One of the most special moments in a woman’s life can become a nightmare if it is not taken care of. On the eve of Mother’s Day, which is celebrated on Monday (15), the Brazilian Diabetes Association warns of gestational diabetes, which affects 18% of pregnancies in Brazil.
A temporary condition caused by changes in hormonal balance during pregnancy, gestational diabetes occurs because in some women the pancreas does not function properly during pregnancy. Normally, the organ produces more insulin than usual during this period to compensate for the placental hormones that reduce the substance in the blood. However, in some pregnancies, the compensation mechanism does not work, resulting in elevated glucose levels.
The problem can cause complications for both the mother and the baby. In the short term, the disease can induce premature labor and even preeclampsia. A baby can be born overweight and have hypoglycemia and shortness of breath.
Gestational diabetes usually goes away after giving birth, but it can have lasting consequences. Women with this problem are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Children are also more likely to be sick and obese.
The disease can affect any woman. Because symptoms are not always identifiable, the SBD recommends that all pregnant women do a fasting blood glucose lookup at the beginning of pregnancy and from the 24th week of pregnancy (beginning of the sixth month). They should also perform an oral glucose tolerance test, which measures the level of glucose in the blood after glucose intake is stimulated.
However, the main recommendations are prenatal care and healthy eating. The sooner the obstetrician diagnoses the disease and begins treatment, the lower the chances of mother and baby having any complications in the short and long term.
In addition to controlling blood glucose, treatment for gestational diabetes consists of a healthier lifestyle, with physical activity and a regulated diet. Meals should be divided throughout the day. Fats should make way for fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole foods. If there are no contraindications from the obstetrician, then moderate physical exercises should be part of the routine.
In most cases, these precautions do not require the use of insulin. If your glucose levels are still high, your doctor may recommend the substance. The SBD warns that women with type 1 or 2 diabetes who become pregnant are not considered to have gestational diabetes because the disease appears only after the onset of pregnancy. Women with high blood glucose levels during pregnancy should have a new glucose pregnancy test six weeks after giving birth.
Worldwide, the problem affects about 15% of pregnancies, according to the International Diabetes Federation, which accounts for 18 million births annually. However, prevalence varies by region, ranging from 9.5% in Africa to 26.6% in Southeast Asia. In Brazil, the prevalence is estimated to be 18%.
To prevent the disease, women should pay attention to risk factors: a family history of diabetes. glucose change sometime before conception; excess weight before or during pregnancy; previous pregnancy with a fetus weighing more than 4 kg; A history of unexplained miscarriage. arterial hypertension; preeclampsia or preeclampsia in previous pregnancies; Polycystic ovary syndrome and corticosteroid use.
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