Gestational diabetes is a disorder of metabolism which originates during the later stages of pregnancy. In the United States of America, there are more than 130,000 women suffering from gestational diabetes. The number is at its increase every day. Like the other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes also involves abnormal levels of glucose in the blood. The science has not reached to any conclusive studies about the exact cause of gestational diabetes. The important thing is that knowing the exact cause of gestational diabetes is helpful in treating gestational diabetes in an efficient and the proper way.
The exact cause
Till to date, it is impossible to pinpoint the cause of gestational diabetes. However, there are certain clues to its causes during pregnancy the fetus receives its nutrition via the placenta. Placenta apart from supplying the nutrition to the growing fetus also releases certain hormones like cortisol and estrogen. These hormones are essential for the health of the growing fetus. Unfortunately, these same hormones block the working of insulin receptors of the cells. This is termed insulin resistance. It is because of these hormones the insulin is unable to function properly. This inability of insulin to function properly then causes the problems in the absorption of glucose and the metabolism.
To prevent the occurrence of gestational diabetes, the human body has a natural mechanism to control it. As the insulin is unable to function properly the cells are not getting the adequate energy. The pancreas increases the production of insulin. Gestational diabetes comes into place when even this natural mechanism does not work. It is the point where the pregnant women suffering from gestational diabetes may require almost three times insulin than the normal. This situation normally appears in the 25th week of pregnancy. The reason is that the fetus grows in size and placenta release more hormones. These additional hormones hinder the effectiveness of insulin at an increased rate. Insulin resistance also increases.
Chances of gestational diabetes are proportional to the age and the weight of the pregnant women, the risk factor also increase if there is a family history of diabetes or the women has polycystic ovary syndrome.
Controlling gestational diabetes
In most of the cases, the sugar levels come back to their normal range after the pregnancy has completed. But treating gestational diabetes effectively is important for the healthy growth of the fetus. If the fetus is nourished with the blood that has elevated levels of glucose it may cause some serious complications in the unborn such as abnormal neurological and physiological patterns, jaundice, congenital defects and injuries during birthing procedure. The delivery procedure may become tremendously traumatic. The women who have suffered from gestational diabetes is on an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes at any stage of her life.
Preventing Gestational Diabetes
It is important to note the preventing gestational diabetes from happening is more important than knowing the cause of gestational diabetes. It can be successfully prevented by eating healthy foods rich in protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and some other nutrients, incorporating some regular physical activity, and maintaining a proper BMI ratio.