Know what are the first signs of diabetes to be able to start timely treatment.

Diabetes is a serious health issue for millions around the world. While some are already aware of it, there are many who may not have noticed it as yet. Diabetes is a very deceptive disease. You may have diabetes and find no warning signs at all. It can lead to several other complications if it goes unnoticed. There are a few signs or symptoms that may warn you about diabetes. You may be curious by now to know, what are the first signs of diabetes?

There are three types of diabetes, Type 1 or juvenile onset diabetes, Type 2 that affects anyone and gestational diabetes which is caused during pregnancy. Though each type has its unique set of symptoms and signs there are a few signs that may ring the warning bells for you. Among the first signs is the urge to urinate frequently. It may be the first sign that says that your blood sugar levels are way too high. This happens because your body is pulling body fluids to balance the high blood sugar levels. This leads to the bladder getting full and thus causing frequent urination to remove the excess amounts from your system. You may notice that you need to urinate frequently when you eat foods with high sugar content like soda and desserts.

Similarly, you may start to feel thirstier than you normally do. This happens as you start losing fluids faster. The water from the cells gets drawn out and they get dehydrated and send signals of thirst to the brain. You feel thirstier than normal as the fluids you are losing need to be replaced. Moreover, as the body is unable to use glucose as energy the body signals for more food intake. You start feeling hungry frequently. Diabetics suffering from the Type 1 variety will also notice that in spite of consumption of sufficient food there is unexplained weight loss. This is because the body is unable to use the energy and to satisfy the energy needs starts breaking down the fat and tissues.

If you are feeling tired than usual it may be the result of energy not being transferred successfully where it is needed in the body. The body cells use energy from sugar to carry out daily operations and muscle movements. Diabetes, or even pre-diabetes condition, can make you feel drained of energy. There is always the feeling of tiredness and fatigue. Some of you may also feel drowsy and sleepy at odd times of the day.

Diabetes if undetected causes physical and neurological problems like blurred vision, itchy skin etc. You may also notice other early signs of diabetes like delayed healing of bruises and cuts. This happens as the immune system is affected by diabetes. Similarly there is an increased itchiness or a feeling of dry skin. Blurred vision is also a sign of diabetes as it causes macular degeneration. Excessive glucose in the blood also causes a tingling sensation or numbness of the extremities. However, these neurological signs are seen very late as diabetes progresses.

If you notice any of these first signs of diabetes and are not sure whether you are suffering from it, then you should immediately consult a doctor. There is a simple test to help detect diabetes. Timely treatment will help you to bring it under control and stay healthier.

Wavesense keynote blood glucose monitoring system – fast and accurate.

Blood glucose monitoring systems are a necessity to diabetics to be in control of their diabetes. There are several manufactures of blood glucose meters who offer a wide range of monitoring systems. Among the popular ones is the Wavesense keynote blood monitoring system from AgaMatrix. They are high quality monitoring systems that provide world class features and accuracy in testing. It is the only meter that uses the WaveSense technology.

WaveSense keynote blood glucose monitoring system

It is a very easy and compact, virtually painless tester. It uses WaveSense which is a suite of digital signal processing and Dynamic ElectroChemistry technologies. The advantage it offers is the superior performance for biosensors. In simple words the WaveSense technology enables Keynote meter to give you extremely accurate results. The meter is extremely simple and very user friendly. There backlit display feature enable you to read in darkness also. The user interface is easy to understand at a glance. You can get your previous result simply with a push of a button. The test results are available in as little as 3 to 4 seconds yet highly accurate. The system also enables alternate site testing on palms and forearm giving your sore finger some time to rest.

The meter comes with ergonomic rubber grips and feet which gives you an easy grip and ensure that they do not slip out of your hands. It is among the smallest meters in the market. You need not feel burdened to carry it around wherever you go. You can easily carry it in your purse or pockets. This ensures that you do not avoid testing just because you cannot carry the meter to any place. There is also an alarm system for 6 reminders so that you would not forget testing times. If you are at office, school or are traveling, you can discreetly carryout the tests as per the schedule. As you test you can see the blood enter the test strip with a small sample size of 0.5 micro liters.

