Health Tips & Info : Unveiling The Causes Of Gestational Diabetes.

Gestational diabetes or GDM is a type of diabetes that affects only pregnant women, typically during the second trimester of pregnancy. About 4 to 10 percent suffer from this condition, making it one of the most common concerns of expectant mothers. Gestational diabetes can indeed be hard to understand but to simply put it, it means that a person has unusually high levels of sugar in the blood, thus the term “high blood sugar”.

One of two conditions occurs in gestational diabetes. Possibly, there isn’t sufficient insulin in the blood or the body is not responding to insulin as necessary (also called “insulin resistance”). Insulin is a hormone that is vital in regulating carbohydrate (glucose) and fat metabolism in the body. It pushes the body to take up glucose (sugar) from the blood in order that the liver can store it as glycogen. Small amounts of insulin or insulin resistance both lead to the same thing – sugar is not taken up and thus accumulates in the blood.

It is also believed that certain pregnancy hormones place pregnant women at risk for developing such condition. Human Placental Lactogen, cortisol, estriol, and progesterone are pregnancy hormones that are thought to hinder insulin from doing its job. If the body becomes resistant to insulin, blood sugar levels rise. To compensate for such increase in the amount of glucose in the blood, the pancreas tries to produce more insulin. The pancreas has its limits though. If the pancreas cannot keep up with the increased demand for insulin, the sugar levels rise and gestational diabetes occurs.

Some other risk factors that can make women susceptible to GDM are: being overweight, family history of diabetes, previously giving birth to a big baby (usually 9 lbs or more in weight), having gestational diabetes with previous pregnancies and having too much amniotic fluid (termed as “polyhydramnios”).

Most people may find it hard to understand the causes of gestational diabetes. But keep in mind that as a mother, you can always do something to counteract the causes of gestational diabetes. Proper diet, exercise and regular prenatal check-ups are just some of the things you can do to make sure that you and your baby will have a healthy, stress-free, and fun-filled journey together.

By Current Health Articles