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Insulin does not always have to be injected in gestational diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most common complications in pregnancy, which represents an increased health risk for the expectant mother as well as for the unborn child. Contrary to popular belief that women who have gestational diabetes need to inject insulin, this is often not necessary. It is usually enough to eat healthier and to move a lot.
Adjust everyday life for gestational diabetes
If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with so-called gestational diabetes, the level of uncertainty is initially great: does the insulin injection now have to be used, as with another diabetes? According to experts, it is usually enough to adjust your own everyday life somewhat. For example, sweets and sugary drinks should be taboo and the diet should be healthier in general. In addition, those affected should exercise enough and check their blood sugar levels regularly. In a joint press release from various associations and societies, experts explain what else needs to be considered.
Health risks for the child and mother
In gestational diabetes, the mother's blood sugar is either constantly increased or only unusually long after meals. The high amount of sugar is transferred directly to the baby, who is overnourished.
It often grows too quickly and its metabolism adjusts to the constant supply of carbohydrates even before birth, explained Prof. Dr. med. Birgit Seelbach Göbel, President of the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG).
This can affect the development of the child's heart and lungs, among other things.
Gestational diabetes is also a risk for the mother, because high to very high blood pressure develops with edema, kidney problems and a tendency to have seizures.
Sugar test in prenatal care
To prevent this, a sugar test has been part of regular prenatal care since 2012. "During the test, the pregnant woman drinks a standardized amount of glucose solution," said Christian Albring, President of the Professional Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (BVF) in a message from the dpa news agency.
According to the information, it is then checked after an hour whether the blood sugar rises too much or remains raised for too long. According to the agency report, such a test was previously only carried out in women who had clear symptoms of gestational diabetes, such as severe thirst, frequent toilet visits or an unusually large baby.
Balanced diet and plenty of exercise
In order not to let it get this far, women can do a lot themselves, Albring explained in the press release. In the first place there is a balanced and high-fiber diet and the absence of sweets and lemonades to keep the blood sugar level low.
It also includes plenty of exercise, if possible daily, and regular blood sugar monitoring. "If a woman resolutely and consistently implements these measures, she can usually avert the dangers for her baby and for herself," says Birgit Seelbach Göbel, President of the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG).
“Only if these measures do not work should insulin therapy be considered, which should not be waited too long, because it is important to keep the constant excess of sugar away from the baby as well as possible and the development of consequential damage with the mother, ”said Nikolaus Scheper, chairman of the board of the Federal Association of Resident Diabetologists (BVND). (ad)