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What are the causes of gestational diabetes?

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

The word 'diabetes' is enough to bring out a sense of fear in most of us. As layman, we tend to associate this word with restrictions in our dietary habits and a lot of lifestyle adjustments. While this is true, the fact is that there are hundreds of different types of diabetes and it is near impossible for us to pin point a single one strop solution. In fact, the causes of the different types of diabetes also vary.

Now pregnancy is a trying period of any woman's life. Irrespective of whether you had diabetes before that or not, this is certainly not the period where you would want to battle things like that. However, it is sad to see that gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that is seen to affect woman during their pregnancy. Any woman has to make certain lifestyle changes during her pregnancy. Having a condition like this increases the magnitude of lifestyle adjustments by leaps and bounds. Thus, it is always better to have a knowledge of this condition before you get pregnant so that you can take adequate precautionary measures on your part. To help you, this article talks in detail about the causes of gestational diabetes.

What are the causes of gestational diabetes

Gestational Diabetes Causes (Put it in h2 tag)

• Age more than 25

As sad as it may sound, the age of a mother has a considerable role to play in her pregnancy. Research has shown that women who get pregnant for the first time after the age of 25 are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. The situation becomes even more prominent in the case of women who are above the age of 35.

• Excessive body weight

Obese women are seen to be more prone to gestational diabetes. Thus, one way to avoid the occurrence of gestational diabetes (particularly if you know that you are at a higher risk) is to make sure that your weight is in check before you conceive a child. Gestational diabetes is more commonly seen in women who have a BMI that is greater than 30.

• Previous pregnancy history

Women who have delivered heavy babies are at a higher risk of gestational diabetes. This is true if the child delivered by you weighed more than 4kg. Also, pregnancies that are closely spaced to each other often results in the second pregnancy having to battle gestational diabetes. Another factor that cannot be ignored in this regard is that of unexplained stillbirths. If you have had these in the past, it will be wise on your part to be prepared for gestational diabetes and take special precautions in this regard. Also, if you have suffered from gestational diabetes in your past pregnancies, chances are that you will have it again. Hence, it will be good on your part to be prepared for the same.

• Personal health history

There are a number of women who are not diabetic but suffer from pre diabetes. This condition is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Here there is a slight fluctuation in the insulin level in your body. This may not be sufficient to categories as diabetes, but having this condition increases your chances of picking up gestational diabetes once you get pregnant.

• Racial factors

A number of research carried out by the reputed health organizations in the country have confirmed that the occurrence of gestational diabetes is seen mostly among women from the Indian subcontinent. African women are also seen to fall a prey to this. The occurrence of the same in western women is negligible. Thus, as Indians, we must be particularly conscious about this condition as it is only through proper awareness and precautions that we can battle gestational diabetes.

• Sedentary pregnancy

There are women who develop gestational diabetes only in the later stages of pregnancy. In most of these cases, the cause of this form of diabetes may be penned down to the acute lack of exercise on the part of the pregnant woman. By having an active lifestyle and exercising for a part of the day on a regular basis, you will be able to reduce your blood glucose and keep the same under check. As all of us are well aware, it is the production of excess blood glucose that paves the way for gestational diabetes.

• Improper diet

Many women look upon pregnancy as an excuse to eat all that they have always wanted. The pregnancy cravings make matters worse and they end up eating way more than what they are supposed to. As a result, they end up gaining excess weight during their pregnancy. The direct consequence of such unhealthy weight gain is gestational diabetes. Thus, for your safety and that of your unborn child, it is a good idea to plan out your pregnancy diet (if you want you may seek the help of a dietician for the same). Once that is done, make conscious efforts to ensure that you stick to the same.

• Depression

Although this fact has not been scientifically proven, the occurrence of gestational diabetes is seen to be higher among women who are battling depression. It is important to understand here that the physical wellbeing of an individual is directly linked to his or her mental state. For the health and wellbeing of both the mother and the baby it is absolutely important that the mother is in a healthy state of mind. This will take care of physical conditions like gestational diabetes to a large extent.

• Family history

It has been seen that gestational diabetes runs in a family. Thus, if you know that your siblings or mother has suffered from this, make sure that you keep your doctor informed about the same. Even if any close family member suffers from type 2 diabetes, make sure that your doctor is notified about the same. By being aware of a potential risk, your doctor will guide you to take appropriate measures so that you do not have to suffer from the wrath of gestational diabetes.

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