Gestational Diabetes

Women are said to have gestational diabetes if they have high blood sugar level during pregnancy but have never had diabetes before. American Diabetes Association said that there are 135,000 such cases in the Unites States each year. It affects about 4% of the all pregnant women.

It is still not clear the cause of the disease, but we have some clues. Hormones from placenta support the development of the baby but it also block action of insulin in the mother’s body. This is called insulin resistance. Usually, it happens at the later stage of the pregnancy when the baby grows most.

Hurts Both Mother & Baby

The disease can hurt both the mother and baby. Extra blood sugar goes through the placenta and provides the baby more energy than required. It will be stored as fat and can lead to macrosomia, or “fat baby”. More insulin will be produced by baby’s pancreas and the baby will have low blood sugar level at birth. Baby will be at higher risk of breathing problem, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Treatments of the disease include special meal plan, physical activities and insulin injection.

Gestational Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

Pregnancy uncovers or type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Most women have their blood glucose level go back to normal after pregnancy. However, it is difficult to tell whether they have the disease or start to have diabetes during pregnancy.

Women with the disease have chance of 2 in 3 that they will have it again in future pregnancy. Many women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes in later year. Therefore you have to be careful and may need to continue the treatment after the pregnancy. You may also change some of your basic lifestyle to prevent diabetes, like lose weight, exercising and balanced healthy food choices.

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