Nowadays Diabetes is a common disorder among people of any age group. It is a lifestyle, metabolic disorder, which causes hyperglycemia, which happens from either defect in insulin secretion or insulin action or sometimes both. Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that is observed during pregnancy. A female who does not have a history of diabetes and if during pregnancy her blood glucose levels are increased, it is known as gestational diabetes. It is tested during 24 and 28 weeks of gestation.
In today’s world when gestational diabetes has become very common, there is a question that comes into our mind, why do some women face this issue and others do not? This is because there are many factors that can contribute to gestational diabetes, obesity being one of them. Let’s take a look at the common factors:-
- Overweight and Obesity
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Polycystic Ovary Disease
- Previous Gestational Diabetes or Prediabetes
- Lack of Physical Activity
Not only does gestational diabetes affect the pregnant mother but it also affects the baby itself. If not treated well, it can be fatal for both mothers as well as the child. It can result in preeclampsia and high blood pressure, which can be life-threatening. Complications might occur during the process of child delivery as well, there are more chances of surgical delivery or C section delivery. If untreated or in case of negligence, it can result in type two diabetes in the future and there are chances to get gestational diabetes in future pregnancies as well.
It not only affects the mother but can also lead to complications that affect the baby, like:
- Premature Baby or Preterm Birth
- Excessive Birth Weight
- Breathing difficulty
Gestational diabetes also leads to the risk of developing type two diabetes in the future in the baby.
The next question that comes into our mind is How to treat it?
The simple answer to this question is that we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy food and staying physically active. One should not panic as stress would not help but it would worsen it. There are certain things to keep in mind like:
- Always plan the pregnancy and start at a healthy weight.
- Eat healthy food, look for portion size and include seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet
- Maintain your weight during pregnancy and do not gain extra than recommended
- Stay physically active and maintain a good workout regime.
- Get blood sugar checked regularly
- Consult and follow up with your doctor regularly
- If needed, take insulin as directed by your doctor.
For healthy eating follow these simple guidelines:
- Include lean proteins in your diet like fish, egg, tofu, beans, etc.
- Include plant-based fat sources like coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
- Consume low-fat dairy items like greek yogurt.
- Prefer green leafy vegetables and avoid starchy ones.
- Enjoy seasonal fruits 2-3 times a day.
- Incorporate whole grains and flours like oatmeal, barley, whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa.
- Make sure to eat lentils and pulses once in a day preferably at the lunchtime.
- Prefer vegetable juices, roasted chana, soya puffs, vegetable soups, chicken broth and sprouts for snacks whenever you feel hungry!
The Best way to counterbalance this state is by eating healthy, managing your stress levels and doing right and safe exercises. Many might think of taking some supplements or doing ayurvedic herbs course to manage Gestational Diabetes. But always remember to consult your Gynecologist or Doctor before even thinking of starting anything new!