How to Prevent Gestational Diabetes: 5 Easy and Essential Ways

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How to Prevent Gestational Diabetes?
By makidotvn on Unlimphotos

Pregnancy is a period during which the body goes through changes. Those changes in the body are required for the growth and development of the newborn baby. The Baby’s health completely depends on the mother’s health. Generally, it has been observed in pregnant women that their blood sugar level is recorded to be high and also their body’s cells become insulin resistant. These happen because of the development of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

As per a report, every 6-9% of pregnant women in the United States has been developing gestational diabetes. If it is not get controlled or prevented during pregnancy, it will affect both mother and baby’s health. That’s why this article is helpful for those who want to know how to prevent gestational diabetes. For that, you have to go through this article till the end. You will get awesome updates regarding gestational diabetes, its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment along with the ways of preventing of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes
By Elnur on Unlimphotos

How to Prevent Gestational Diabetes?

Generally, diabetes is the consequence of high blood sugar and insulin imbalance. Different cells of the pancreas including beta cells are present in clusters called islets of Langerhans. These cells synthesize insulin hormone which is ultimately secreted by the pancreas into the bloodstream. This hormone helps the body’s cells to take sugar from the blood. But due to insulin resistance, body cells do not take blood sugar as a result blood sugar level increases. This rise in blood sugar or blood glucose levels is the main cause of diabetes.

When the rise in blood sugar levels occurs during pregnancy, it will lead to gestational diabetes. For pregnant women, it is a point of concern as it affects their baby’s growth and development. Does there any way through which gestational diabetes can be prevented? Gestational diabetes is not much severe but if not controlled it can lead to various health issues in mother and baby.

Here are five amazing ways how to prevent gestational diabetes, but before that let’s see some detailed information regarding gestational diabetes.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common types of diabetes that mainly occurs in women during their pregnancy. The main cause of gestational diabetes is cells insulin resistance. The cells become insulin resistant due to the secretion of hormones by the placenta. These hormones are mainly secreted at the time of pregnancy hence they are responsible for developing gestational diabetes in pregnant women.

Gestational diabetes mellitus is a condition of high blood sugar levels in pregnant women. It does not depend on whether you have any kind of diabetes mellitus before pregnancy or not, it may occur in anyone.

Symptoms

Although without proper diagnosis, no one can estimate the occurrence of gestational diabetes in pregnant women. Because some of pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus don’t show any symptoms. Hence, screening tests or other blood sugar levels tests are a must for all women during pregnancy.

Some common symptoms of gestational diabetes are as follows;

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain
  • Increased appetite
  • Uncontrolled thirst
  • Excessive urination

Gestational diabetes is also responsible for other complications including the risk of preeclampsia, high blood pressure, and macrosomia. Preeclampsia is a condition of high blood pressure that occurs only in pregnant women. When it becomes more severe it can damage other organs like the liver and kidney. That’s why it is a very fatal situation for mother and baby.

Macrosomia is also happened because of the mother’s diabetes and obesity during pregnancy. As a result, the baby grows much larger than the average size. Due to macrosomia, the mother faces difficulty in delivery time cesarean will be the option for the baby’s birth.

Risk factors

The risk factors of gestational diabetes are overweight, high blood pressure, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), having type 2 diabetes in a family member, having gestational or any type of diabetes during a previous pregnancy, and being pregnant with more than one baby. Most women of some ethnic groups are at higher risk of gestational diabetes. These are Asian-American, African-American, Native American, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics. If you belong to any of these groups then you are at higher risk of gestational diabetes.

Diagnosis

Blood tests are the best ways to check blood sugar levels. Despite that, there are many other tests for the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Some of them are the glucose challenge test (GCT), glucose tolerance test (GTT), and screening test.

5 Ways to Prevent Gestational Diabetes

For pregnant women, it is very essential to know how to prevent gestational diabetes for their healthy pregnancy. Any woman can manage gestational diabetes by following these five ways.

