Gestational Diabetes

Understanding Gestational Diabetes

While you may be familiar with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, there is a third type of diabetes that only affects pregnant women. Gestational diabetes develops when the hormones of the placenta trigger a buildup of excess sugar in the blood stream. If the body doesn’t accommodate for the extra sugar by producing more insulin to help break it down, blood sugar levels continue to rise. This is known as gestational diabetes, a condition that can cause serious risks for yourself and your baby without any noticeable symptoms.

The good news is that you’ll be given a routine test for gestational diabetes around 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. The test involves drinking a super sugary drink and having your blood drawn to measure your blood glucose levels. If you are positive for this initial test, your doctor may order a fasting blood glucose test to get a more accurate diagnosis.

Gestational Diabetes Can Be Managed

While the dangers of untreated gestational diabetes include serious complications like preeclampsia, preterm labor and excessive birth weight, most women who are diagnosed in a timely manner go on to have completely healthy pregnancies and babies. However, gestational diabetes will mean that you must closely monitor your blood sugar levels and control your condition with stricter guidelines in diet and exercise. Some pregnant women are also given medications to control their high blood sugar levels. It is critically important that you listen to your physician and follow any instructions for monitoring your condition throughout your pregnancy.

Are You at Risk

Gestational diabetes can happen to any woman during pregnancy. However, those who have the following are at a higher risk:

• Family history of diabetes
• Gestational diabetes in previous pregnancy
• Overweight prior to pregnancy
• African-American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American
• Over the age of 30
• Previous birth of baby weighing over 9.5 lbs

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, it does not mean that you will always suffer from diabetes. In fact, most women find that their blood sugar issues dissipate on their own after delivery. Your doctor may want to test your blood sugar during your postpartum period to confirm the gestational diabetes is resolved.

For more questions about glucose tolerance tests during pregnancy or what it means to have gestational diabetes, please contact our team at North Pointe OB/GYN in Cumming.


You Might Also Enjoy...

Body Odor and the Aging Woman

Aging comes with many positive attributes, such as wisdom, maturity and experience. Unfortunately, aging is also associated with some unwanted changes on the physical body. For women, however, wrinkles, weight gain and gray hair are not the only concerns.

Pelvic Pain

While it is fairly common in women, a sharp or noticeable pain in the pelvic region is difficult to dismiss. Not all pelvic pain is serious or warrants immediate treatment. However, whether it is a chronic discomfort or an acute sharp twinge,

The Link Between Stress and Women’s Health

For today’s woman, stress is all too familiar. In fact, since 2007, the American Psychological Association’s annual ‘Stress in America’ survey has found that women consistently report higher levels of stress than men.

What You Need To Know About Emergency Contraception Pills

You have probably heard about emergency contraception pills (or the “morning after pill”), but do you have a clear understanding of how they work? Educating yourself now, rather than in a desperate moment, can help you make a more informed decision...