The memory capacity is to store about 300 test results with time and date. It provides you 14, 30 and 90 day averages. There is an automatic mealtime average that enable you to tract the readings throughout the day. There is automatic marking provided for the control solution for more accuracy. The well thought out safety features ensure there is lesser chance for confusion. The units are pre-set and cannot be changed by accident. There is also user an alarm you can set for hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic indicators. The double redundant power supply ensure maximum safety of results.
The data management has been made simple. The Zero-click system is easy and has been designed for use of professionals and diabetics. Efforts have been taken to get maximum input from endocrinologists, diabetes educators and diabetics themselves. The software design is complete with all sort of reports generated to help you notice the pattern and trends of your glucose levels over a period of time.

Generally the Wavesense Keynote blood glucose monitoring system includes the meter with batteries, 10 lancets, the Keynote control solution, lancing device, clear AST lancing device cap, owner’s booklet or reference guide and a carrying case. You can now be assured of getting accurate results and keep track of your diabetes and ensure you are in control.

Type ii insulin dependent diabetes

Diabetes is the one of the top most common chronic diseases. Despite the progress of medical science no cure for this disease has been found as yet. In young children the insulin dependent variety is very common. This is known as type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type-1 and thus a majority of diabetics suffer from this type of diabetes. People who develop Type ii diabetes are usually in the age group of 30 and above. But the division between the two types of diabetes including age is fast thinning.

Discovered in 1920 insulin has made a huge difference to the lives of millions of IDDM affected people. The onset of insulin dependant diabetes (IDDM) is far more severe than that of non insulin dependant diabetes (NIDDM). Non dependence on insulin does not imply that type ii diabetics would never require insulin to control their diabetes. Type ii diabetes was known as NIDDM previously. This was so as insulin injections were never prescribed as a part of the treatment.

A type ii diabetic patient would require insulin injections daily as his body is not able to produce natural insulin or produces it in limited quantities. In USA itself over one million people are estimated to be afflicted with IDDM.

Symptoms of type ii diabetes include frequent urination especially at night, excessive thirst, constant hunger, and fatigue. Therefore, an IDDM patient must regularly take insulin injections. With daily insulin injections and a healthy diet, most patients with IDDM can lead active and challenging personal and professional life. However, the detection of the disease in its early stages may be difficult and hence may not be diagnosed till a later stage which could cause complications.

Eating the right diet and at specified time forms an important part of the treatment of type ii IDDM. Such a person is expected to manage his meals combined with insulin doses in a manner that would prevent wild fluctuations in the blood glucose levels. The diets chosen play a vital role in controlling blood glucose levels. Diabetic people need to consume balanced diet that is low in saturated fats, sugar, and salts; whole grains, high fiber foods, fruits and vegetables are recommended. To prevent rise in blood sugar levels after meals, consumption of carbohydrates such as starchy food, breads, and sugary foods like fruits, and sweets must be evenly spread throughout the day.

Bringing weight within limits and then maintaining it must be the topmost priority of overweight diabetics. This helps in reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases. Physical activity helps in maintaining a healthy weight. However, exercises need to be done carefully. Strenuous exercise increases the absorption of glucose by the muscles, thereby lowering the glucose in the blood. For performing exercises safely and to prevent fluctuations in blood glucose, the patient must balance insulin doses, meal timings and the exercise timings.

Consumption of alcohol need not be given up, but needs to be controlled and can be had occasionally but in moderation. However, alcohol should not be consumed on an empty stomach and should be accompanied by permitted snacks. Similarly, diabetics are better advised to quit smoking.

With proper treatment patients with IDDM can lead physically active and professionally challenging lives, they however must continue taking all precautions and not take their health for granted.

