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I am a Gynaecologist Obstetrician ( MD, DNB OBGYN) with an emphasis on INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.
Numbers don’t lie! With an estimated 77 million people living with diabetes, India is quickly becoming the diabetes capital of the world.This rise in diabetes can be attributed to several factors, including an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and a genetic predisposition to the disease. Additionally, India's rapidly growing population and urbanization have led to increased levels of stress and pollution, which can also contribute to the development of diabetes.
What Are the Different Types of Diabetes?
Sugar is the main energy source of our body. Resistance to insulin causes sugar to build up in the blood, leading to many health problems.Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. During this condition, the body is unable to get sugar from the blood into your cells. This results into high blood sugar levels.
Now,let’s look at the three types of diabetes:
2. Type 2 Diabetes: With this Diabetes type, your body doesn’t make insulin or your body’s cells don’t respond to insulin. Adults tend to develop Type 2 Diabetes more. However, it can be developed among children as well.
3. Prediabetes: Heard this term the first time? But yes, this condition exists too. In this kind of diabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not much high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
4. Gestational Diabetes: As a Gynaecologist Obstetrician (MD, DNB OBGYN), I mostly get a chance to manage these kinds of cases. During pregnancy, technically all women experience some degree of insulin resistance as it’s a natural metabolic shift that serves to shunt glucose and nutrients to a growing baby. Meaning, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s helpful to understand how and why your metabolism changes during pregnancy. Also, how dietary changes can help ensure the better health of you and your baby.
Unlike Type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes is not caused by a lack of insulin, but other hormones produced during pregnancy make insulin less effective. It is important to note that gestational diabetes typically goes away after pregnancy. But, women with gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 later in life.
Is Diabetes Common During Pregnancy?
Yes, gestational diabetes is relatively common among pregnant women. It is estimated that around 2% to 10% of pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes. However, the exact prevalence of gestational diabetes can vary depending on several factors, including age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), and family history of diabetes.
Women who are older, overweight or obese, have a family history of diabetes, or belong to certain ethnic groups (such as African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American) are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
What causes gestational diabetes?
Well, here's the deal: When you're pregnant, your body goes through some major changes. One of these changes is the way your body processes sugar. During pregnancy, your placenta produces hormones that can interfere with insulin, making it harder for your body to use sugar effectively. This is where gestational diabetes comes in - when your body can't produce enough insulin to keep up with the demand, your blood sugar levels can rise too high.
So, it's not your fault - blame it on the hormones and consider the other factors as well given below:
Why Early Screening for Gestational Diabetes is Helpful?
However, researchers have found that gestational diabetes can be predicted earlier as well by relying on a blood test. In one study, a first trimester HbA1c reading of 5.9% or greater accurately predicted the development of GD 98.4% of the time. The conclusion of the study was simple – as the pregnancy progresses, the insulin resistance gets more severe, and as a result, weight gain persists, resulting in elevated blood sugar. So, it is better to get the screening for gestational diabetes in advance.
How to Diagnose Gestational Diabetes?
Complications of Gestational Diabetes
How Gestational Diabetes can be managed?
When Should You See a Doctor?
Originally published April 1, 2023