CAUSES OF GESTATIONAL DIABETES
WHAT IS GESTATIONAL DIABETES?
Gestational diabetes is the kind of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women. Females who never had diabetes before but who during their pregnancy develop high who have high blood glucose (sugar) levels. The widespread of gestational diabetes is as high as 9.2%. It is a complication that is associated and common with pregnancy that affects about 3 to 4% of all pregnant women. Gestational diabetes occurs as a result of changes that occur in all women during pregnancy so it is no one’s fault and you are not alone. thus it is very good to be equip with the causes of gestational diabetes so as to guard against its outbreak.
So, Some of The Known Causes of Gestational Diabetes Are:
- If you are obese when you become pregnant you are likely to develop gestational diabetes
- Having high blood pressure or other medical complications
- If you have previously given birth to a large baby (greater than 9 pounds)
- Birth to a baby that was stillborn or suffering from certain birth defects before.
- If in your previous pregnancies, you have had gestational diabetes, you might develop gestational diabetes
- Pre-disposition to diabetes is one of the major causes of gestational diabetes
- Certain ethnic backgrounds like African, Asian, Native American etc also determine the risk of getting gestational diabetes.
- if you are more than 30 you can develop gestational diabetes
But another thing is the fact that some of the women who develop gestational diabetes have no risk factors.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF GESTATIONAL DIABETES?
As of now, we still don’t know the exact causes of gestational diabetes but some clues are available to us. Experts believe that the hormones in the body of a pregnant woman play a role in the causes of Gestational Diabetes. For you to understand how gestational diabetes occurs. It will help to first understand how pregnancy affects your body’s glucose processing. Your body usually digest the food you eat so as to produce sugar (glucose) that enters your bloodstream. In response, your pancreas, which is a large gland behind your stomach, produces insulin. It is normal for elevation of blood sugar after meals to happen while you are pregnant.
During pregnancy, some larger amounts of hormones are produced by the body of a woman. These hormones which are human placenta lactogen, estrogen and cortisol, are developed in the placenta. The placenta, which connects your baby to your blood supply,supports the baby as it grows and helps sustain the pregnancy. Also, these hormones from the placenta help the baby to develop. But over the time, the amount of these hormones increases, thereby interfering with the action of the mother’s insulin in her body. This is called insulin resistance.
Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar. It helps to move glucose out of the blood and into the body cells. For energy this is required. Because of these large amount of hormones from the placenta that prevent insulin from working effectively or where there is no enough insulin in the mother, the blood glucose levels go up, and this is what cause gestational diabetes in pregnant women.
There may be need for the mother to make use of three times as much insulin. But insulin resistance do make it hard for the mother’s body to use insulin. . However, the pancreas usually is able to compensate for the resistance of insulin by increasing the production of insulin to about three times the normal amount, but if your pancreas cannot sufficiently increase the production of insulin in order to overcome the effect of the increased hormones in the placenta, there will be a rise in the blood sugar levels will thereby causing gestational diabetes. This brings us to hyperglycaemia, which is a situation whereby glucose builds up in the blood to high levels because it cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy as a result of inadequate insulin.
So if you have gestational diabetes, your blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal. Glucose is a form of sugar that is present in many of the foods we eat. Foods which include breads, pasta, potatoes and sweet and the body uses this glucose to produce energy for us, one of the most common causes of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is caused by the inability of the mother’s body to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Most women’s blood sugar levels return back to normal after delivery. However, once a woman has had gestational diabetes, she is more likely to develop gestational diabetes again during her other pregnancies. Thus having an history of gestational diabetes is also one of the causes of gestational diabetes
Gestational Diabetes doesn’t normally bring symptoms. This is why there is need to get tested for it. This can however be done between the 24th and 28th weeks of the pregnancy. Most times, pregnant women that have been with Gestational Diabetes don’t usually know so it will be safer to know some of the symptoms which are also symptoms of low blood sugar which are:
- Feeling nervous, shaky, and weak.
- Increased thirst
- Extreme hunger and slight nausea.
- Increased hunger
- Dizziness and headache.
- Increased urination
- Blurred vision.
How Does Gestational Diabetes Affect Your Baby?
A poor control of gestational diabetes can cause harm to babies. In a situation where a mother has gestational diabetes. The pancreas works overtime to produce insulin, but the insulin does not lower your blood glucose levels. Even though insulin does not cross the placenta, but glucose and other nutrients do which makes extra blood glucose go through the placenta. And this gives the baby high blood glucose levels thereby causing the baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin in order to get rid of the blood glucose. And since the baby is getting enough energy and even more than it needs to grow and develop, this makes the extra energy to be stored as fat.
Gestational Diabetes can affect the baby in the following ways.
- New-borns may have very low blood glucose levels at birth. This is as a result of the extra insulin made by the baby’s pancreas, and this makes them vulnerable to jaundice and breathing problems.
- Babies with excess insulin are the kind of children that are at risk for obesity and the type of adults who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.
- If gestational diabetes is untreated, it can cause serious complications for your new-born.
- Babies of mothers that have untreated gestational diabetes may grow too large (this is called macrosomia),
- Not treating gestational diabetes increases the mother’s risk of going through a cesarean section or needing any other assistance during delivery which can include vacuum delivery or forceps.
- It also increases the risk of problems during delivery. This could include injuries to the baby body, (shoulders and arms and nerves).
There is low risk of birth defects in infants that the mothers have gestational diabetes because most pregnant women don’t develop gestational diabetes until after the 20th week of pregnancy, and that is when the baby in the womb has already fully developed. The risk of birth defects is high but if you have gestational diabetes, your baby may not likely develop type 1 diabetes during childhood. However, the child is likely to be overweight throughout life.
In summary, as of now, we still don’t know the exact causes of gestational diabetes but some clues are available to us. And makes known gestational diabetes emanates from insulin resistant. Experts believe that the hormones in the body of a pregnant woman play a role in the cause of Gestational Diabetes. Poor control or untreated Gestational diabetes can hurt your baby. So it will be wise to take necessary measures to prevent or treat the medical condition and combat the causes of gestational diabetes by talking to your doctor. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.