Sugar is elevated in pregnancy - how serious is the problem
Pregnancy is an amazing event, completely changing the life of every woman. Adjusting to the heartbeat of a small heart, the mother's body tries to do everything to make the baby comfortable throughout the nine months. Unfortunately, for the long forty weeks, the future mother has to experience not only the joy of seeing a baby, but also the many unpleasant sensations accompanying the pregnancy. Some of the inevitable companions of pregnancy do not carry any danger to the fetus, others require constant monitoring of the doctor. One of the serious complications during the waiting period of the child is gestational diabetes, a condition in which the level of glucose in the peripheral blood increases.
What does elevated blood sugar indicate in pregnancy?
At the first appearance in the women's consultation, the future mother receives from the doctor referrals to the tests, allowing to assess the general condition of the pregnant woman. One of the most significant indicators in this huge list is the determination of the glucose content in the blood. If it is found that the sugar is elevated during pregnancy, the woman will be asked to undergo an additional examination, as well as a course of treatment if necessary.
Increasing the concentration of glucose in the blood is not as harmless as it might seem at first glance. The change in the level of sugar triggers a whole complex of pathological mechanisms leading to a significant deterioration in the state of the pregnant woman. The processes occurring in the body of the future mother will inevitably affect the development of the fetus, increasing the risk of a child with signs of diabetic fetopathy.
How can I tell if sugar is elevated in pregnancy?
The woman renders the blood test for revealing the glucose level twice: at the first appearance in the women's consultation and at the period of 22-24 weeks. At the same time, the expectant mother should not restrict herself to food or somehow change her usual diet three days before the planned examination. Blood is usually taken from the vein in the morning on an empty stomach. Exceeding the permissible values in most cases indicates the development of gestational diabetes.
Why does glucose increase?
Under normal conditions, the sugar content is regulated by the hormone insulin, which is continuously produced by the pancreas. Under his influence, glucose, which fell with food, gradually turns into the cells of the body, performing its function there. The level of sugar in the blood at the same time decreases. What happens during pregnancy and why does this adjusted mechanism fail?
Hormones that allow the child to be born are insulin antagonists. Increased sugar in the blood during pregnancy is due to the fact that the pancreas simply can not cope with their work in such conditions. Hormones of pregnancy activate the release of glucose into the blood, and insulin, able to bind excess sugar, is not enough. As a result, the so-called diabetes of pregnant women develops, which is dangerous for its unpredictable consequences.
It would seem, in this situation, any woman in an interesting situation should suffer from an excess of glucose in the body. However, sugar is elevated in pregnancy, not every future mother. What increases the risk of developing the disease?
• heredity (diabetes mellitus in close relatives);
• development of a similar situation in the previous pregnancy;
• Polycystic ovary syndrome;
• Age over 25 years.
Symptoms of gestational diabetes
In many cases, a pregnant woman does not even suspect that her blood glucose level is elevated. Her state of health does not change in any way, the baby is actively stirring and makes itself felt by very active jerks. The danger of gestational diabetes is that the amount of sugar in the blood will gradually increase, leading to serious complications.
As the gestation period increases, the glucose content will increase, and the insulin level will inevitably decrease. The manifestation of diabetes mellitus is characterized by the following symptoms:
• a constant thirst;
• increased appetite;
• increased frequency of urination;
• impaired vision.
For accurate diagnosis, only complaints of worsening health will not be enough. The feeling of hunger and frequent urge to urinate are typical for many pregnant women with a perfectly normal blood sugar level. The future mother will have to undergo a special examination that allows confirming or refuting gestational diabetes.
In order to find out whether sugar is actually elevated in pregnancy, a woman is asked to donate blood to determine the level of glucose. Analysis is given on an empty stomach.
• from 3.3 to 5.5 mmol / l - the norm;
• from 5.5 to 7 mmol / l - a violation of glucose tolerance;
• more than 7.1 molol / l - diabetes mellitus.
At a glucose level of more than 7.1 mmol / l, the expectant mother is sent for consultation with the endocrinologist to confirm the diagnosis and develop a treatment strategy.
Elevated sugar in the urine during pregnancy also indicates the development of gestational diabetes. Most often, glucose is found in later terms, when the disease has gone quite far. Sugar in the urine suggests that the kidneys are no longer able to cope with their function, which means an increased risk of complications from all organs and systems of the female body.
What is dangerous for gestational diabetes?
Many pregnant women do not seek help from specialists, hoping that after the birth the glucose level will decrease by itself. They do not know what is really dangerous about increased sugar during pregnancy. The consequences of gestational diabetes can be very sad. Women with a high sugar content in the blood increase the risk of joining gestosis (a condition characterized by swelling and high blood pressure in late pregnancy). In addition, there is a growing likelihood of getting complications from the kidneys and urinary system. Do not forget that births in women with diabetes often occur before the due date.
How does diabetes affect the fetus?
Elevated blood sugar levels in the mother also affect the baby's condition. A complex of symptoms developing in such a pregnancy is called diabetic fetopathy. With this pathology the child is born very large, more than 4.5 kg. But a lot of weight does not mean that the baby will be healthy. On the contrary, diabetic fetopathy is characterized by a lag in physical development. Due to a lack of surfactant (a substance that helps the lungs open up at birth), the infant has various respiratory disorders. Very often, pathological jaundice develops, as well as a variety of neurological disorders.
Treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus
Most expectant mothers are frightened to find increased sugar during pregnancy. What should I do if there is such a nuisance? First of all, a woman should consult a specialist. The endocrinologist will assess the state of the future mother and, depending on the severity of the disease, prescribe the necessary treatment.
In most cases, the tactics of managing pregnant women with diabetes is reduced to a change in diet. Normalization of the level of insulin in the blood can do without heavy artillery in the form of hormonal drugs. Diet with increased sugar during pregnancy includes the following principles:
• The daily diet is divided between proteins, fats and carbohydrates in a ratio of 20-25%, 35-40% and 35%, respectively.
• During the entire period of pregnancy, the caloric content of food is gradually reduced to 25-30 kcal per 1 kg of body weight.
• From daily use exclude any easily digestible carbohydrates (especially sweets).
In the case when using a diet alone can not bring the sugar level back to normal, a pregnant woman is prescribed insulin therapy. Selection of a dose is carried out by an endocrinologist. He also monitors the future mother throughout the gestation period and, if necessary, changes the dose of the prescribed drug.
Emergency help for diabetes
During pregnancy, all women with diabetes are advised to purchase a personal glucometer. This drug allows you to control the level of sugar in the peripheral blood at any time and take the necessary measures when it changes. Gestational diabetes is dangerous not only by increasing the concentration of glucose, but also by its sharp decrease. This condition threatens with sudden weakness, loss of consciousness and even coma.
How to increase blood sugar during pregnancy to ensure that the unpleasant consequences of diabetes are avoided? A woman should remember that in her condition, dizziness and weakness are dangerous symptoms that require immediate help. At the appearance of the first signs of a drop in glucose, it is recommended that a future mother promptly eat something sweet. It can be a candy, stored in a purse for such a case, or a piece of chocolate. In order to avoid this situation, a pregnant woman should eat well, not forgetting to include in her diet not only tasty, but also useful foods.
Gestational diabetes in most cases independently passes after the birth of the baby. It is not necessary to relax - women who have undergone this pathology during pregnancy significantly increase the risk of developing true diabetes. To prevent this serious disease, it is recommended to revise your diet, increase physical activity and regularly monitor blood glucose. Compliance with these rules will help a woman in time to notice any deviations in health status and take the necessary measures to eliminate unpleasant symptoms.