About this disease
What it is about
Pregnancy is a stress test for the body's sugar metabolism: sugar is broken down more slowly and absorbed from the blood into the body's cells more slowly. Depending on individual predisposition, the cells become more or less insensitive to the sugar-lowering hormone insulin in the course of pregnancy. As a result, too much sugar is available in the blood of the mother and consequently also of the child. This can cause health problems for both.
Gestational diabetes typically occurs from the middle of pregnancy. However, depending on individual predisposition, it can develop earlier or only towards the end of pregnancy.
Symptoms and consequences
Gestational diabetes often does not manifest itself with the classic diabetes symptoms such as feeling very thirsty. Often an excessive weight gain of the mother or the child or an excessive amount of amniotic fluid is noticeable. Gestational diabetes can especially be a risk for infections, pregnancy poisoning, very heavy but immature children with problems during and after birth, malformations in the child, miscarriage and premature birth. Both mother and child are at increased risk for diabetes later in life.
What we do for you
Examination and diagnosis
We perform the recommended screening at about 26 weeks of pregnancy, in special risk situations already at twelve weeks of pregnancy. If gestational diabetes is diagnosed, further instructions and measurements are taken during diabetes or nutritional counseling. Subsequently, we closely monitor the pregnancy by ultrasound and, in the later course, by prenatal cardiotocography (heart labor curve).
Depending on the measured values and the age of the woman, normalization of blood glucose levels can be achieved with an adjustment of diet and exercise habits. If the pregnancy is far advanced or if blood glucose levels remain elevated despite adjustments to diet and exercise, insulin therapy must be started. In parallel, the growth of the child is well monitored by ultrasound and, in advanced pregnancy, also by cardiotocography.