Listen to this article
Diabetes is a chronic medical and lifestyle disorder affecting people worldwide. It is a disease in which the blood sugar rises and if not controlled, it adversely affects all the systems of the body. Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition in which blood sugar rises above normal level affecting only during pregnancy and might return to normal after 3 months of delivery of the baby.
In general, diabetes can be Type 1 (insulin dependent) or Type 2 (non-insulin dependent).
All women planning for pregnancy should be screened in preconception period with glucose tolerance test and HbA1c.
According to guidelines related to diagnosis and management of gestational diabetes mellitus, issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, 2018, all pregnant women
should be tested for gestational diabetes mellitus twice during pregnancy.
The first test should be done as early as possible and the second is repeated at 24-28 weeks if the first report is negative.
The test is done with an oral intake of 75 grams of glucose in 300 ml of water to be taken within 5-10 minutes irrespective of fasting state.
A single value of blood sugar is measured at 2 hour post ingestion of glucose. Cut off for diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus is more than or equal to 140 mg/dl.
The treatment includes lifestyle modification, oral hypoglycemics and/or insulin. If not treated then high blood sugar values may have adverse effects on pregnancy. Also, women with gestational diabetes have increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in later life which can be reduced by breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding should be encouraged in all women for the benefits but women with gestational diabetes should be encouraged even more for the added benefits.