Pregnant women who were not diabetic before but who have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes (GD). Normally, the disease affects women quite late in her pregnancy, around the 24th week. The disease does not show noticeable signs or symptoms. Scientists are not sure what causes gestational diabetes (GD) but the most likely theory is that hormones from the placenta may be responsible for the same. The placental hormones help the baby develop but they may also block the action of mother’s insulin in her body. This causes insulin resistance. Since the body cannot make and use the insulin required for pregnancy, high levels of glucose build up in the blood and cause gestational diabetes.
Although GD does not cause birth defects the way diabetes (mothers who had diabetes before pregnancy) does, it still can hurt the baby. More than 16 percent of pregnant Indian women have gestational diabetes. And the prevalence percentage of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing rapidly. It has also been seen that pregnant women in the age group of 30 to 39 years had greater prevalence of GDM as compared with those in the age group of 20 to 29 years. Considering all these facts, the researchers suggest screening all pregnant women for glucose intolerance.
Along with nutrition therapy and / or insulin therapy it is also necessary to get regular physical exercise. Your well wishers and relatives may advise you to restrict your physical activities to the minimum so as not to hurt the baby inside. But for sure, it is a myth. Regular physical activity helps lower your blood sugar by moving the glucose into your cells and also by increasing your sensitivity to insulin. Aim for moderately vigorous exercise on most days of the week, but first check with your doctor.