Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy – Symptoms, Risks and Management

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a medical condition in which our body is unable to control the level of sugar in the blood properly. As our body doesn’t produce the required amount of insulin to control the sugar level, we suffer from diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a severe diabetes mellitus, an autoimmune condition in which our body requires insulin daily as the lack of insulin increases the sugar level in blood and urine. Basically, this is insulin dependent diabetes.

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Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy

Whether you have conceived or are trying to conceive and you are suffering from Type 1 diabetes, it becomes very necessary to treat diabetes so that you have a healthy pregnancy. Treating diabetes at the right time helps to control your blood sugar level and protects your baby from any kind of adverse effects.

Symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurred vision

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Risks

Women suffering from Type 1 diabetes before or after conceiving may suffer from miscarriage. There are a few risks to the unborn baby, as well if the mother is suffering from Type 1 diabetes which are as follows:

  • Macrosomia: Also known as fetal obesity, macrosomia is a medical condition in which the baby grows too large making it difficult for vaginal delivery. Due to the size of the baby, it may get hurt during the delivery process.
  • Growth restriction: The baby may not grow at the normal rate if the mother is suffering from Type 1 diabetes.
  • Growth acceleration: The baby may grow at a faster rate than the normal development.
  • Birth defects: A baby born to the mother suffering from diabetes may suffer from a variety of birth defects.

Management

During pregnancy, Type 1 diabetes could be managed effectively if the mother-to-be follows some rules. Here are some tips to keep the glucose level controlled.

  • Meal planning: You should plan your meal and maintain proper timings of meals throughout the day. You should eat three meals which should be small and around one to three snacks on a daily basis.
  • Include fibre: Have balanced fibre intake in the form of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
  • Avoid sweets: Avoid having sweets or items containing sugar.
  • Do physical activity: You should engage yourself in different types of mild physical activity like walking, swimming etc.
  • Check glucose level frequently: Monitor the glucose level frequently as it will help you to know that your blood sugar level is normal or not. In addition, keep a proper record of the test results. It will help you to compare the level on each test.
  • Take insulin: Some women may need extra insulin to keep the glucose level normal. In that case, you have to take insulin as recommended by your doctor which is not harmful to your baby.

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Images courtesy:

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/

http://www.diabetes.co.uk/

http://www.pid-project.eu/

 

 

 

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