Diabetes is when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or uses insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose (glucose), in the blood, get into the cells for fuel. The blood builds up glucose if it can’t get into the cells. This causes high blood sugar (hyperglycemia span>
High blood sugar can lead to many health problems. It can cause damage to blood vessels and nerves. It can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, heart, and liver. Congenital disabilities can occur in an infant who has high blood sugar in the early stages of pregnancy.
There’s 3 types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes. This is an autoimmune disease. Insulin-producing cells are damaged by the body’s immune system.
- Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is when your body cannot make enough insulin or use it properly. This is not an autoimmune condition.
- Gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar level rises and other symptoms of diabetes develop during pregnancy. It occurs in between 3 and 9 out of 100 pregnant women.
What causes diabetes during pregnancy?
Pregnant women may have diabetes even before becoming pregnant. Pregestational diabetes is the name for this type of diabetes. Another type of diabetes may occur in pregnant women. This is known as gestational diabetes. The body’s ability to use glucose differently during pregnancy can be affected by it. This can lead to diabetes or worsening of diabetes.
The placenta is an organ that provides oxygen and nutrients to a baby’s growing body during pregnancy. The placenta also produces hormones. Late pregnancy hormones estrogen, cortisol and human placental milkogen can block insulin. Insulin resistance is when insulin becomes blocked. Insulin resistance is when glucose can’t enter the cells of the body. The glucose remains in the blood, causing blood sugar levels to rise.
Who are at greatest risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy?
Pregnancy risk factors for diabetes are dependent on the type of diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes is most common in children and young adults. However, it can occur at any age.
- Type 2 Diabetes is more common in overweight women.
- Women who are overweight are more likely than others to develop gestational diabetes. This condition is more common among women who have experienced gestational diabetes in the past. It’s also more common for women with Type 2 diabetes in their family. It is more common in women with multiples, twins, or other siblings.
What symptoms are there of diabetes in pregnancy?
Diabetes is not a common condition. Most people don’t realize they have diabetes until they are tested.
How can diabetes be diagnosed during pregnancy?
Nearly all women who are not diabetic during pregnancy are tested for gestational diabetes between 24-28 weeks. During this time, a glucose screening test will be performed. After drinking a glucose beverage, your blood glucose levels are tested.
A 3-hour glucose tolerance test is performed if the test results show a high level of blood glucose. If the results of the second test do not match, it is possible that gestational diabetes has been diagnosed.
How can diabetes be treated during pregnancy?
Your symptoms, age, and general health will all play a role in your treatment. The severity of the condition will also play a role.
Treatment is designed to maintain blood glucose levels within a normal range. It may include:
- A low-carbohydrate diet
- Blood glucose monitoring
- Insulin injections
- Oral medications for hypoglycemia
What complications can diabetes cause during pregnancy?
Pregnant women with diabetes have the most complications. There are many possible complications.
- More insulin injections
- Low blood glucose levels can cause serious complications if left untreated
- Ketoacidosis is caused by high blood glucose levels. This can also lead to life-threatening complications.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in women with gestational diabetes. It is also more common for them to develop gestational diabetes during another pregnancy. You should have your pregnancy tested for gestational diabetes at least 3 years and once every 6 months.
There are possible complications for the baby:
- Stillbirth (fetal death). Pregnant women with diabetes are more likely to stillbirth. Poor circulation, or other conditions such as high blood pressure or damaged blood vessels, may cause the baby to grow slower in the uterus. It is unknown why stillbirths occur in diabetes. Women with diabetes and poor blood glucose control are at greater risk for stillbirth.
- Birth defects. Babies born to diabetic mothers are at greater risk of developing birth defects. Some birth defects can cause stillbirth. Most birth defects occur during the first trimester. Major birth defects may occur in babies born to diabetic mothers.
- Macrosomia is a term that refers to a baby who is larger than the normal. The mother gives the baby all the nutrients. The baby’s pancreas will make more insulin if the mother’s blood sugar is too high. This leads to the formation of fat and makes the baby very large.
- Birth Injury. Birth Injury.
- Hypoglycemia. A baby might have low blood glucose levels right after birth. If the mother has had high blood glucose levels for a prolonged time, this problem may occur. This causes a high level of insulin in the baby’s body. The baby’s insulin levels remain high after delivery but the mother no longer provides glucose. The newborn’s blood sugar level drops dramatically as a result. After birth, the baby’s blood glucose level will be checked. The baby may require glucose injections if the levels are too low.
- Trouble breathing (respiratory distress) can be caused by too much insulin or too little glucose in the baby’s body. This could prevent their lungs from fully developing. Babies can suffer from breathing difficulties. Babies born after 37 weeks are more likely to experience this.
- Preeclampsia. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic women are more at risk. They should take low dose aspirin (60-150 mg per day) starting in the first trimester and continuing until the baby is born.
Can diabetes during pregnancy be prevented?
Some types of diabetes cannot be prevented. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in young people. Losing weight can help prevent Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by eating healthy and exercising.
How can diabetes be managed during pregnancy?
Pregnant diabetics who are taking insulin may need special monitoring and testing. Because of the higher risk of stillbirth, this is necessary. These tests could include:
- Fetal movement count. It is a way to count the number of kicks or movements in a given time period and watch for an increase in activity.
- Ultrasound. This imaging test uses sound waves and computers to create images of blood vessels and tissues. Ultrasounds can be used to view internal organs in their function and to examine blood flow through blood vessels.
- Non-stress testing. A test that measures the baby’s heart rate as a response to movement.
- Biophysical profile. This test combines the results of the nonstress and ultrasound tests to assess the baby’s heart rate, movements, and amniotic fluid.
- Doppler flow study. A type of ultrasound that uses sound waves for blood flow measurements.
A diabetic mother might deliver a baby vaginally or via a cesarean section. It depends on your health and the weight of your baby, as well as how heavy your doctor believes it to be. In the final weeks of pregnancy, your pregnancy care provider might recommend amniocentesis. This tests removes some fluid from the bag of water. The fluid can be tested to determine if the baby has mature lungs. Babies whose mothers are diabetic will have their lungs develop more slowly. The healthcare provider might recommend induced labor or a cesarean birth if the lungs are already mature.
Key points about diabetes during pregnancy
- Diabetes refers to a condition where the body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it properly.
- There is a variety of diabetes types: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes.
- Nearly all women who are pregnant without diabetes are tested for gestational diabetes during the first 24 to 28 weeks of their pregnancy.
- Diabetes treatment focuses on maintaining blood sugar levels within the normal range.
- Type 2 diabetes is more common in women with gestational diabetes. It is important to continue testing.
Tips to make the most of your visit to your healthcare provider
- Understand the reasons for your visit, and what you would like to see.
- Write down any questions you have before you go.
- Have someone accompany you to answer questions and remind you of what your provider has told you.
- Write down the name of the new diagnosis and any medications, treatments or tests that were prescribed during the visit. Note any instructions that your provider has given you.
- Learn why you are being prescribed a medicine or treatment and how it will benefit you. Know what side effects it may have.
- Find out if you can get treatment for your condition in another way.
- Learn why a test is recommended and the possible interpretations.
- What to do if you don’t take the medicine, have the procedure or go through the test?
- Write down the date, time and purpose of your follow-up visit.
- Find out how to contact your provider for any questions.