Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Overview

For most women, being pregnant is the greatest blessing one can ever receive. It is a wondrous time for both parents-to-be because it is a celebration of another life. Even though a lot of women go through discomforts while pregnant, these are quickly managed since most of these minor pains ease off typically right after the first trimester. Unfortunately for some women, pregnancy is seen as a difficult time because of complications that bring about so much attention and worry. And one particular common complication of pregnancy is gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM, also known as gestational diabetes in pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes mellitus is defined as glucose intolerance that affects pregnant women. It occurs in around 4 percent to 10 percent of women that are pregnant and often goes away after delivery. Those who have high chances of getting GDM include: pregnant women who are obese, women who are 25 years and older, women who have history of GDM with previous pregnancies, history of giving birth to a big baby (usually 9 lbs or more) and family history of type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes symptoms are frequently brushed aside because they are mistaken for normal discomforts of pregnancy. The most prevalent symptoms of gestational diabetes are: increased frequency of urination, increased thirst and increased hunger. However, there are tests available in order to know whether these symptoms are brought about by hormonal imbalances that normally occur during pregnancy or if these are already signs of gestational diabetes mellitus.

The response of insulin to glucose loading can be measured by a medical test known as oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This kind of procedure is performed at around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. This gestational diabetes test requires the pregnant woman to fast at least eight hours before going to the laboratory. Afterwards, she will be asked to drink a sweetened liquid with 50- to 200-g of sugar. A blood sample will then be extracted at .25, 1, 2 and 3 hours intervals. If the 2-hr value is 200 mg/dL or more, the woman is positive for gestational diabetes mellitus.

Being healthy and well-balanced are main concerns when one is pregnant. It’s advisable to visit your doctor regularly so she or he can help you and your child remain comfortable and healthy.

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