Not so sweet at all

Pregnancy can change how a woman’s body uses glucose. This can make diabetes worse, or lead to gestational diabetes., writes Dr Shashikala Hande

Diabetes is a condition in which the body can’t make enough insulin, or can’t use insulin normally. Insulin is a hormone. It helps sugar (glucose) in the blood get into cells of the body to be used as fuel. Maternal diabetes also known as gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is developed during pregnancy. Just like other types of diabetes, it causes high blood sugar that can affect the health of both pregnant women and the unborn child. 

Causes of diabetes

Some women have diabetes before they get pregnant. This is called pre-gestational diabetes. Other women may get a type of diabetes that only happens during pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Pregnancy
can change how a woman’s body uses glucose. This can make diabetes worse, or lead to gestational diabetes.

During pregnancy, an organ called the placenta gives a growing baby nutrients and oxygen. The placenta also makes hormones. While there are no notable signs or symptoms for detection of gestational diabetes (some
women may feel more thirsty). But consult the doctor if you experience symptoms like blurred vision, fatigue, excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss and increased risk of infection, especially in vagina, skin and urinary bladder. The main underlying cause for maternal diabetes is due to the production of more insulin-blocking hormones — which provokes the rise of blood sugar levels and affects the growth and welfare of the
baby.

(The author is with
Cloudnine, Bengaluru)

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