Be aware of signs of hyperglycemia to prevent complications.

Diabetes is a chronic disease and has affected millions of people around the world. One of the most common problems associated with diabetes is hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can cause serious problem if left untreated. Hyperglycemia is often the medical term used for high blood glucose sugar. It is mainly caused when our bodies have too little insulin or do not have enough insulin or fail to use the insulin in the right manner. It is necessary that diabetics are aware of the signs of hyperglycemia so that they may take necessary medication to bring blood sugar levels under control.

There are two types of hyperglycemia that occur, fasting hyperglycemia and postprandial hyperglycemia. Fasting hyperglycemia is defined as a blood sugar levels greater than 90-130 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) after fasting for at least 8 hours. Postprandial or after-meal hyperglycemia is defined as a blood sugar which is usually greater than 180 mg/dL. Usually among people without diabetes postprandial or post-meal sugars is rarely over 140 mg/dl and after a large meal, may go up to 180 mg/dl for up to 1-2 hour post-meal. However, if the post-meal glucose level is high constantly then that person is at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It’s important to treat the symptoms of hyperglycemia promptly to prevent complications from diabetes. Among the early signs of hyperglycemia in diabetes you may commonly find the following:

* Increased thirst
* frequent urination
* Blurred vision
* Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
* Frequent Headaches
* Difficulty in concentrating
* Weight loss
* Blood glucose more than 180 mg/dL

Prolonged hyperglycemia in diabetes may result in slow-healing cuts and sores, vaginal and skin infections, decreased vision, nerve damage causing painful cold or insensitive feet, loss of hair on the lower extremities, erectile dysfunction and stomach and intestinal problems such as chronic constipation or diarrhea

Diabetics have to be very careful about their diet and ensure that they maintain healthy blood sugar levels. However, there may be various reasons for hyperglycemia like your tendency to eat more foods than in your diet plan, or usage of lesser amount of oral agents or insulin than required, lack of exercise, surgery, injuries or accidents and failing to take medicines regularly. Among other reasons there may be some emotional stress that you may be undergoing or even physical stress that can be a factor for the spiraling blood sugar levels.
Remember that not everyone with diabetes will have all these symptoms. Rather you may even find people with Type 2 diabetes not having any of them. Being hungry frequently is due to the inability of the body to utilize glucose well as an energy source within cells.  Though there is glucose circulating in the blood, the cells are unable to absorb it to use as a fuel. As the blood filters through the kidneys, some of the sugar comes out of the blood and is not reabsorbed.  This extra sugar causes water molecules to follow and therefore the diabetic urinates frequently. This obviously leads to diabetics frequently feeling thirsty.  The body can sense that excess water is lost due to frequent urination and the normal response is thirst signals.
Incase of Hyperglycemia you should ensure that you eat less and do not drink any thing that has sugar. Preferably consult your doctor or dietitian if you find it hard to manage your diet. Ensure that you are taking the prescribed medicines properly. Exercising is very important as it helps in reducing blood sugar.

Know the initial signs of diabetes to start treatment on time

The number of diabetics is growing by the day. People are taken aback when their diabetes is detected. Often the initial signs of diabetes may be confused with those of other or may even go unnoticed. It is very important for all to be aware of the initial symptoms of diabetes; so, that the treatment may start at an early stage. The period of pre-diabetes when the symptoms occur is important and your awareness of the warning signs of diabetes can help you spot them and start with necessary medication to keep it in control.

The autoimmune systems of each person are different. Depending upon the type of diabetes, the stage of advancement, the age of patient, the lifestyle and diet of patient etc, the visible symptoms of diabetes may vary. Diabetes mellitus could be Type 1(juvenile diabetes), Type 2 (any age) or gestational diabetes (among women during pregnancy). Diabetes is caused due to the inability of the body to produce sufficient insulin to breakdown the sugars into energy for the body. Due to the large content of glucose the kidneys start producing additional water to dilute the blood.

In the initial stage you would find the patient having to visit the bathroom very often. This is because the level of blood glucose rises due to which the kidneys have to work overtime to purge them out of the body with the fluids drawn from the tissues. The problem with this is that it may lead to dehydration which in turn may cause other health problems. With the body requiring more fluid intake you would also find the patient feeling very thirsty. It is also caused due to the excess sugar present in the body.

The weight loss among the diabetics is rapid. Even if a diabetic is not on any sort of diet, the weight loss is substantial. Even the frequency of food intake is more. This is because with the body failing to convert the glucose to energy, the accumulated fat is used up for the purpose causing weight loss. Rather the person may be eating more and not gaining weight at all. They may also experience fatigue and weakness as the body cannot process glucose efficiently. The muscles are unable to get sufficient fuel and patients may also experience drowsiness and irritability.

The nervous system maybe affected to some extent. This may cause skin irritability and other skin problems. The skin feels very dry and irritable. Moreover if any wounds are caused they may take more time to heal. They may become infected and cause further complications. There may also be a tingling feeling in the hands and feet. Moreover, due to the rise in the blood sugar levels the fluids in the eyes are also changed which causes blurring of vision. Dark spots, rings around lights and flashing lights and in worst cases, blindness may occur. For those suffering from Type 1 diabetes which is mostly in teenagers and even toddlers some of the early symptoms are the loss of weight. A very important indication is the fruity smell of the breath. The children may also experience excessive thirst, dehydration, fatigue, dryness of skin, abdominal pain etc.

It is very important to be alert about the Type 2 as well as juvenile diabetes. You can ensure that treatment starts at the earliest for any child who may be suffering from juvenile diabetes.

Not just the child but knowing the initial signs of diabetes can mean timely treatment which would make it possible to keep diabetes in control.

Knowledge of signs of diabetes helps start timely treatment

The number of diabetics around the world is ever increasing. The signs of diabetes vary from person to person. They are often mistaken for some other ailments. Diabetes is caused due to the inability of insulin in the body to control the level of sugar in the blood. For those who are not sure of the symptoms of diabetes and are experiencing some of them should consult the doctor for further management and treatment.

Diabetes can be Type 1 or juvenile diabetes, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes symptoms are similar. In both the situations the amount of glucose in the blood is more and the cells of the body fall short on the amount of glucose. The high level of glucose in Type 1 diabetes that affects children, toddlers to teenagers is due to the lack of insulin as the insulin producing cells are destroyed. In type 2 diabetes the cells of the body become resistant to insulin. In both the case the cells lack glucose and let you know by giving different warning signs.

The most common sign of diabetes is frequent urination. The reason you feel the need to visit the bathroom is due to high amount glucose which exists in your body. With the insulin proving ineffective the kidneys are unable to filter glucose and end up drawing extra amount of water out of blood to dilute the glucose. This results in keeping your bladder full. Owing to the concentration of glucose in blood the brain receives signals to dilute blood causing increased feeling of thirst.

As a result of the lack of sufficient amount of water for the cells, you feel fatigue and dehydration. Due to the inefficiency of cells to metabolize glucose the body uses the reserve fat to satisfy energy requirements. Hence the body experiences a negative calorie effect which result in fatigue. It may also result in the feeling of uneasiness and irritability as there is insufficient glucose supply to the brain and other organs.

Weight loss without any effort happens more commonly in Type 1 diabetes patients. The pancreas stop making insulin because of the autoimmune response of the body, the body actually attacks the insulin producing cells. The body desperately needs another energy source as the cells do not get glucose. It breaks down the muscle tissues and fat for energy causing weight loss.

Due to the high glucose levels in the body and dehydration there is a dry and itchy feeling to the skin. Moreover any cuts, bruises and infections take longer to heal. You may notice frequent skin infections like fungal, bacterial or UTI (Urinary tract infections). The condition of the body called as hypersmolar, hyperglycemia non ketotic syndrome cause body fluid from tissue including lenses of the eyes being pulled. This causes blurring of vision and affects the ability of eyes to focus.

