Hyperglycemia during pregnancy is diabetes that is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. This type of diabetes has an impact on how a person’s body cells use sugar. Gestational diabetes results in high levels of glucose in the blood affecting pregnancy as well as the baby’s health. Pregnant mothers can aid in controlling gestational diabetes by consuming healthy foods, exercising, and if required, medicines. Regulation of sugar levels keeps a pregnant lady and her baby healthy along with preventing a difficult delivery. In females having gestational diabetes, blood glucose generally returns to normal soon after delivery. However, if a female has gestational diabetes, he has a greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes and must be tested for modifications in blood glucose levels more frequently. Read this blog to know about causes and risk factors of hyperglycemia during pregnancy.
Causes for Hyperglycemia During Pregnancy
Few females experience high glucose levels before they get pregnant. This is often termed pre-gestational diabetes. And many females might get a form of diabetes that only occurs during pregnancy, which is referred to as gestational diabetes. Pregnancy might alter how a female’s body utilizes glucose. This might exacerbate diabetes or can cause gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, an organ named the placenta delivers all the essential nutrients and oxygen to a growing baby. Also, the placenta manufactures hormones. Hormones like cortisol, estrogen, or lactogen have been found to block insulin in late pregnancy. When blockade of insulin occurs, it’s termed insulin resistance. Sugar is not able to move into the body’s cells and remains in the blood, and this elevates the blood sugar levels.
Risk Factors of Hyperglycemia During Pregnancy
Some females are at a higher risk of gestational diabetes. And the risk factors for gestational diabetes can be:
- Overweight or obesity
- No physical activity
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- A history of gestational diabetes or prediabetes
- Hereditary problem of diabetes
- Race: females who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American are at a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Complications of Hyperglycemia
Complications that can have an impact on the female and her baby can be:
- Obesity and diabetes type 2 afterward in life. Babies of mothers having gestational diabetes are at a greater risk of developing obesity as well as type 2 diabetes later in life.
- Severe problems in breathing. Babies born early to mothers having hyperglycemia during pregnancy might experience respiratory distress syndrome (a medical problem that leads to difficulty in breathing).
- Stillbirth. Unmanaged gestational diabetes may cause a baby’s death either prior to or soon after birth.
- Excessive birth weight. Greater than normal blood glucose in mothers may lead to a too large a growth of their babies. Very large babies, with weight of 9 pounds or more, are more expected to have a blocked birth canal, require a C-section birth, or have birth injuries.
- Low sugar level in newborn. At times, babies of mothers having the problem of gestational diabetes experience low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) soon after birth. Serious incidents of low glucose levels during pregnancy might result in seizures in the baby. Timely feedings and at times an intravenous glucose solution may revive the glucose levels of the baby to usual.
- Can early pregnancy raise blood sugar? The high glucose levels in blood might enhance the female’s risk of early labor as well as delivery prior to the due date. Or premature delivery can be suggested as the baby is large.
- High blood pressure as well as preeclampsia. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of hypertension and preeclampsia (a severe complication of pregnancy that results in high blood pressure or other signs that may threaten the lives of both mother and baby.
How to Decrease Blood Sugar During Pregnancy?
No assurances when it comes to managing gestational diabetes, however the more healthy habits a person may adopt before pregnancy, the better. If the person has had gestational diabetes, some healthy choices might lower her risk of having it again in future pregnancies or developing diabetes type 2 at some point.
- Consume healthy foods. Opt for foods rich in fiber as well as low in fat and calories. Concentrate on fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Plan for varieties to assist a person in attaining his or her goals without compromising taste or nutrition. Check for the portion sizes.
- Be physically active. Exercising prior to and during pregnancy may aid in defending against developing gestational diabetes. Look for half an hour of moderate activity on most weekdays. It is suggested to go for a brisk daily walk. Ride bike, and swim laps. Short explosions of activity like parking further away from the store when a person is taking a short walk break.
- Begin pregnancy with a healthy weight. If a female is planning to get pregnant, effective weight management in advance is just great in having a healthier pregnancy. Concentrate on making enduring modifications in eating habits that may aid in going through pregnancy, like the consumption of more and more fruits and veggies.
- Females must not gain more weight than advisable. Gaining a substantial weight during pregnancy is common and healthy. But gaining an excess weight too rapidly may increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
How is Hyperglycemia in Pregnancy Diagnosed?
Roughly, screening is done on all non-diabetic pregnant females for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. A glucose screening test is done during these weeks of pregnancy. In this test, a female is given a glucose drink and then her blood sugar levels are checked after 2 hours. If there is a high blood sugar level in this test, a 3-hour glucose tolerance test can be performed. If results of the second test come to be out of the standard limits, gestational diabetes is diagnosed.
Special testing, as well as monitoring of the baby, might be required for pregnant diabetics, particularly those who are on insulin. This is due to an increased risk for stillbirth. These tests can be:
- Ultrasound. It is an imaging test that makes use of sound waves as well as a computer to produce images of organs, blood vessels, and tissues. Ultrasound is a technique used to examine the internal organs as they work and to watch the blood flow via blood vessels.
- Counting of fetal movements. This indicates counting the number of kicks or movements in a particular duration of time and looking at some change in activity.
- Non-stress testing. This test evaluates the heart rate of a baby in response to movements.
- Doppler flow studies. It is a kind of ultrasound that utilizes sound waves to examine blood flow.
- Biophysical profile. This test is a combination of tests including ultrasound and the non-stress test to detect the baby’s movements, amniotic fluid, and heart rate.
A diabetic mother can deliver a baby vaginally or by cesarean section. It would depend on her overall health, and how much her pregnancy care doctor believes is the weight of the baby. Her pregnancy care provider can recommend a test named amniocentesis in the final weeks of pregnancy. In this test, some fluid is taken out from the bag of water. The fluid is then tested to state whether the baby’s lungs are mature. The maturation of the lungs occurs gradually in babies whose mothers suffer from diabetes. If the lungs are mature, her doctor can recommend induced labor or cesarean delivery.
Pregnancy and Glucose Levels
Gestational diabetes time and again comes with no signs, so the female most likely won’t be familiar with the fact that she has it until the healthcare provider diagnoses it. On the other hand, gestational diabetes might still affect the female. Gestational diabetes may enhance the risk of high blood pressure while she is pregnant. In addition, the female might have a larger baby, which may create difficulty in the delivery or may need a C-section. Also, gestational diabetes may put the female more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes afterward in life.
Will Gestational Diabetes Fade Away?
Probably, after a baby is delivered, gestational diabetes must go away. Around 6 weeks after delivery, the female’s doctor would check the blood sugar level to observe if it’s in the normal range. On the other hand, as the female has gestational diabetes, it means she is at greater risk (a 33-50% enhanced risk) for having it again in the subsequent pregnancy. Also, the female is at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a health problem in which the body is not able to produce a sufficient amount of insulin, or it can’t make use of it normally. Diabetes can be of three types: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Roughly all pregnant females free from diabetes get screened for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Diabetes treatment concentrates on keeping blood glucose levels in the usual range. Females having gestational diabetes are more expected to develop type 2 diabetes in later life. Follow-up testing is very vital.