Did you know that one in ten pregnancies worldwide have been reported to have diabetes?

What if you are also one of them from diabetes?

Untreated or inadequately treated gestational diabetes could lead to severe maternal and fetal complications.

As a healthy diet and exercise won’t suffice to control that, sometimes insulin is needed to help you manage GD.

What is Gestational Diabetes Cause, Prevention, and Treatment

It can lead to health complications for you and your unborn child if you don’t get proper treatment in time. Wait, you are not well familiar with gestational diabetes? Worry not; this article is just meant for you.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs for the first time during pregnancy when blood sugar level get too high. It is also called gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Government reports hint how it develops in the middle of pregnancy during the 24th and 28th week. The condition appears because of the pregnancy.[1]

But you must be thinking then what’s the need to cure it?

  • If not managed properly, it could cause serious health issues and there are slight chances of having your child developing diabetes after delivery.
  • It leads to high blood sugar that in the long run could lead to another disease and problem for your baby’s health.
  • It needs to be cured. as leaving it untreated means you have high chances of having type 2 diabetes in the future.

How common is Gestational Diabetes ?

The likelihood of having gestational diabetes is significantly higher in Indian women.

Reports suggest that one in every five women is likely to have temporary diabetes during pregnancy.

According to press reports, the overall incidence of GDM in India is so common they are around 10.3% and 14.3% due to its high frequency.

Due to typical lifestyle, Indian women are at an 11-fold increased risk of GDM. [2]

Factors like segregation, lifestyle, and increased fat in young girls also increase the risk of Gestational Diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes Causes 

Some factor could lead to this condition are:

  • Genes and being overweight (a BMI greater than 25)
  • Excess weight before pregnancy 
  • Hormone levels change
  • Insulin resistance by body due to prior disease
  • Being diagnosed with preeclampsia, a pregnancy-specific disease that causes high blood pressure

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms

Some noticeable signs of the Gestational Diabetes could be these 

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting (not related to pregnancy)
  • Weight loss
  • Increased rate of infections (specially in urinary bladder and vagina)
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Thirst
  • Tiredness

Risk factors

Following people are at more risk of having gestational diabetes

  • High blood pressure
  • Personal or family history of GD
  • Have had an unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Were overweight 
  • Not physically active
  • Are expecting multiple babies
  • Have had GD in the past
  • Have insulin resistance
  • Heart disease
  • Have PCOS
  • Prediabetes history in family


Untreated gestational diabetes could lead to high blood sugar level then it should be during pregnancy.

It can lead to multiple complications for you and your baby’s health.

Complications that you have to face could be one of these:

  • Preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy)
  • perinatal depression
  • Birth before the expected timeframe
  • Stillbirth ( birth without signs of life)
  • cesarean delivery (C-section) if the fetus gets too big
  • Type 2 diabetes

Complications that can affect your newborn baby health could be:

  • High Birth Weight (nine pounds or more)
  • Shoulder dystocia (Difficulty during childbirth when shoulder got stuck)
  • Premature birth
  • Breathing problems (respiratory distress syndrome)
  • Low blood sugar 
  • Jaundice
  • Obesity

To avoid these complications, take the preventive steps beforehand

Prevention of Gestational Diabetes

The preventive steps that you can take to manage your gestational diabetes are the following:

Pre Pregnancy:

  • Start early: Follow  a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy.
  • Be Active: If you’re inactive, regardless of whether or not you are overweight, you should also work toward regular physical activity at least 3 times a week, this helps boost your natural immunity and regulates blood glucose metabolism. [3]
  • Consider weight loss: Seek Doctor’s guidance for moderate weight.
  • Have a healthy meal: Emphasis on nutrient-rich  diet includes vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • Seek Dietitian: During early pregnancy dietitian could choose the best diet for you. 
  • Blood sugar monitoring: Keep visiting doctors for regular checkups. Ask them for the exercise that is safe during pregnancy.
  • Follow a regular exercise routine: Losing even a few kilos of weight can make a huge difference in decreasing the risk of gestational diabetes. [4]

During Pregnancy:

Already diagnosed with gestational diabetes in previous pregnancy:

  • Seek a doctor
  • Perform early screening to identify risk factors of having it  and ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.
  • Run tests in your first trimester and perform routine blood tests, including testing for gestational diabetes, in the second trimester.
  • Don’t try to lose weight until a doctor suggests it.
  • Don’t miss your  checkups and follow a doctor’s recommended treatment plan. 
  • Have a balanced diet and perform regular exercise under doctor jurisdiction.

