What You Need to Know About Gestational Diabetes

gestational diabetes

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  • Gestational diabetes happens when the pancreas cannot keep up with the higher demand for insulin
  • Pregnant women usually develop gestational diabetes, although they eventually go back to normal once the baby is born

During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes drastic changes, from hormone levels to physical growth. Because of these changes, they are usually exposed to higher risks of developing numerous conditions, one of which is diabetes – also known specifically as gestational diabetes.

Why Are Pregnant Women at Risk for Developing Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes happens when the pancreas cannot keep up with the higher demand for insulin.1 Because of the compromised insulin or sugar levels in the blood, this condition can lead to numerous detrimental effects on both the mother and the unborn child.

Pregnant women usually develop gestational diabetes, although they eventually go back to normal once the baby is born. This is because the female body is wired to become mildly insulin resistant during pregnancy to nourish the baby with enough glucose.

Keep These Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors in Mind

If you're pregnant, there are numerous factors that should be taken into consideration to ensure that you and your child are at peak health. For gestational diabetes, some of the risk factors that you should keep an eye out for include:

Weight — Pregnant women usually gain weight during pregnancy, aside from the weight of the unborn child. While this is fairly normal, excessive weight gain during the first trimester can increase the risk for gestational diabetes. Rapid weight gain can also promote insulin resistance.2

Age — Studies show that the risk for gestational diabetes progressively increases if the mother is 25 years old or older.3

Genetic factors — Patients who belong to a family with a history of Type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.4

Race — Studies show that American minorities have a higher risk for developing this condition, with South Asians having the highest percentage of mothers who suffer from gestational diabetes.5

Poor diet — During pregnancy, it is normal to feel cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. However, if you relent to these cravings, you may be compromising your health by overloading on sources of glucose.

If not controlled, a  poor diet will not only lead to gestational diabetes, but may also compromise you and your child's metabolic health.6

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) — This condition affects about 5 to 10 percent of women in the United States.7 It causes patients to have abnormally high levels of blood glucose. Doctors and obstetricians usually recommend screening before the 20th week of pregnancy to make sure that you are not affected.8

Read These Articles to Know More About Gestational Diabetes

If you fall under any of the risk factors mentioned above, it is best that you monitor your health and be extra cautious with your pregnancy. It is best that you acquire enough information to know how to prevent or how to manage gestational diabetes early on in your pregnancy or even before you try to conceive.

Read these articles if you think you are at risk to help you prevent or deal with gestational diabetes. This will not only ensure that you are in peak health, but will also guarantee the safety of both you and your unborn child's safety.

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