As diabetes progresses it also damages the nervous system, particularly the extremities. Type 2 diabetes is gradual and people often miss the initial signs. The blood sugar levels may remain high for years without diagnosis. Nerve damage may be caused without our knowledge. This causes the tingling sensations or numbness of hands, legs or feet.

If you notice any of the above signs of diabetes in yourself or your friends or relatives or children, schedule an appointment with the doctor. With appropriate tests they should be able to tell you if it is diabetes or not. Timely treatment of diabetes can help you stay in control and not allow diabetes to take over.

Sample diet for a type 2 diabetic patient means perfectly balanced food selection

Type 2 diabetic patients cannot use insulin properly resulting in abnormal blood glucose levels. This type of diabetes is more common in overweight people. So, in type 2 diabetes diet you should eat low fat foods, high fibers, fruits and vegetables. You can keep your blood sugar level under control with the help of proper diets.

In type 2 diabetes diet, control of carbohydrate intake is the main factor, because carbohydrates have a direct impact on the blood glucose levels than fats and proteins. In a perfect diet you should include suggested amount of carbohydrates. Milk, Bread and starches, Fruit and Starchy vegetables are carbohydrate containing food groups. High fibers in the diet help to lower the risks of heart disease, hypertension, obesity and strokes. To increase fiber intake in type 2 diet you have to include fresh fruits and vegetables, brown rice, whole grain products, and cooked dried beans. For type 2 diabetic diets select low-fat foods. Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure so always select low-sodium foods for type 2 diabetes diet. You have to avoid or limit high-sodium foods like canned meats, salt, canned vegetables, salad dressing, ketchup, mustard, pickled foods, salty snacks and soy sauce.

Diet is important while managing diabetes, but all diabetic diets have to be planned according to individual health and calorie requirements. You have to plan your daily meal according to your calorie requirements. A sample diet plan is: In breakfast include half large banana, one cup skim milk, two breads or 6 ounces of corn flakes along with a slice of toast. In lunch include two slices of breads, 2-3 ounces of meat like grilled chicken or sliced turkey breast and 2-3 ounces of vegetable salad. For evening snack you can select two to three ounces of vegetable salad and one slice of whole wheat bread with low fat cottage cheese. For dinner you can include one fruit, mixed vegetable salad with low-fat dressing, half cup pasta or rice and one cup milk (fat-free).

While planning a diet you should consider certain points as; choose the food as per calorie requirements, take the exact portion of food every day, do regular exercises with diet and take medication at the right times. For diabetic diet you have to limit salt, instead of that you can use herbs and spices. Spicy blend which you can use are 1 tbs. dry mustard, ¼ tsp. ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper, 2 ½ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. curry powder etc. You can also include herb seasoning like celery seed, basil leaves, dried dill weed, dried oregano leaves etc. Spicy items like cloves, paprika, pepper, coriander seed and rosemary.

Essential things for a type 2 diabetic diet are:
You should take balanced food with respect to protein, fats and carbohydrates. You should include sufficient caloric value. Always take regularly spaced meals of similar size. Foods in this diet should be high in fiber and low in fats. A type 2 diabetic patient should remember all these things while planning a diet.

Recipes for patients on renal diabetic diets

Recipes for patients on renal diabetic diets will help manage blood sugar level and reduce the amount of waste and fluid the kidneys process. It helps to lower the amounts of potassium, phosphorus, sodium and fluids, as well as it contains right amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Depending upon food content, dietitians plan a renal diabetic diet. To plan this diet from the recommended food list dietitians choose the food items according to the nature of renal diabetes. For renal diabetic diets the recommended food list is: noodles, rice, pasta, unsalted crackers, cornbread, dry cereals, fat-free milk, sugar free yogurt or pudding, etc. You can also include fruits like apple, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, grape fruit, plums, watermelon, pineapple and vegetables like green beans, okra, red and green peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, broccoli, onions, raw spinach etc. From meats and cheese food group recommended foods are; fish, seafood, eggs, cottage cheese, lean meat etc. This diet contains beverages like homemade tea (without sugar), lemonade with an artificial sweetener, diet clear soda, and water. Low fat mayonnaise, low fat sour cream, low fat cream cheese can be used in renal diet plan. An individualized diet may limit or include additional foods from these recommended foods.

