taken to see the level of your blood sugar. If the blood sugar is found to be higher than normal another blood test will be needed to ascertain if you really have gestational diabetes mellitus.
Doctors put the normal level of blood sugar at 130-140 mg/dL. If it exceeds 200mg/dL, then this is a strong indicator that you have gestational mellitus.
The test that is done after it is found out that your blood sugar levels are high is called oral glucose tolerance test (GTT). This test is done early in the morning before you take anything followed by three hourly tests after taking a drink with 100gms of glucose. Gestational diabetes will be confirmed if your blood sugar rises by two or more levels.
Treating gestational diabetes
Once it is confirmed you have diabetes mellitus you will be required to be mindful of what you eat. In some cases you will be required to inject yourself with insulin as well as know how to check your blood sugar. This treatment is aimed at avoiding having an oversized baby that will be difficult to deliver normally.
You may be required to consult a diet expert on what you will be eating in order to correct the situation. You will also be required to monitor your blood sugar levels and to take the necessary corrective steps such as injecting yourself with insulin. Exercising will also be helpful in the treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus.