Diabetes is a disorder in which there is an excess of glucose in the blood due to a lack of or resistance to the action of insulin, the hormone that allows glucose to be metabolized and used by the body’s cells.
Gestational diabetes appears only during pregnancy and occurs as a result of insulin resistance produced by hormones coming from the placenta. The higher the insulin production, the higher the probability of developing this particular type of diabetes that usually appears during the last 2-3 months of pregnancy.
This disorder usually occurs in pregnant women over 35 years of age with a history of gestational diabetes or family members with diabetes in adulthood.
The consequences for the baby are:
- Excess birth weight.
- Complications in childbirth.
- Possible premature delivery due to excessive weight and future risk of developing diabetes in adulthood or hypoglycemia at birth.
For its diagnosis, the O’Sullivan test is performed, which consists in the determination of glucose after ingesting 50 grams of glucose. In this case, glucose levels should be less than 140mg/dl, but if this is not the case, the glucose curve is performed.
O’Sullivan: test for the analysis of glucose levels
The O’Sullivan test consists of the determination of glucose after ingesting 50 grams of this monosaccharide. Glucose levels must be less than 140mg/dl. If this is not the case, a glucose curve is performed in which 100 g of glucose is administered orally and the blood glucose level is determined before ingestion, one hour later and after two and three hours. It is considered pathological when two or more points are higher than 105-190-165-140 respectively.
Diet and exercise, the remedy to combat the effects of gestational diabetes
The treatment of gestational diabetes involves a healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise and glucose monitoring. Insulin will only be used in some cases.
Because this type of diabetes is caused by the placenta, the problem disappears after giving birth and therefore no further measures are necessary.
After pregnancy, the glucose curve is usually repeated to determine whether the diabetes has disappeared. In some cases it may persist after pregnancy and, in general, there may be a greater predisposition to develop adult-onset diabetes.