As always, I hope this finds you well. I want us to understand more about issues affecting women and diabetes, one major one being Gestational Diabetes. A lot of women now know they need to do some tests during pregnancy to pick out whether they have developed diabetes. Beyond that, little is known about GDM and this causes undue stress and anxiety among our pregnant women.
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is defined as glucose intolerance of different degrees noted first during pregnancy. This means these patients were not previously diabetic and later develop high blood sugars during the course of pregnancy. Diagnosis is usually made after your doctor asks for a test called an OGTT (an oral glucose tolerance test). This test involves ingesting an amount of sugary liquid and doing a blood sugar test after an hour. Diagnosis is usually made between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational Diabetes usually disappears after pregnancy.
Patients at risk of GDM are:
- women above 25 years of age
- previous history of GDM
- history of large baby
- positive family history of Type 2 diabetes
If diagnosed, no need to panic. Many women with GDM end up with a normal delivery and healthy baby. All you need to do is come up with a proper treatment plan with your doctor. Treatment involves healthy eating and exercising, and in some patients, they might require either metformin or some insulin injections. Key to ensure good glucose control is monitoring your blood sugars regularly, something your doctor will explain in detail.