How Gestational Diabetes Symptoms Build Up?

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Gestational diabetes is an endocrine and metabolic disorder of pregnant women. There are changes in the hormone that causes the gestational diabetes symptoms. Every pregnant woman is at risk of this kind of diabetes but not all will suffer. Statistically speaking, four percent of expectant mothers have been diagnose with this type of diabetes and may suffer the different symptoms of this kind of disease.

An abnormal glucose metabolism during pregnancy is the universal definition of gestational diabetes. There have been four known causes of the disorder and it includes obesity during pregnancy, age of more than 35 years, the mother is classified as multiple gestations, and has a family history of gestational diabetes. The latter causes were identified as the primary cause that triggers the human placental lactogen (HPL), a hormone that antagonizes the production of insulin needed by the pregnant mother. Normally, HPL were produced in order to prevent the glucose absorption needed by the mother, instead, the glucose was being provided for the consumption of the baby.

In this type of diabetes, since HPL were being activated, an increase supply of glucose flooded the blood circulation. The flooding of glucose causes the gestational diabetes symptoms that are more likely the same with a patient having diabetes mellitus. If this disorder were left untreated and unmonitored, there will be expected complications to the mother might as well to the fetus. The newborn may have a large body built and heavy weight compared to the normal weight of the newborn, which is called macrosomia. Macrosomia happens for the reason that the large amount of glucose was being consumed by the fetus. And for the pregnant mother the following are the classic indications or the different gestational diabetes symptoms.

• Blurred vision. This manifestation is the most common among the gestational diabetes symptoms. Because of viscosity of the blood, a process called osmosis is activated. As a result, there will be an increase blood volume on the blood circulation. The increase of the blood volume swells the cells of the different body including the lens of the eye causing blurry vision.
• Weariness. Weariness is the lay man’s term for fatigue. Fatigue usually happen because of decrease of energy. Always remember that cells need glucose in order to produce energy. In this type of diabetes, since the HPL prevents the absorption of the glucose to be used up for the body cells of the mother, as a result, no energy will be produce resulting to fatigability.
• Frequent infections, including those of the bladder, vagina, and skin. This disease causes the urine to be less concentrated. Less concentrated urine would mean alkalinity which is a good pH for the bacteria to grow and divide. Consequently, there is an increase risk for bacterial infections to the mother.
• Increase Urination or Polyuria. It was observed that there is an increase of glucose in the blood and the body compensates through increasing the blood volume. The kidneys are the ones that maintain the blood volume balance in the body. And since there is an increase amount of blood volume in the body, the action of the kidney is to get rid of the excessive fluid in the blood causing an increase in urination.
• Increase thirst and hunger. In order to replace the loss fluid, the body compensates by increasing the thirst and to relieve the fatigability, a large amount of food will be the recompense.



Gestational Diabetes: As If Being Pregnant Wasn’t Stressful Enough?

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Pregnancy can be many different things. It can be planned, or unplanned. It can be a time of great excitement and expectation. On the other hand, many women find the whole process to be daunting, and stressful. This is all normal, and can be seen as just part of the colorful world of the new parent. However, what if, on top of all this, you develop gestational diabetes? You find yourself with a condition you didn’t know you had, the consequences of which can be serious.

Gestational diabetes mellitus, to give its full name, or GDM, occurs in pregnant women with no past history of diabetes, who have high levels of glucose in their blood. Although there is no definite cause, hormones produced during pregnancy reduce the effectiveness of insulin in the body in controlling blood sugar levels. Ordinarily, the pregnant woman’s body produces extra insulin to deal with this. However, should it fail to do so, this can lead to gestational diabetes.

The symptoms of gestational diabetes are difficult to detect, as they are common features of most pregnancies. Excessive thirst, needing to urinate frequently, and tiredness are all common symptoms among pregnant women.

At the same time, the problems caused by gestational diabetes are similar to those faced by other diabetic mothers, and can be serious. There is an increased risk of premature birth. The baby tends to be large for its gestational age, and during the birth, this can lead to shoulder dystocia. This is a situation where the baby’s head is delivered but the shoulder gets stuck, and is an emergency situation. The baby also has an increased risk of jaundice, low blood sugar levels, and possible future problems with obesity and diabetes. There is also a risk of pre-eclampsia (a condition that can affect the health of the baby), and caesarean delivery. Usually, the mother is fine once the baby is born.

The good news is that it is treatable. Introducing changes to the diet, maintaining blood glucose levels, and using insulin therapy (if necessary); will reduce the risks to mother and baby.

Risk factors for gestational diabetes include its occurrence in a previous pregnancy, and any family history of type 2 diabetes. Older women, certain ethnic groups, and obese women, are all more likely to develop it. However, around half of all women who develop the condition have none of these risk factors at all.

Diagnosis is a staged process. A glucose challenge test may be used at around 24 weeks into the pregnancy to check for possible gestational diabetes. Following no food being eaten overnight, a glucose drink is given, and samples taken at intervals to test the body’s reaction to it. This can highlight the need for further testing, namely a glucose tolerance test, which is more involved and gives a more definitive result.

Between 2% and 5% of all mothers develop gestational diabetes, making it one of the most common health complaints during pregnancy. Screening for it would seem to be an obvious idea. With symptoms which are similar to any other pregnancy, it is a difficult condition to diagnose, and yet it can have life threatening consequences.