Gestational diabetes is a condition of insulin resistance. Insulin Resistance is defined as a condition in which the body either produces insulin in inadequate quantities or is unable to utilize the produced insulin inefficiently. It involves a combination of relatively inadequate insulin secretion and responsiveness, similar to type 2 diabetes mellitus. This type of diabetes can develop at any time during pregnancy and usually resolves after delivery. Elevated blood sugar levels are found in individuals who are not diabetic before pregnancy.
This type of diabetes typically develops in the third trimester and increases perinatal morbidity and mortality. Perinatal mortality and morbidity includes cases of death of or illness in the newly born child, which occur immediately before or after the child’s birth. The proper diagnosis and management of this condition may improve pregnancy outcomes. After parturition, most of the patients return to a normal glycemic state.
In about 2%-5% of all pregnancies, this gestational diabetes is expected to occur, and it can improve or disappear after delivery. Inmost of the cases, it resolves after parturition. Gestational diabetes is fully treatable, but individuals suffering from the same are more prone to Type-2 diabetes. About 20%~50% of individuals with gestational diabetes develop Type-2 Diabetes later.
If gestational diabetes is untreated it causes damage to the fetus and the mother health. The baby may have high birth weight (macrosomia), malformations of skeletal muscle, congenital cardiac and central nervous system anomalies. Increased insulin is fatal as it may cause red blood cell destruction. This process is also known as Hyperbilirubinemia. It may also lead to respiratory distress syndrome.