Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that appears in 1 in 50 women during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes the chances of developing type 2 diabetes in the future are much higher. It is also possible that children whose mothers have developed the disease during pregnancy, have greater chances to become diabetics later in life.
The most common factors for developing gestational diabetes are:
- being overweight before the pregnancy. Women who are overweight before pregnancy have 4 times higher chances developing the disease.
- women who get pregnant above the age of 35
- gaining a lot of extra weight during pregnancy
- diagnosis of gestational diabetes in a former pregnancy
- if you are pre diabetic or insulin resistant
- if your previous baby weighed more than 4 kilograms on delivery
- if you suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome
- if one of your family members is diabetic
Diagnosis is done by your doctor/gynaecologist using special tests such as the oral glucose tolerance test. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes you should address an endocrinologist who will have you a diet, light exercise program and advise you to check your blood glucose levels daily. The chances for fetal problems or parturition are minimised with the appropriate and frequent care of the specialised doctor. All women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes should been checked for the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes for their rest of their lives.
Food supplements such as calcium and vitamin D have been tested in clinical studies on women with gestational diabetes with favourable results for their metabolism. In similar studies women who used probiotic products were able to keep their blood cholesterol in control easier. In any case you should always ask your personal doctor if you are pregnant and would like to use any kind of food supplement.