What Causes Gestational Diabetes – Risk Factors and Symptoms to Know

What Causes Gestational Diabetes – Risk Factors and Symptoms to Know

There are some types of diabetes and one of them is gestational. Find out what causes gestational diabetes as well as symptoms and treatment to help you reduce the risk.

Gestational Diabetes’ Overview

Just like the name suggests, gestational diabetes only occurs on women and develops during gestation period or pregnancy. This type of diabetes is as dangerous as the other types of the disease. It influences how the cells in your body use the sugar or glucose. The disease makes the level of your blood sugar increases and can seriously affect your pregnancy and your baby too. One thing that women with this gestational diabetes should aware is that there will be pregnancy complications that caused by the disease. However, the gestational diabetes can be controlled through some ways. A mother to be with this disease will be highly suggested to consume healthy food only and do more exercise to help them control their blood sugar. In this way, they will be able to prevent complication that might be caused by the illness. If it is necessary, the patient will also be given medication to help them maintain their blood sugar level. Generally, in the case of gestational diabetes, the blood sugar will back to its normal level after the baby is delivered. But, having this health problem during your pregnancy will lead you to have bigger risk to suffer from diabetes type 2.

The Causes of Gestational Diabetes

Till now, there are no clear evidence to show how women can suffer from gestational diabetes during pregnancy period. Studies that have been conducted by researchers so far, cannot help them to find out what causes gestational diabetes actually. However, many believe that to understand more about the disease people should also understand how gestation affects the process of body’s glucose. Normally, your body will automatically digest the food you consume in order to create glucose that will enter your bloodstream and your pancreas will produce insulin in turn. Insulin produced by your pancreas is actually a hormone that functions to flow the glucose into your body’s cells from the bloodstream. After that, the glucose will be used by your body as energy. But, when you get pregnant, your body will produce more hormones in high level. This condition will disturb the production of insulin in your body and increases your blood sugar in result. The placenta that will provide blood supply for your body will produce more hormones that counteracts insulin as your baby grows in your womb. That makes your blood sugar keeps increasing that finally develops gestational diabetes. This usually occurs on the 20th weeks of pregnancy or later than that.

The Signs and Symptoms of the Disease

Most of times, there is no noticeable signs or symptoms shown by the disease. Increased urinary and thirst are the only signs that show the disease is developing though it is rarely to happen. That is why screening test is needed to figure out whether the gestational diabetes occurs or not. Most women will be required to conduct blood test when their pregnancy enters 24th up to 28th weeks to check the level of blood sugar. But, those with bigger risk factors might be required to do the blood test in earlier weeks of pregnancy. In the screening test, you might need to drink sugary beverage and your blood will be taken an hour later to check your glucose level. An additional test will also be done even though the result of your screening test shows that your glucose level is normal. Another type of test that is usually recommended by health care professional is Oral Glucose Challenge Test (OGCT). You level of blood sugar will be checked e hours after you drink sugary beverage in this test. If the glucose level of pregnant women is 140 mg/dL or higher, it can be identified that they are having gestational diabetes.

Risk Factors of the Disease

Though most women are potential to suffer from gestational diabetes but some women can have greater risks. The factors that increase the risk of women to experience the disease include:

  • Older than 25 Years Old

If you get pregnant while you are older than 25 years old, then you will be at greater risk to suffer from the disease.

  • Personal or Family Health History

If you personally or your close family members have experienced prediabetes symptoms, then you tend to experience the gestational diabetes. It is also often found on women who experience the same disease during the previous pregnancy or the baby they deliver is more than 9 pounds.

  • Excess Weight

Just be careful of excess weight you experience during pregnancy will also lead you to experience gestational diabetes. Make sure that your body mass index (BMI) is less than 30 during the gestational.

  • Nonwhite Race

There is no clear reason about what causes gestational diabetes on nonwhite race but the disease found more frequently on women from African, American Indian, Hispanic, or Asian race.

Complications that Affect the Babies

Though most women with this gestational diabetes can deliver healthy babies, but there are some complications caused by the disease if it is not treated properly. Here are the complications often experience by women with this type of diabetes.

  1. Excessive Birth Weight

Extra blood sugar produced by your placenta will lead the pancreas of your baby to produce extra insulin too. This will result in excessive weight of the baby delivered. Most of cases, the baby should be delivered through C – section.

  1. Diabetes Type 2 in Later Life

Uncontrolled level of glucose during pregnancy will also lead your baby to suffer from diabetes type 2 in later life. Not only that the baby will also tend to experience obesity when he or she grows up.

  1. Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Early Birth

High level of blood sugar during pregnancy will lead the women to experience early birth. That will also cause the baby to suffer from respiratory distress syndrome that causes difficulty in breathing. This condition can also happen even if the baby is not delivered earlier than the due date.

Tags: