November 14, 2022
Gestational diabetes is any elevation of blood glucose levels during pregnancy. This type of diabetes is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy, from the second trimester, and usually disappears after the baby is born. However, this picture could also involve a previously diabetic woman who is diagnosed with this disease just when she is pregnant; in this case, the woman after giving birth continues with elevated blood glucose levels. On this occasion, Dr. Jesús Rocca, an endocrinologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma, give us more information on the subject.
Among the main risk factors that can cause gestational diabetes are:
That is why all women with a family history or particular history, such as those mentioned, prior to pregnancy, should undergo a glucose tolerance test within 20 to 24 weeks of gestation.
The main complications are divided into two:
Complications affecting the mother
Complications affecting the baby
A major change in diet is essential. A significant reduction in calories is not indicated at this stage, since it can have aggravating effects on the baby; However, what should be reduced is the consumption of sugar or foods that contain it and increase the consumption of vegetables. Carbohydrate consumption should also be modified, avoiding those with a high glycemic index and changing them to carbohydrates that are slowly absorbed. All these indications must be provided with the support of a nutritionist.
If a change in diet is not enough to lower blood sugar levels, the endocrinologist will give a treatment with insulin, always checking the levels of glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin in the pregnant woman.
It is recommended that every woman perform a glucose test before and during her pregnancy, and even more so if she has a family history. Likewise, it is ideal that she is at an adequate weight at the time of pregnancy to avoid complications. On the other hand, if she had gestational diabetes, the mother should have a glucose tolerance test one month after her baby was born, in addition to a subsequent follow-up every six months or every year, since as time passes there is a remarkably high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Jesús Rocca
Endocrinologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma