Gestational Diabetes Expert in Perumbakkam

Your Trusted Partner in Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a condition marked by high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, potentially leading to complications for both mother and baby if not managed properly. Our facility provides thorough screening, monitoring, and personalized management strategies to ensure optimal health outcomes for expectant mothers with gestational diabetes.

Understanding Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes (GD) is a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels that develop during pregnancy. Normally, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels by allowing glucose to enter cells to be used as energy. During pregnancy, the body’s insulin needs increase to accommodate the growing baby. However, in some women, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to meet this increased demand, leading to elevated blood sugar levels.

Gestational diabetes (GD) can be classified into two primary types based on its underlying mechanisms:

  1. Insulin Deficient Gestational Diabetes:

    • This type of gestational diabetes occurs when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas fail to produce enough insulin to meet the increased demands of pregnancy.
    • Insulin deficiency can be due to autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells (similar to Type 1 diabetes) or other factors affecting insulin production.
    • Women with this type of gestational diabetes may require insulin therapy to manage their blood sugar levels effectively throughout pregnancy.
  2. Insulin Resistant Gestational Diabetes:

    • Insulin resistance characterizes this type of gestational diabetes, where the body’s cells do not respond effectively to insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels.
    • Pregnancy hormones, particularly those produced by the placenta, contribute to insulin resistance, making it more difficult for insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
    • Overweight or obese women are more likely to develop insulin resistance, as excess adipose tissue can further exacerbate insulin resistance.
    • Management of insulin resistant gestational diabetes typically involves lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes, physical activity, and possibly medications like metformin to improve insulin sensitivity.

Gestational diabetes mellitus” (GDM) and “gestational diabetes” are terms often used interchangeably to refer to the same condition: the development of high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Both terms describe the condition where a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before pregnancy develops elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy. So, in short, both terms essentially refer to the same condition of elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy, with “gestational diabetes mellitus” highlighting the diabetic nature of the condition during gestation.

Causes of Gestational Diabetes

Hormonal ChangesDuring pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that help sustain the pregnancy. Some of these hormones, such as estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen, can interfere with insulin action, leading to insulin resistance. As a result, the body may require more insulin to regulate blood sugar levels effectively.

Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, preventing glucose from entering cells efficiently. Pregnancy naturally induces insulin resistance to ensure an adequate supply of glucose for the growing fetus. However, in some women, this insulin resistance becomes more pronounced, leading to gestational diabetes.

Pancreatic Insufficiency: In some cases, the pancreas may not be able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance associated with pregnancy. This can result from factors such as preexisting pancreatic dysfunction or insufficient adaptation to the increased demands of pregnancy.

Genetic Predisposition: A family history of diabetes, particularly gestational diabetes, can increase the risk of developing the condition. Genetic factors may influence insulin sensitivity and pancreatic function, contributing to the development of gestational diabetes.

Maternal Obesity: Excess body weight, especially before pregnancy, is a significant risk factor for gestational diabetes. Obesity is closely linked to insulin resistance and can exacerbate the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, increasing the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes.

Advanced Maternal Age: Women over the age of 25, particularly those over 35, have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. Advanced maternal age is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and pancreatic function, increasing the likelihood of insulin resistance and gestational diabetes.

Ethnicity: Certain ethnic groups, including Hispanic, African American, Native American, Asian American, and Pacific Islander women, have a higher prevalence of gestational diabetes compared to other racial or ethnic groups. Genetic and environmental factors may contribute to this increased risk.

Previous History of Gestational Diabetes: Women who have previously experienced gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy are at higher risk of developing the condition in subsequent pregnancies. This suggests that underlying factors contributing to gestational diabetes may persist beyond pregnancy.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes:


Lifestyle Modifications:

  • Healthy Diet: Following a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Regular Physical Activity: Engaging in regular exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga, can improve insulin sensitivity and help manage blood sugar levels.
  • Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control.
  • Blood Sugar Monitoring: Regularly monitoring blood sugar levels at home using a glucometer helps track changes and adjust lifestyle modifications accordingly.


  • Insulin Therapy: Some women may require insulin injections to control blood sugar levels if lifestyle modifications alone are insufficient.
  • Oral Medications: In some cases, oral medications such as metformin may be prescribed to help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

Non-Surgical Treatments:

  • Nutritional Counseling: Working with a registered dietitian can help develop personalized meal plans and provide guidance on carbohydrate counting and portion control.
  • Diabetes Education: Attending diabetes education classes can help women learn about gestational diabetes management, including blood sugar monitoring, medication management, and lifestyle modifications.
  • Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM): CGM devices can provide real-time monitoring of blood sugar levels, allowing for more precise management of gestational diabetes.

Surgical Intervention:

  • Cesarean Delivery (C-section): In cases where gestational diabetes increases the risk of complications during delivery, such as macrosomia (large baby) or shoulder dystocia (difficulty delivering the shoulders), a cesarean delivery may be recommended to reduce these risks.
Frequently Asked Question on Gestational Diabetes
How is gestational diabetes diagnosed?

Gestational diabetes is typically diagnosed through a glucose challenge test (GCT) followed by a glucose tolerance test (GTT) if the GCT results are elevated.

What are the risks associated with gestational diabetes?

Untreated gestational diabetes can increase the risk of complications such as preeclampsia, macrosomia (large birth weight), preterm birth, and future development of type 2 diabetes for both the mother and the baby.

Can gestational diabetes be prevented?

While gestational diabetes cannot always be prevented, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, balanced diet, and weight management, can help reduce the risk.

How is gestational diabetes managed during pregnancy?

Gestational diabetes is managed through lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise, regular blood sugar monitoring, and sometimes insulin therapy or oral medications if needed.

Can gestational diabetes affect the baby?

Yes, gestational diabetes can lead to complications for the baby, including macrosomia, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) after birth, respiratory distress syndrome, and an increased risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.

How is gestational diabetes managed during labor and delivery?

During labor and delivery, blood sugar levels are closely monitored, and insulin therapy may be adjusted as needed to maintain optimal blood sugar control. In some cases, a cesarean delivery may be recommended to reduce the risk of complications.

Does gestational diabetes go away after pregnancy?

In most cases, gestational diabetes resolves after childbirth. However, women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and should undergo regular screening for diabetes in the postpartum period.