Things to Know About Sugar Loading During Pregnancy

Gynecology, Obstetrics and IVF Specialist Op. Dr. Seval Taşdemir told what should be known about sugar loading during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects the way your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health.

But you can help control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising, and taking medication if needed. Controlling blood sugar can keep you and your baby healthy and prevent a difficult birth.

In women with gestational diabetes, blood sugar usually returns to normal soon after delivery. But if you have gestational diabetes, your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher. You may need to be tested more often for changes in blood sugar.

For most women, gestational diabetes does not cause any noticeable signs or symptoms. Increased thirst and more frequent urination are possible symptoms.

What are the causes?

There is no clear information yet as to why some women develop gestational diabetes and others do not. However, she admits being overweight before pregnancy as one of the reasons.

Normally, the body releases various hormones to keep your blood sugar levels in check. But during pregnancy, hormone levels change, making it harder for your body to process blood sugar efficiently. This raises your blood sugar.

What are the risks?

Some women have a higher risk of gestational diabetes. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include: overweight and obesity, lack of physical activity, previous gestational diabetes or prediabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, family history of diabetes, previous birth of a baby weighing more than 4.1 kilograms.

Gestational diabetes that is not carefully managed can lead to high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can cause problems for you and your baby during labor. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby may be at increased risk for:

Giving birth to an overweight baby: Higher-than-normal blood sugar levels of mothers can cause their babies to grow too large. Very large babies (of 4.1 kg or more) have difficulty passing through the birth canal.

Premature birth risk:High blood sugar may increase a woman’s risk of preterm birth before her due date, or preterm delivery may be recommended because the baby is large.

Serious breathing difficulties: Babies born prematurely to mothers with gestational diabetes may experience respiratory distress syndrome. This is a condition that makes it difficult to breathe.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia): Sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes may have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth. Severe episodes of hypoglycemia can cause seizures in the baby. Rapid feeding and sometimes intravenous glucose solution can bring the baby’s blood sugar level back to normal.

Obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life:Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.

Gestational diabetes can also cause various risks in the expectant mother:

High blood pressure and pregnancy poisoning: Gestational diabetes increases the risk of pregnancy poisoning as well as the risk of high blood pressure. Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication caused by high blood pressure and causes other symptoms that can threaten the life of both mother and baby.

Surgical delivery:If you have gestational diabetes, you are more likely to have an episiotomy (incision in the vagina) during normal delivery.

Future risk of diabetes:If you have gestational diabetes, you have a higher risk of recurrence during later pregnancy and type 2 diabetes in old age.

How is the diagnosis and treatment?

If you’re at average risk of gestational diabetes, you’ll likely have a screening test in your second trimester (between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy).

If you are at high risk of diabetes; For example, if you were overweight or obese before pregnancy, or if you have a family history of diabetes, your doctor may test for diabetes early in pregnancy.

Sugar can be loaded. In a sugar load, you drink a syrupy glucose solution. An hour later, a blood test is done to measure your blood sugar level. Blood sugar below 140 mg/dL in a glucose challenge test is generally considered normal, but this can vary by clinic or laboratory. If your blood sugar level is higher than normal, another glucose tolerance test may be used depending on your situation.

A follow-up glucose tolerance test may be performed. This test is similar to the first test; however, the sweet solution has more sugar and your blood sugar is checked every hour for three hours. If at least two of your blood sugar values ​​are higher than expected, you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

In the treatment of gestational diabetes, lifestyle changes, blood sugar monitoring and, if necessary, drug therapy can be applied. Managing your blood sugar levels helps keep you and your baby healthy. Close management can also help you prevent complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

Your lifestyle, how you eat and move are an important part of keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Losing weight during pregnancy is not recommended because your body works hard to support your growing baby. Regular exercise, healthy eating and balanced weight gain are very important.

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