Gestational Diabetes

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Children who are exposed to high blood glucose in the womb are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Gestational diabetes can develop when a woman is pregnant. Pregnant women make hormones that can lead to insulin resistance. All women have insulin resistance late in their pregnancy. If the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin during pregnancy, a woman develops gestational diabetes.

Overweight or obese women have a higher chance of gestational diabetes. Also, gaining too much weight during pregnancy may increase your likelihood of developing gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes most often goes away after the baby is born. However, a woman who has had gestational diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies born to mothers who had gestational diabetes are also more likely to develop obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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What causes gestational diabetes?

During pregnancy, the mother’s body makes special hormones and goes through other changes, such as weight gain. Because of these changes, her body’s cells don’t use insulin well, resulting in a condition called insulin resistance. All pregnant women have some insulin resistance during late pregnancy. Most pregnant women can produce enough insulin to overcome insulin resistance, but some cannot. These women develop gestational diabetes.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Gestational diabetes often has no symptoms, or they may be mild, such as being thirstier than normal or having to urinate more often. Therefore regular checkup with the doctor must be maintained. The doctor will decide on when and how to conduct the tests.

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Management & Treatment

Managing gestational diabetes includes following a healthy eating plan and being physically active. If eating plan and physical activity aren’t enough to keep blood glucose in the target range, insulin may be needed if suggested by the doctor.

Preventing Gestational Diabetes

Chance of getting gestational diabetes can be lowered by losing extra weight before getting pregnant if the person is overweight. Being physically active before and during pregnancy also may help prevent gestational diabetes.

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