Gestational diabetes, also called pregnancy diabetes, is defined as a glucose tolerance disorder arising or being diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. With a rate of approximately 6%, it is the most frequently occurring metabolic illness in pregnancy. However, it often remains undetected.
What exactly is gestational diabetes?
- Affects approximately 6% of all pregnant women
- Goes largely undetected since the mother experiences no direct symptoms
- Decreased insulin effect due to hormonal imbalance
- Avoidable health risks for mother and child
- Increased risk of abnormalities and miscarriages. In 28% of miscarriages, GDM must be accepted as the cause of death.
- The rate for Caesarean section is 40% higher than for non-diabetics.
- Caused by excess weight, genetic factors
- Treatment: weight loss, increased exercise, insulin
What happens in the body?
In gestational diabetes, the balance between the blood-sugar-increasing hormones formed in the placenta and the blood-sugar-lowering hormone insulin is disturbed, causing a rise in blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia).
Severe consequences of untreated gestational diabetes for the mother
- urinary tract infections,
- high blood pressure,
- oedema and
The severe consequences of untreated gestational diabetes for the child include macrosomia (abnormally large children), delayed lung development, metabolic disorders and foetal death.
What happens after the pregnancy?
Gestational diabetes usually disappears after the end of the pregnancy but can put the mother at a higher risk of developing diabetes later on.