Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy

Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body cannot produce insulin which is an important hormone that helps the body to absorb glucose and turn it into energy. There are many types of diabetes, three of them are the most common, namely type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (also known as temporary diabetes that is recognized during pregnancy). The causes of diabetes vary according to the types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a medical condition, caused when the body fails to produce the beta cells which are the insulin producing cells. It is also known as idiopathic diabetes which results due to the deficiency of insulin. This condition is actually an autoimmune disorder in which the body fails to recognize the difference between the host and the guest cells and tissues. Thus, the body creates fighter cells to fight the guest cells that are actually its own cells that produce insulin. The exact cause is still unknown, but it is said to be genetic. Some rare causes also include several injuries to the pancreas due to trauma, intoxication and surgeries. In order to have a healthy and trouble free pregnancy it is very important to plan it and ensure your own well being as well as the health of the unborn baby.

In Relation to Pregnancy

It is often the case that women get to know they suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes during pregnancy itself. This makes further safeguards more difficult on the part of the health care providers. The key to having a trouble free pregnancy is by proper management of the disease. A recent study says that negligence in proper planning and initial care regarding pregnancy results in many inborn defects in the baby, most of them related to the mental health and the nervous system. Research also suggests that the number of stillbirths and deaths shortly after birth is four times higher amongst the diabetic mothers. A check on the following objectives might provide some help.

A1C Hemoglobin Test
During pregnancy, a woman must undergo the A1C hemoglobin test to be sure about the blood sugar levels. Try to maintain the A1C levels below 7 to 6 prior to conception. This will reduce the risks regarding miscarriages and premature births. Maintain an ideal blood glucose level and keep a check on it at least 4 times a day. In order to have a healthy pregnancy, it is very important to maintain a balance between diet, exercise and insulin levels.

Medical Examination
Diabetes mainly affects the kidneys and the eyes. You should do a proper assessment of the kidneys prior to and during your pregnancy. Retinopathy is an eye disease that is observed among the diabetic patients. You can avoid this condition with constant medical examinations. Another important test is the urine test. High protein levels in urine in a diabetic person may lead to high blood pressure that can affect the pregnancy. Make sure you visit your endocrinologist and obstetrician on a regular basis.

Take adequate amount of folic acid and such vitamins to avoid severe diseases and risks of neural tube defects in the unborn baby. Also take prenatal multivitamins and insulin doses after proper consultation with your dietitian and obstetrician. Regular pregnancy exercises and following a diabetic diet during pregnancy is also very important to avoid any complications in childbirth.

There is no need to get disappointed as many type 1 diabetic women have healthy babies with totally normal pregnancies. Diabetes experts suggest that adequate prenatal care and planning should be the primary goal. Obstetricians and endocrinologists play an important role in helping the mother-to-be. Proper planning prior to conception and management during pregnancy will make sure that you have a healthy baby and trouble free pregnancy. Take care!

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