Some recipes for a renal diabetic diet:
Rice-stuffed chicken: This can be done with ¾ cup uncooked rice, 4 lb roasted chicken, ½ cup chopped onion, 6 tbs. margarine, ½ tsp. sage. ¼ tsp. thyme, ½ cup chopped green pepper, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Cooke the rice without adding salt, melt 6 tbs. margarine and then add onion and green pepper in it. Mix the rice, sautéed onion and green peppers, sage, pepper and thyme. Stuff this mixture into the chicken and bake it at 325 degrees. Rice-stuffed chicken is ready to eat.

Potato salad: Ingredients are two cups cooked potatoes. ¼ cup diced celery and green peppers, two tbs. minced onion, 1/8 tsp. dry mustard powder, 1/8 tsp. regular horseradish, 2 tsp. vinegar, dash garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. pepper and ¾ cup mayonnaise.
First peel and cut the potatoes and soak in a large amount of water for two hours, then drain it and cook in water until tender. Mix cooked potatoes, celery, green peppers and onion. Make a mixture of horseradish, mustard, pepper, vinegar, garlic powder, and mayonnaise and pour it over the potatoes. Potato salad is ready.

Moon Pies: Ingredients are ½ cup milk, ½ cup margarine, one cup sugar, 2 tsp. lemon juice, one egg, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, two cups flour, one tsp. baking soda and ½ cup hot water. For icing use one tbs. milk, one cup confectioners’ sugar, two tbs. margarine and one tsp. vanilla extract. Add lemon juice to the milk and keep aside. Cream ½ margarine and sugar. Add egg and beat it, then add flour and cocoa, baking powder, and milk mixture alternately. Drop the mixture into cookie sheet and bake it at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. For icing mix all the icing ingredients and beat until creamy.

These are some recipes which you can use in the renal diabetic diet.

Product comparison of blood glucose monitoring systems shows each meter suitable for needs of separate people

Blood glucose monitoring systems are vital in diabetes management. There are several manufacturers of such glucose monitors like Abbott, Omnis, AgaMatrix, Roche, Bayers, etc who have developed very useful monitoring systems. If you have a product comparison of blood glucose monitoring systems you will find that each one has its own unique features and scores above another in some places while other one is better off in other areas.

Comparison of monitoring systems

Let’s have a comparison of the Companion monitors, Precision Xtra, WaveSense Keynote and FreeStyle Lite monitors.

Companion monitors are like all other monitors. However there is an additional features that makes it stand out and that is of the meter talking to your through every step and reading the results for you. As compared to this the Precision Xtra is a good monitoring system that does not have such a talk with you. However the best feature is that it allows you to use the same monitor and test strips to check blood glucose levels as well as ketone levels. Usually no other meter has such dual purpose. The WaveSense KeyNote is a very user friendly monitor which uses the WaveSense technology allowing it to provide extremely accurate results. The FreeStyle Lite monitors are virtually painless and so easy to use that you can test anytime, anywhere and in a matter of few minutes.

The blood sample size for the Companion is 1.0 micro liter, while that of Keynote is 0.5 micro liters. The Precision Xtra requires about 0.6 micro liter and the FreeStyle Lite requires extremely little amount of 0.3 micro liter.

The storage capacity for all these meters is also different. The FreeStyle Lite stores about 400 test results while Precision Xtra can store 450 test results. The WaveSense Keynote and Companion meters have capacity to store just about 300 test results.