What if preventive measures fail and you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes?

You may need checkups more often especially during the last three months of pregnancy so that your healthcare provider can monitor your blood sugar level and baby’s health.

Treatment for Gestational Diabetes

Treatment of gestational diabetes depends on your blood sugar levels throughout the day. Depending on the sugar level, it can be ascertained whether regular exercise and change in diet will suffice or if you need to consult a doctor or need medication.

Regular Exercise is Key to Keep Healthy:

Even mild and short walks after meals can make a difference to help keep your blood glucose level in check. Several studies have shown that regular exercise reduces the risk of diabetes. In case if a person is diabetic, regular exercise can go a long way in controlling blood sugar level and

Follow a Healthy and Wholesome Diet Plan:

What changes could I make in my diet for gestational diabetes?

  • Eat smaller meals/small bites more often
  • Avoid processed foods, junk food, and sugary drinks
  • Pay special attention to the kind of carbohydrate, protein, fiber and fat intake you are having

What to include in a daily meal, if one is suffering from gestational diabetes?

Some women need to take insulin to manage gestational diabetes.

However most women can keep their blood sugar levels under check by doing regular exercise and making slight changes in the diet.


Health-promoting carbohydrate choices can include:

  • Whole grains
  • Beans, peas, lentils, and other legumes
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Low sugar fruits

However, avoiding eating complex carbohydrates over simple ones as they digested more slowly, are less likely to produce high blood sugar.


The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein may vary as individuals need it.

Good sources of protein can include:

  • lean meats
  • poultry
  • fish


Include the following Health-promoting fats in your diet as they can provide necessary vitamins and minerals to your body.

  • Unsalted nuts
  • Seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado

Most individuals can keep their blood sugar levels under control  by simply doing regular exercise and eating healthy diet.

However if they don’t work some people need to have medication like insulin.

Also read our post on best foods to eat and foods to avoid if you are a diabetic for more details.

Can Ayurvedic and Natural Herbs Cure Gestational Diabetes?

Many herbs are used in Ayurveda to control diabetes. Karela, Neem, Tulsi, Gudmar, Vijaysar,  Shilajit, Jamun, Amra Beej, Ashwagandha, and Keeda Jadi can help in improving overall health by controlling blood sugar.

These can be used expertly in the management of gestational diabetes. It can help control diabetes in a natural way and improve overall health.

Medicines for Gestational Diabetes:

Recent studies also highlighted how options like Metformin and glyburide can be safe and effective alternatives for treating gestational diabetes.[5]

Metformin Purpose: Treats type 2 diabetes, especially in overweight individuals.
Forms: Available as a liquid, tablet, and extended-release tablet.
Take the liquid with meals once or twice a day.
Take it with meals to get the best benefits.
Dr Madhu AmritPurpose: Diabetes management and overall well being.
Forms: Powders and Tablet
1 capsule in the evening with water.
1 teaspoon, twice a day before meals. On daily basis
GlyburidePurpose: Manages type 2 diabetes by prompting the pancreas to release more insulin.
Usage: Can be used alone or with other medications like metformin.

Glyburide is often combined with other diabetes medications but should not be used alone for type 1 diabetes.
Ayush 82Purpose: Developed by CCRAS under the aegis of Ministry of Ayush, using only indigenous herbs and clinically tested for effectiveness in blood sugar control and diabetes management.
Form: Tablets
Take 2 tablets 30 minutes before meals, 3 times a day

However, If you do need to use insulin to control your diabetes, it’s important to take it exactly as prescribed or consult a medical practitioner.


It’s not possible to prevent gestational diabetes entirely. But For a healthier delivery and to lower the risk of having gestational diabetes, focus on a good lifestyle from the beginning.

If you are  overweight or obese, consider talking with a doctor about ways to safely lose weight while preparing for a pregnancy.

Furthermore, it’s important to seek prenatal care and attend all doctor sessions to get the necessary screenings during pregnancy.