What is Gestational Diabetes?
Definition of Gestational Diabetes: Diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes currently affects up to 10 percent of pregnancies in the United States and new diagnosis criteria will likely increase the rate, according to the NIH. Gestational diabetes can cause complications for mother and infant. Below is a brief overview of the causes, symptoms and treatments, plus links to more information.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes means a woman cannot make or use enough insulin to regulate her blood sugar levels. The exact cause is unknown, but it may have to do with the placenta producing hormones which happen to interfere with the function of insulin in the mother. Risk factors include:
- Mother's age older than 25
- Family history of diabetes
- Being overweight
- Having had gestational diabetes before
Is Gestational Diabetes Contagious?No.
Signs & Symptoms: Most women do not have symptoms. Doctors usually find gestational diabetes through screenings.
Treatment & Remedies: A meal plan, a doctor-approved exercise routine and, if necessary, insulin can treat gestational diabetes. A dietician can help design a meal plan that meets your calorie needs and controls blood sugar. Taking insulin will not affect the baby, according to the NIH.
- Gestational diabetes usually goes away after birth, but it puts the mother and child at a higher risk of developing diabetes later in life.
- Uncontrolled gestational diabetes may cause high blood pressure in the mother and very large babies. Both can complicate delivery.
- Uncontrolled gestational diabetes may cause breathing problems or low blood sugar in a newborn.
Sources and More Information:
- Gestational Diabetes: Details from MyHealthNewsDaily
- Related Information from the Mayo Clinic
- Related Information from the National Institutes of Health
- Related Information from the American Diabetes Association
This information is not meant to provide specific medical advice. It is for educational purposes only. We recommend you consult a qualified health care professional for diagnoses and treatment advice, and call 9-1-1 in emergencies.
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