Gestational diabetes is not caused by a lack of insulin, but by the action of hormones produced during pregnancy that blocks the action of insulin.
Gestational diabetes is defined as carbohydrate intolerance that is first recognized during the course of pregnancy. It occurs in 4% of all pregnancies and is considered as one of the most common metabolic disorders affecting pregnant women.
The diabetes, which usually is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy, may persist even after delivery. As a consequence of gestational diabetes, there is a very high blood sugar level. The severity of carbohydrate intolerance may vary in its severity in different individuals.
Diabetes may occur due to an inadequate supply of insulin, required to metabolize sugar (Type I diabetes) or it may occur due to the improper usage of insulin (Type II diabetes). Gestational diabetes as mentioned previously is due to the action of hormones produced during pregnancy that blocks the action of insulin. This is known as insulin resistance.
Pregnancy is a period that needs careful follow- up of the pregnant woman, as it involves the well-being of both the mother and the growing baby, inside the womb of the mother. So complications of any sort, during the antenatal period, has to be dealt with immediately. This holds good for gestational diabetes too wherein the pregnant woman must be subjected to regular checkups to ensure a smooth course of pregnancy and its pregnancy, thereafter.
Gestational diabetes usually manifests during the second trimester of pregnancy. In the majority of affected women, there is recovery from the diabetic state after delivery. In some cases an existing diabetic condition may be brought to the forefront during antenatal examinations. In such cases, the diabetes tends to persist even after the delivery of the baby.
Nevertheless, studies have shown that women who have had gestational diabetes, are predisposed to diabetes later in life. This may be more related to their Body Mass Index (BMI) and unhealthy lifestyles.