Gestational Diabetes

When having a baby, complex metabolic changes take place in mother's organism. One of those changes is an insulin resistance that may result in the development of gestational diabetes. Mother's pancreas produces some extra insulin to compensate for the effect. In case it is not enough, gestational diabetes develops. This type of diabetes in many cases is temporary and disappears after the delivery.

Diagnostic glucose-tolerance blood test routinely performed between 24 and 28 weeks, however, it can be done at your first prenatal visit. Women with the gestational diabetes may feel unusually thirsty and drop some weight, despite eating a lot; however, often there are no signs at all. 

Some of the risk factors for the gestational diabetes include:

•    Obesity

•     High blood pressure,

•    History of giving birth to the large babies

•    Unexplained stillbirth and miscarriages,

•    Age over 35,

•    First-degree family members with a diabetes

•    Personal history of gestational diabetes

The main complications of this condition are an increased fetal size and hypoglycemia (low level of blood sugar) in baby after birth. There is a concern that such a babies are in danger of breathing problems and seizures. In addition, mother is at risk of developing the type-2 diabetes after delivery. There is also a risk for the child to develop diabetes later in the life and some risk to become obese in the adolescence. It is reported that gestational diabetes during mother's pregnancy increases the child's chances to develop the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by the age 6.

Geneticists suggest that both gestational and type 2 diabetes are results of mutations in the same gene. Scientists argue that the development of gestational diabetes is a warning sign of genetical predisposition to diabetes.  Regular exercising (about 30 minutes a day), weight management and healthy diet that is low in carbohydrates are all crucial for lowering the chances of getting sick or delay the onset of the disease. Breastfeeding the baby is also beneficent for the glucose metabolism. It is recommended to monitor the blood sugar level at least once in 2-3 years if you are healthy.

Genetical consultation during pregnancy can shed a light on a the origin of hyperglycemia (high level of blood sugar). Some patients have slightly greater than normal glucose level, which, however, may not be an indication of either gestational or type 2 diabetes. Mutation in the glucokinase gene may cause this effect. This particular condition does not need any treatment, as it does not get worse over time. Knowledge about your genes may protect you and your baby from the unnecessary treatment, and its side effects.