What We Treat

Gestational Diabetes

A woman’s body undergoes a number of physiological transformations during pregnancy. One of these changes may involve blood sugar levels, resulting in gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that arises during pregnancy. It occurs when your body’s production of insulin (a hormone that aids in regulating blood glucose) falls short of what’s required to keep up with the demands of pregnancy. This causes elevated blood sugar (blood glucose) levels.

Gestational diabetes is typically diagnosed between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy but may occur earlier.

What causes gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes occurs when the body can’t create sufficient amounts of insulin, a hormone that modulates blood sugar, to satisfy the pregnancy needs. The body’s insulin resistance increases during pregnancy to ensure a sufficient glucose supply for the developing fetus. In some women, the pancreas can’t produce sufficient additional insulin to combat this resistance, resulting in high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), which can harm the body’s nerves, blood vessels, and organs if left untreated.

What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?

Symptoms of gestational diabetes are either mild or nonexistent for many women. Due to its prevalence, screening for this illness is often incorporated into standard prenatal care. However, when symptoms appear, they may include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Eyestrain or blurry vision
  • Excessive thirst
  • Urination
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea
  • Frequent bladder infections

How is gestational diabetes diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will request a urine sample at each office visit; This is done mainly to evaluate for sugar in your urine, which can indicate gestational diabetes (though a positive test does not necessarily indicate that you have the condition).

Your practitioner will administer a glucose screening test between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy, during which you will consume a sugary liquid and have your blood tested an hour later. You may also undergo this test earlier in your pregnancy if you have indicators of risk for gestational diabetes. 

If your bloodwork reveals elevated sugar levels, your doctor will administer a three-hour glucose tolerance test to diagnose gestational diabetes.

How is gestational diabetes treated?

  • Monitoring blood sugar levels. Examine your blood sugar levels frequently during the day. Your doctor may advise checking your blood sugar levels an hour after each meal to ensure you remain within a healthy range for people with diabetes. A diabetic kit, complete with finger-pricking needles and a tiny machine that reads blood sugar, is what most doctors would advise. It’s the most reliable indicator of how different foods are being processed in the body.
  • Dietary changes. Our nutritionist can help create a diet plan that will keep your blood sugar levels steady. In order to maintain stable blood sugar (and energy levels), many women continue the nutrient-rich diet they developed while pregnant, even after giving birth.
  • Physical activity and exercise. Regular moderate-intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) reduces blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to use less insulin. Seek medical advice on the types of physical exercise that are safe for you to engage in and those that you should avoid.
  • Medication. In most cases, diet and exercise will be sufficient to manage your gestational diabetes, but your doctor may recommend more insulin if they aren’t. Supplemental insulin can be administered through shots or the diabetic medication glyburide, which stimulates the pancreas to create its own insulin.

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For more information about gynecology services or to book an appointment with one of our expert gynecologists in Dubai, call us toll free at 8006686, fill out the booking form or click the live chat icon at the bottom of the screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does gestational diabetes affect the baby?

When gestational diabetes is not managed properly, it can lead to a number of issues for the developing baby, including hyperglycemia, premature delivery, and even type 2 diabetes in the future. However, with careful planning, the likelihood of complications can be minimized.

Will I have diabetes after birth?

After giving birth, blood sugar levels typically return to normal for most women who have experienced gestational diabetes. Their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, however, is significantly higher. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your regular appointments with your doctor.

Can gestational diabetes be prevented?

Adopting a healthy lifestyle prior to and during pregnancy will help lower your chance of developing gestational diabetes. A healthy lifestyle consists of eating well, exercising, and maintaining a stable weight.


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