Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels which affects exclusively pregnant women without previously diagnosed diabetes. It affects about 4% of pregnant women commonly in the last half of pregnancy, while the reason why some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy and the others do not are not exactly known. Gestational diabetes diabetes usually does not represent any serious health risks for the mother but it can severely affect the health of the baby if not treated.
Hormones produced during pregnancy are believed to be the main cause of gestational diabetes, while women with overweight problems, with family history of diabetes or personal history of gestational diabetes, older than 25 years of age and women of some races/ethnic groups – African-American, Native American, Hispanics and Asian-American are at greater risk to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. The majority of women with gestational diabetes exhibit no symptoms but some women might experience increased urination and thirst, fatigue, blurred vision and frequent urinary bladder and yeast infections.
Gestational diabetes must be treated, while many women successfully control the blood sugar levels with healthy diet and adequate physical activity. However, sometimes are required oral medications or insulin injections. After delivery, gestational diabetes improves or completely disappears but it is important to keep in mind that women who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at greater risk to develop type 2 diabetes. For that reason it is highly important to continue with healthy diet and adequate physical activity as well as to control healthy body weight after delivery.