Gestational Diabetes Q & A
What is gestational diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of diseases that interfere with the way your body produces or uses insulin to convert blood sugar into energy. Gestational diabetes is a form of the disease that can emerge during the second trimester of pregnancy.
The placenta produces hormones that can block the action of insulin in your body, causing insulin resistance. In other cases, your body might not be able to produce all the insulin you need during pregnancy.
How is gestational diabetes diagnosed?
The doctors at Ally Endocrinology use various tests to identify gestational diabetes, including the glucose challenge test and the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
During this test, you drink a sweet liquid that elevates your glucose levels. Then you have a blood draw an hour later to see how well your body processes blood sugar. If your glucose is too high, you have to return for an OGTT.
You need to fast for at least eight hours before the OGTT. The test begins with a blood draw, and then you drink the sweet liquid. You have an hourly blood draw for up to three hours, so your doctor can see how quickly your body processes glucose and confirm a gestational diabetes diagnosis.
What are the available treatments for gestational diabetes?
Ally Endocrinology team teaches you how to monitor your blood sugar at home. You should test yourself when you wake up in the morning and after eating. Keep a log of your results and bring it to your prenatal appointments.
The good news is that, in most cases, you can manage gestational diabetes with diet and exercise. Your doctor can prescribe insulin therapy if lifestyle changes aren’t enough to manage your condition.
The team provides tailored advice, but in general, you need to cut excess sugar out of your diet and focus on fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. As an added benefit, this healthy diet provides the nutrients you and your baby need for optimal health and development.
Regular moderate exercise can help your body process glucose. The team might recommend taking a 10-15 minute walk after your meals to regulate your blood sugar.
Does gestational diabetes go away?
Gestational diabetes typically goes away soon after your baby is born. You should have a glucose tolerance test approximately six weeks after delivery to confirm that your diabetes is gone.
Gestational diabetes increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. You can reduce your risk by paying attention to your diet, getting regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Call your nearest office of Ally Endocrinology or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for gestational diabetes.