Type 2 Diabetes During Pregnancy

Submitted by Nic on January 17, 2012

In a normal person, insulin produced by the pancreas helps break down the food that is eaten into glucose. However, in a diabetic, without insulin to process the glucose, the blood sugar levels shoots up, causing innumerable problems. Type 2 diabetes during pregnancy occurs in women who show symptoms of diabetes when in their second trimester. In this case, insulin is secreted, but the body becomes resistant to it. High levels of sugar in the blood, resulting in high blood pressure and being overweight during gestation are harmful to both the mother and baby.


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Symptoms of type 2 diabetes in pregnant women include fatigue, constant hunger and thirst, an increase in blood sugar levels, high blood pressure or preeclampsia, swelling, and excessive proteins in the urine.  Some of these symptoms are usually ignored, and the common belief is that they are caused due to the hormonal changes taking place in a woman’s body. With regard to Type 2 diabetes in pregnancy, prevalence is seen more commonly among teen pregnancies and women over 40, pregnant women with a diabetic history, and women with very high blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

With the right diet, a comprehensive exercise regimen, and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels   and insulin dosages, type 2 diabetes during pregnancy can easily be controlled. Oral intake of proper medication and insulin can help women with type 2 diabetes during their pregnancy. A healthy diet rich in proteins and fiber, supplemented by vitamins and minerals are mandatory. Calorie intake should be supervised to avoid excess weight gain. Blood sugar levels and insulin requirements need to be updated because hormones levels during this period keep fluctuating all the time.

In type 2 diabetes during pregnancy, there can be complications that affect the mother and unborn child. The baby gets its food from the mother via the placenta, but the baby’s pancreas produces its own insulin. As a result of the mother’s high blood sugar content, the fetus’ pancreas generates more insulin to counterbalance the mother’s sugar levels. This imbalance may lead to an improperly formed baby with a big head or a weak heart or a larger than normal baby, which could lead to a caesarean birth with the likelihood of the child being obese later on. The new mother may become normal after the delivery, but could become a type 2 diabetic in the future or experience complications due to type 2 diabetes during subsequent pregnancies.

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