Gestational diabetes: what it is and how to treat it Gestational diabetes: what it is and how to treat it

One of the most common diseases or complications that can occur during pregnancy is gestational diabetes.

This disease, which occurs when blood sugar is too high, differs from regular diabetes because it only appears during pregnancy and it goes away afterwards. Gestational diabetes affects up to 10% of pregnancies.

Those patients that had diabetes prior to becoming pregnant are therefore excluded from this diagnosis, as well as all women diagnosed with it before week 20, as they are considered to have already had diabetes prior to becoming pregnant.

As the obstetrician and gynecologist, José Vélez, explains, “With these cases, pregnant women do not experience the same symptoms that are experienced by those with diabetes that are not pregnant.” This is why all women are subject to getting tested between week 24 and 28 of the pregnancy in order for it to be detected. This consists in getting a glucose tolerance test which tests your blood sugar two hours after drinking a solution that contains 75 grams of glucose.

This condition which is much more common among first-time mothers, in women older than 35 and among obese women is not considered to jeopardize your pregnancy, when it is under the care of a doctor. When it is not properly treated, however, it can affect the weight and heart of the baby, and ultimately, the delivery process.

While this is a disease that cannot be prevented, it is highly treatable by maintaining a sugar-free diet, by exercising and engaging in physical activity, and by the patient’s proper self-control of their blood sugar. In some cases, when proper care is not administered, treatment can include medication or insulin.