The testing time also varies. The Companion takes about 6 seconds of test time while the Precision Xtra just needs 5 seconds. The WaveSense Keynote is marketed as being as fast as saying 1-2-3.

The Precision Xtra test strip design enables least interference from certain medication that the user may be taking. If the person is taking aspirin, acetaminophen or vitamin C then they would not affect the test results nor affect the accuracy of results. The Precision Xtra is extremely fast and tests B-ketone. The B-ketones are the most important ketone bodies that have to be checked and controlled in your blood system. The ketone test using this monitor is 3 times faster than before and requires 70% less blood. There is also a feature that enables you to easily upgrade to any new strip technology. The WaveSense is a great technology of a suite of digital signal processing and Dynamic ElectroChemistry technologies. This is why the results are extremely accurate.

In spite of these differences most monitors have approval for multi-site testing. However, all warn you to use finger tip testing for hypoglycemia patients. Most do not require coding. Thus the probability of errors is very low. With trigger systems or visual indicators you do not take erroneous blood samples which may mean loss of test strip.

The product comparison of blood glucose monitoring systems gives us an idea of the vast amount of developments in these meters and their use for regular monitoring as per your needs.

Maintaining normal blood glucose levels during pregnancy is necessary for the safety of baby and mother

High concentration of glucose in blood may cause diabetes. Insulin is the hormone that controls the amount of glucose in the blood at certain normal levels. But when it fails to keep levels in control it leads to high glucose levels and diabetes. When there is insufficient insulin or inability of insulin to respond to the glucose levels it may lead to Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Another type of diabetes is gestational diabetes that affects women during the pregnancy. It is often temporary and caused due to certain changes in the hormonal balance during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes may disappear after delivery. However, a woman suffering from gestational diabetes should ensure that she keeps normal blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Similarly a woman suffering from diabetes and pregnant should ensure that normal levels are maintained for the safety and health of self and child.

What is gestational diabetes?
Insulin is produced by the pancreas to keep the glucose levels in blood under control. During the pregnancy period, a woman’s body has plenty of insulin. But then what causes the levels to go beyond the normal blood glucose levels. The reason for this is that insulin gets partially blocked by a variety of other hormones causing a condition called as insulin resistance. The body produces several other hormones such as estrogen, cortisol and human placental lactogen which may have a blocking effect on insulin. So the body produces insulin in larger quantities and yet fails to be overcome their effect. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after delivery. In the second trimester as placenta grows the probability of gestational diabetes is more. It affects about 1 percent to 3 percent of all pregnant women.

Normal blood glucose levels during pregnancy
The target normal levels that are safe for you would be explained by your doctor depending upon your overall health and other conditions. Often in the first trimester the glucose levels may be a little higher. Typically normal levels during pregnancy that doctors expect are 60mg/dL to 90mg/dL before eating, less than 120mg/dL one hour after eating and the same after two hours after eating. Anything lower or higher requires immediate attention.

The most widely prescribed test is the oral glucose tolerance test. It is a series of blood glucose measurements to study the response of the body after you have taken a sugary liquid. It is considered most reliable in this period.

How would glucose levels affect the baby?
The effect on a woman with high blood sugar levels consistently during pregnancy is macrosomia. The size of the baby is considerably larger than normal size. This is because the fetus produces all insulin it needs to use the glucose that maternal blood provides. This causes large fat deposits leading to excessively large size of baby. There also exists the risk of hypoglycemia. After delivery the baby may continue to have high insulin level. However, it would not have the high level of sugar from its mother. This would cause lowering of blood sugar levels in newborns. The baby may be given glucose intravenously to bring it back to normal.

To maintain normal glucose levels during pregnancy women should undertake specific treatment that includes special diet, exercises, insulin injections and daily monitoring of glucose. It is of utmost importance for the safety and wellbeing of mother and the baby.