Injectable and Oral Medications for Gestational Diabetes
What is gestational diabetes (GD)?
It is a metabolic disorder that occurs during pregnancy. This condition usually results in high blood glucose that disappears after delivery. Gestational diabetes can develop at any stage of pregnancy, but is more common during the second half of pregnancy. If you have GD, you can still deliver a healthy newborn baby if you get the help required from doctors and you properly manage your blood sugar through exercise, healthy food, and medication. Even though diabetes during pregnancy disappears after giving birth, you are more likely to get type 2 diabetes in the future.
Causes of diabetes during pregnancy
When you are pregnant, the placenta can make hormones that cause your blood glucose to rise. When this happens, the body will stimulate the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin works by regulating blood glucose levels to prevent it from rising to dangerous levels. Without insulin, your blood glucose levels can rise, leading to gestational diabetes. The risk of getting diabetes during pregnancy increases when you are overweight before you became pregnant. Also, if you come from a family with history of diabetes or your blood glucose levels are high, you are at more risk of getting GD.
When it comes to gestational diabetes, prevention is always better than curing. GD may disappear after giving birth, but it increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Also, if you are diagnosed with GD and it is poorly managed, it could lead to birth complications like delivering a baby with excessive weight. Therefore, the best thing to do is to prevent getting GD in the first place. The following are lifestyle changes that can help you prevent diabetes during pregnancy.
Lose weight before pregnancy
It is not recommended for you to lose weight while you are pregnant. However, if you are planning to become pregnant, losing a few pounds is beneficial for a healthy pregnancy.
Eating healthy foods can help ensure you maintain a normal weight. Go for foods that are rich in fiber and contain low calories and fat. Also make sure you check your portion sizes.
Stay physically active
Moderate exercise of at least 30 minutes daily, before and during pregnancy, can help prevent the chance of getting gestational diabetes.
Medications for gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes can be treated through healthy diet and regular exercise. However, if diet and exercise fail to keep your blood glucose level within the appropriate level, you may need to use medications. Insulin injections are normally prescribed to women with GD. You can take a rapid-acting insulin, such as Novolog or Humalog, that should be administered before you eat. Alternatively, you can use a long-acting insulin, such as Lantus, to help control the level of your blood sugar when you go to sleep. The amount of insulin you will need will vary depending on your weight and the date you are expecting to give birth. If you are approaching near your delivery date, you may need to take a higher amount of insulin. Oral diabetes drugs, like metformin and glyburide, can also be used to treat GD.
Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.