Gestational Diabetes Mellitus ( GDM ) generally occurs between 20 and 28 weeks of pregnancy and is usually resolved after delivery of the baby.
Women who are diabetic before pregnancy are said to have pregnancy complicated by diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is very similiar to Type 2 diabetes.
There is both insulin resistance and insufficiency in production of insulin by the body.
Women from the Indian subcontinent are generally at high risk for GDM.
Understanding Gestational diabetes
- During pregnancy, the placenta supplies the foetus with nutrients and also produces a number of hormones needed to maintain the pregnancy.
- Some of these hormones like human placental lactogen have an anti-insulin effect, which causes insulin resistance. This generally begins 20-24 weeks into the pregnancy.
- This insulin resistance leads to higher level of blood sugar after eating ( post prandial levels )
- Normally the beta cells in the pregnant women’s pancreas produce additional insulin to counter the insulin resistance.
- As the pregnancy progresses, more hormones are produced and this increases the insulin resistance.
- When the insulin produced by the mother is not enough, GDM develops in the mother.