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How To Manage A Gestational Diabetic
This happens when the body does not secrete enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Babies born of women who are diabetic are large, over weight and prone to developing jaundice. There are also higher incidences of pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure. Often women who are diabetic have to go in for emergency c-sections.
Women with gestational diabetes exhibit no outward symptoms. However the diabetes gets diagnosed in the second month when the woman undergoes a glucose challenge test and shows elevated sugar levels. The woman is given a concentrated sugar solution to drink and her blood is checked after an hour. If her blood sugar levels are greater than 140, she may be suffering from gestational diabetes. Further tests may then be conducted.
Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes
The symptoms of gestational diabetes are similar to Type II diabetes. These are increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. The woman may also experience a sudden weight gain and may also become prone to over eating during her pregnancy.
Prognosis of Gestational Diabetes
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Gestational diabetes normally disappears, post delivery but 2 out of 3 women go on to develop type II diabetes. They are also likely to develop it in their future pregnancies. There are several factors which predispose a woman to gestational diabetes. These are age, incidence of the disease within the family, obesity and wrong eating habits during pregnancy. Also women who are pre-diabetic may go on to develop full blown diabetes.
Treatment For Gestational Diabetes
The treatment of gestational diabetes involves exercise, careful and planned eating, monitoring weight and blood sugar levels and taking insulin injections if necessary.
Diet For Gestational Diabetes
The patient may be asked to eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates and avoid refined carbs which cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up. Complex carbs include- whole wheat pasta, brown rice, multi grain breads and chappatis, dried beans and lentils. All of these release sugar into the blood slowly and prevent very high spikes in the sugar levels. The patient also feels satiated. The diet should also be fibre rich with plenty of fruits like oranges, apples and berries.
Generally patients are asked to cut down on bananas, mangoes and grapes as they are high on sugar. There is a strict curtail on intake of fatty and sugar laden foods. The patient is asked to eat small meals at regular intervals. This allows the woman to feel satiated and also gives regular sustenance to the fetus.
Exercise For Gestational Diabetes
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Women with gestational diabetes may be asked to undertake some form of light exercise like walking. Strenuous exercise and exercise with weights should be avoided. This should be done gradually without putting too much strain on the body.
Weight Monitoring During Gestational Diabetes
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Patients suffering from gestational diabetes gain rapid weight. This is dangerous for both the mother and the fetus so regular weight checks maybe carried out. All out efforts should be made to keep the weight within 12-14 kgs. The range may vary depending on the previous weight, age and the height of the woman. Gestational diabetes is not a very serious concern if diagnosed in time. With regular monitoring and controlled eating ,women can go on to deliver happy and healthy babies.