Gestational diabetes: diagnosis and risks

Gestational diabetes: diagnosis and risks

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THE Gestational diabetes arises, as the name says, during pregnancy. In most cases, the disease disappears after the baby is born, but its occurrence poses risks to the child’s health. Currently, the number of women who suffer from the disease during pregnancy has been increasing and the incidence already reaches between 5% and 6% of pregnant women worldwide. In addition, the risk of recurrence of the problem in a later pregnancy is 66%.

  • Why some women have gestational diabetes

  • Gestational diabetes passes after pregnancy

  • Diagnosis of gestational diabetes

  • Risk factors for gestational diabetes

  • Risks for gestational diabetes baby

  • Diet for gestational diabetes

Why some women have gestational diabetes

During pregnancy, the placenta releases a hormone called Placental Lactogen Hormone (HLP). One of its actions is to reduce the action of insulin, a hormone responsible for controlling blood glucose levels. If the pancreas not being able to increase insulin production in satisfactory concentration, the glycemic index is deregulated, causing gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes passes after pregnancy

In the overwhelming majority of cases, gestational diabetes ceases after delivery. However, women with a history of gestational diabetes have greater risk having diabetes at a later time. In addition, it is important that these women test their glycemic index after pregnancy, as gestational diabetes can be a sign of a previous diabetes that has not yet been diagnosed.

Diagnosis of gestational diabetes

A pregnant woman who presents blood glucose above 0.9g per liter of blood is considered to have gestational diabetes. Because of this, international health agencies recommend monitoring blood glucose until the 28th week gestation.

Risk factors for gestational diabetes

Women with family history of the disease and over 35 years have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, especially if the first pregnancy occurs at an advanced age. Overweight pregnant women are also at higher risk. Women who have already suffered spontaneous abortions or lost the baby to another cause are also at increased risk of suffering from the disease. In addition, women who have undergone children over 4kg are more affected by gestational diabetes than average.

Risks for gestational diabetes baby

Gestational diabetes can cause excessive weight gain and adiposity of the fetus. In addition, there is a greater chance that delivery will require Caesarean, as well as risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) of the child.

Diet for gestational diabetes

Women with gestational diabetes should, among other things, adopt a special diet. It must be based on the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole carbohydrates (rice, pasta, flour, etc.). On the other hand, the pregnant woman should avoid the intake of sugar and fats. The ideal is to seek to reduce the glycemic index of each meal with the use of raw and natural foods. It is also important for a woman to eat a series of five or six small meals a day than a smaller number of larger meals.

Photo: © Dmitry Lobanov –

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