What is Gestational Diabetes?

by ryan on July 17, 2017

What is Gestational Diabetes?


Gestational diabetes is a type of pregnancy which only occurs during pregnancy – hence the name. It can be very mild and just an extra nuisance but it can for some women be a serious issue. Having said that it can be treated with special diet and exercise. Once you know you are pregnant you will have tests for it with your doctor.

Some women are at more risk than others

Theoretically all pregnant women are at risk of having gestational diabetes but there are certain groups of women who are more susceptible than others.

The main higher risk groups are

  1. Pregnancy when you are over 25 – which is most people
  2. You are higher risk if other family members are know to have had gestational diabetes.
  3. Certain ethnic groups are at higher risk – Native American, Asian and Spanish origin to name a few.

You do not have to be diabetic to get gestational diabetes. It can happen to anyone.

Simple Treatments for Gestational Diabetes

To treat gestational diabetes you need to do a number of things to treat it. You cannot just take a pill and forget about it. First off, take any medication if you are prescribed it.  These include blood sugar injections and a pill made of glyburide.  You also need to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels regularly in the same way people with type 1 or type diabetes have to.

With gestational diabetes you also need to watch what you eat. You food affects your blood sugar levels. The most common tactic is to eat little and often. So six meals a day with small portions is better than 3 large meals. You also need to stop eating high fat and high sugar foods as these will make your condition worse.

You can also help yourself with regular exercise. If you are having a difficult pregnancy then this can be just stretches and short walks. If you are a bit more adventurous then pilates and yoga are ideal. The other good all round exercise is swimming. Most local swimming pools have special women’s groups which will make it a bit more fun as well. You must talk to your doctor or obstetrician first before you throw yourself into an exercise regimen.

Exercise can help reduce constipation and cramps associated with pregnancy.

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