Gestational diabetes is one of the most serious complications that haunt mothers during this arduous journey, as it is a chronic condition that leads to high blood sugar, and about 1 in 10 women suffer from this disease, which may fade after childbirth or continue with some throughout their lives.
Experts attributed the causes of gestational diabetes to hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, which can make it difficult for the body to use insulin effectively, and insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar, according to the Insider website.
The report stated that most cases of gestational diabetes occur later in pregnancy, which is why women are screened between 24 and 28 weeks, when the placenta produces more hormones, including human placental lactogen (HPL), which may interfere with the use of insulin. Any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes, but there are some risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing it, such as:
1. Weight gain
A previous study found that overweight women were twice as likely as women with a healthy BMI to develop gestational diabetes, while obese women were more than eight times more likely.
The risk of developing gestational diabetes increases with age from 25 to 40 years, while mothers between 35 and 40 years are at the greatest risk.
3. Hormonal imbalance
Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal imbalance, can increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes by up to four times.
4. A family history of diabetes
Women who have a family history of diabetes are more likely to develop it during pregnancy.
The risks of gestational diabetes are that it may put the mother and baby at an increased risk of pregnancy complications, such as shoulder dystocia. Babies may also have difficulty regulating their blood sugar, and may need care in the neonatal intensive care unit, as well as an increased risk of premature birth.
Experts stated that the most prominent ways to control blood sugar levels during pregnancy are a low-carb, high-protein diet to control blood sugar, in addition to moderate exercise, such as brisk walking.