Tag Archives: Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes Explained: What is Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus popularly knows as Diabetes is a chronic and a progressive illness where the body doesn’t use the insulin effectively or doesn’t create a sufficient amount of insulin. Diabetes is a serious illness that takes more than 3 million lives each year; according to the latest statistics over 170 million people are affected by Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes is a very serious illness obviously and if not treated properly it can become a life threatening condition, in order to deal with diabetes you have to learn the symptoms, what are the causes of diabetes and prevention and treatment options available.

Diabetes MellitusDefinition of diabetes according to Wikipedia: “Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes—is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).”

Our body needs insulin, a hormone which is produced by the pancreas and is used to move (transport) energy in the form of glucose from the food we consume into our cells. Insulin is a requirement for us, and based on the type of Diabetes there are different methods to treat diabetes and of course different symptoms caused by Diabetes Mellitus. The basic types of Diabetes Mellitus are:

–    Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus – this type of Diabetes is when our body has difficulties producing sufficient amounts of insulin and as such it is required that we intake insulin on a regular level
–    Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – This type of Diabetes is when our cells fail to use insulin in the proper way and thus fail to provide the body with sufficient energy levels
–    Gestational Diabetes – Is found strictly with pregnant women who never before had Diabetes but have high blood glucose levels showing during their pregnancy, it can develop into Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
–    There are also other rare types of Diabetes Mellitus to worry about – Congenital Diabetes that causes insulin secretion defects on a genetic level, Cystic Fibrosis Diabetes, Steroid Diabetes and different forms of Monogenic Diabetes.

All of these forms of Diabetes Mellitus are treated thanks to discovery of Insulin, early diagnosis and proper treatment are the key factors in living a normal life when you are diagnosed with any type of Diabetes.

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Diabetes Explained: Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes found only in pregnant women. Around 4% of pregnant women will develop this type of Diabetes during their pregnancy, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they will have diabetes after giving birth to their child. Unlike Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Gestational Diabetes carries a great risk for the baby.

Gestational DiabetesGestational Diabetes according to Wikipedia: “Gestational diabetes (or gestational diabetes mellitus, GDM) is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes generally has few symptoms and it is most commonly diagnosed by screening during pregnancy. Diagnostic tests detect inappropriately high levels of glucose in blood samples. Gestational diabetes affects 3-10% of pregnancies, depending on the population studied. No specific cause has been identified, but it is believed that the hormones produced during pregnancy increase a woman’s resistance to insulin, resulting in impaired glucose tolerance. “

Causes of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus are not quite known, but due to hormonal changes during the pregnancy your body has a hard time keeping up with the needs and the production of insulin. In the end the woman’s body doesn’t get enough energy from the intake of food.

The symptoms are exactly like with Type1 Diabetes Mellitus and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. What causes the biggest issue with this type of diabetes is the risk for the baby. If Gestational Diabetes is caught in time there shouldn’t be a great risk, but if left unchecked it can cause the following issues:

–    Baby can have a low blood glucose right after being born
–    Baby can also have breathing problems
–    Can have extra fat

To make sure that your baby is ok the doctors will run immediate tests like ultrasound, special stress tests and kick counts. The issue here is that both mother and child are at risk of having Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus for the rest of their lives.

In some cases the symptoms of Gestational Diabetes will not show but nevertheless they may cause increased risk of high blood pressure, possibility of giving birth to a large baby which would require a Cesarean section.

On the bright side in most cases Gestational Diabetes disappears after giving birth. But if you are not careful later you are at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. You may also develop Gestational Diabetes if you get pregnant again.

Treatment is based on the seriousness of your condition. In some cases insulin may be needed, but in most cases a prescribed diet and regular activity will help you overcome this condition.

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