Pregnant women face health concerns that most people never consider. One
of these conditions is known as gestational diabetes. It is a specific
form of diabetes limited to pregnant women, and it is one of the most
common pregnancy health problems a woman can have. According to a CDC
report, up to 10% of pregnant women deal with gestational diabetes.
During pregnancy, the body releases hormones that aid with the growth and
development of your child. While these hormones are beneficial to your
child, some of them can make your blood more insulin-resistant. Insulin
is the hormone that retrieves sugar from your bloodstream and turns it
into energy. Without insulin, the blood becomes saturated with sugar,
leading to gestational diabetes.
When Does Gestational Diabetes Develop?
Gestational diabetes usually shows up in the later stages of pregnancy,
after your baby’s body has developed. As a result, it rarely ever
results in birth defects. However, without treatment, it can lead to long-term
health problems for your baby, including obesity and a higher likelihood
of developing type-2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes can also result in long-term effects for the mother.
Usually, gestational diabetes will go away on its own shortly after giving
birth. However, once a mother has had it, she is much more likely to have
it again during another pregnancy. In addition, she is more likely to
develop type-2 diabetes later in life.
What Are the Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes?
This condition has no symptoms—that’s why it is important to
get diabetic screening and urine tests periodically during your pregnancy.
Your physician will likely test you for gestational diabetes 24 weeks
into your pregnancy. The test will check your blood sugar levels. If your
levels are too high, your insulin resistance will also be tested.
Signs that you are at a high risk for gestational diabetes include:
- High blood pressure
- A BMI in excess of 30
- A family history of diabetes
- Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
- Previously giving birth to a baby in excess of 8.8125 pounds
If any of these risk apply to you, be sure to let your doctor know that
you would like to take precautions to prevent gestational diabetes. While
many women have had this condition without harming themselves or their
baby, being as healthy as possible can prevent other, more severe complications.
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician.
If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should
consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.