1. Maintain Healthy Weight Before Pregnancy

Obesity is the worst thing or the cause of many diseases. So, try to maintain a healthy weight before and during pregnancy, as well as during postpregnancy. Most women put on weight during their pregnancy time and maintaining a healthy weight doesn’t mean doing dieting or losing weight. You can easily maintain your weight by slight dietary changes.

2. Do Regular Exercises

Exercise is essential for everyone, but for women with gestational diabetes little bit of physical activity is a must. Every day 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity is the way to reduce gestational diabetes. Some yoga poses are also beneficial to reduce the fatal effects of gestational diabetes. And remember that do exercises as per your stamina and capacity. Don’t push yourselves to do heavy exercises. Avoid such exercises in which chances of falling are there.

Exercise for gestational diabetic woman
By MilanMarkovic78 on Unlimphotos

Easy Exercises For Gestational Diabetes

  • Walking
  • Aerobic exercises
  • Swimming
  • Stationary cycling
  • Dancing

Yoga For Gestational Diabetes

  • Child pose
  • Tadasana
  • Trikonasana
  • Vrksasana
  • Yoga Nidra

3. Have a Balanced Diet and Healthy Eating Habits

A healthy eating plan is one of the best ways to reduce or prevent gestational diabetes. Avoiding fruit juice and bad fats from your diet plan. Always try to eat healthy foods during pregnancy. A high fiber and protein-rich diet are good for you to eat. If you want a healthy baby, then try to follow a healthy diet plan given by your nutritionist.

Take each meal in little amounts with breaks, rather than eating whole food items in one meal. Many dietitians and nutritionists suggest whole grains and nonstarchy vegetables to women with gestational diabetes. The reason is whole grains contain fibers in high amount and reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.

Healthy diet
By Marco Verch Professional Photographer on Flickr @Some Rights Reserved

Healthy food items that will help you to prevent gestational diabetes are whole grain bread, lettuce salad, leafy vegetables, paneer, roasted seeds of watermelon and sesame, seasonal fruits with low sugar, and last one is a cup of low-fat milk at night is a must.

Avoid sugary foods, sweets, and natural sugars, if you want to prevent gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Eating healthy food is not only good for your health but also your baby’s health.

4. Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels

Gestational diabetes occurs due to an increased level of blood sugar. That’s why regular monitoring of blood sugar will be essential for you. If the blood sugar level is high then insulin injections or medications should be recommended by your doctor or gynecologist.

5. Routine Check-Up Appointments with Your Gynecologist

Last in this list of how to prevent gestational diabetes. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes within 2-3 months of pregnancy, then your gynecologist will recommend you to come for routine checkups. You will also have been given some diabetic care supplements and medications.

Never skip your appointment with a gynecologist and diabetologist. That will ultimately be bad for your and your baby’s health.

What is the Medical Treatment for Gestational Diabetes?

Although lifestyle changes can help you a lot in reducing or preventing complications during pregnancy due to gestational diabetes. Despite that medical care and proper medication are also used for the treatment of gestational diabetes. Let’s see how to prevent gestational diabetes through medical care.

Insulin injection
By Marco Verch Professional Photographer on Flickr @Some Rights Reserved

Insulin Injection

Insulin injections are recommended only when the sugar level riches to the highest level and doesn’t in the control to maintain. There are some other situations in which your doctor will give you insulin injections, these are such;

  • A high increase in sugar level
  • Due to the side-effect of oral medications
  • The large size of baby

Insulin intake increases with an increase in the time of pregnancy, as blood glucose levels increase with pregnancy progress. It will help in lowering the blood sugar level.

Oral Medication

Even after the lifestyle changes, eating healthy foods, and doing exercises your sugar level is still at a high level then consider oral medication. Doctors or gynecologists recommend you to take oral pills including Metformin, Micronase, Glynase, and Portamento. Well, these drugs are not effective in every woman with gestational diabetes. That’s why never take any pill without the recommendation of your doctor.

According to the American diabetes association, around 10% of American pregnant women are suffering from gestational diabetes every year. Through a healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, and most important your doctor’s guidance, you will cure the complication of gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. Hope this article ‘how to prevent gestational diabetes’ will help you in having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

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While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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