Gestational diabetes mellitus is a form of diabetes induced by pregnancy. A specific cause of this type of disease is not known, but pregnancy hormones are thought to reduce the ability of the body to use and respond to the action of insulin.
It is believed that it is steroidogenesis (increased estrogen production during pregnancy) and placental lactogen, which cause a woman to debut with diabetes during pregnancy. This occurs in the second trimester, which is when the placenta begins to function correctly. The result is an elevated level of blood glucose (hyperglycemia).
Signs and Symptoms
- Usually, there are no symptoms, or these are mild and are not life-threatening for the pregnant woman.
- Symptoms may include: blurred vision; Fatigue; Frequent infections, including those of bladder, vagina, and skin; Increased thirst; Increased urination; Nausea and vomiting;
- Weight loss despite an increase in appetite.
- Women older than 25 years are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
- The family history of diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, or when blood sugar levels are slightly elevated before becoming pregnant.
- Excess weight (Body mass index> 30).
- Presence of Arterial Hypertension.
- Presence of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- Tests to detect type 2 diabetes at the first prenatal visit of pregnant women with risk factors, using the standard diagnostic criteria.
- Blood test
Treatment and Management
The treatment of gestational diabetes aims to maintain a blood glucose level equivalent to that of pregnant women without gestational diabetes.
The target levels established for pregnancies with gestational diabetes are:
- Before a meal (preprandial): 95 mg/dl or less
- 1 hour after a meal (postprandial): 140 mg/dl or less
- 2 hours after a meal food (postprandial): 120 mg/dl or less
Treatment always includes diet and physical activity.