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Gestational Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels Too High

Mothers' High Normal Blood Sugar Levels Place Infants At Risk For Birth Problems

Mothers' High Normal Blood Sugar Levels Place Infants At Risk For Birth Problems

Pregnant women with blood sugar levels in the higher range of normal — but not high enough to be considered diabetes — are more likely than women with lower blood sugar levels to give birth to babies at risk for many of the same problems seen in babies born to women with diabetes during pregnancy, according to a study funded in large part by the National Institutes of Health. These problems included a greater likelihood for Caesarean delivery and an abnormally large body size at birth. Infants born to women with higher blood sugar levels were also at risk for shoulder dystocia, a condition occurring during birth, in which an infant’s shoulder becomes lodged inside the mother's body, effectively halting the birth process. The study authors declined to make recommendations for acceptable blood sugar levels for pregnant women. The researchers were unable to identify a precise level where an elevation in blood sugar increased the risk for any of the outcomes observed in the study. Rather, the chances for the outcomes were observed to increase gradually, corresponding with increases in the women’s blood sugar levels. It is well known that high blood sugar levels characteristic of the diabetes that occurs during pregnancy present risks for expectant mothers and the infants born to them. The current study is the first to document that higher blood sugar levels, not high enough to be considered diabetes, also convey these increased risks. Furthermore, when the researchers mathematically adjusted for other potential causes of these risks — such as older maternal age, obesity, and high blood pressure — the increased risks due to higher blood sugar levels were still present. "These important new findings highlight the risks of elevated blood sugar levels during pregnan Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman has high levels of glucose in her blood. High blood glucose is caused because the mother can’t produce enough insulin (a pregnant woman’s insulin needs are two to three times that of normal). There are two reasons why the mother needs more insulin: Because pregnancy causes certain types of hormones (that are made by the placenta) to be released. These hormones make it harder for insulin to do its job Because the growth demands of the foetus (developing baby) increases the mother’s need for insulin Unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes is only temporary and usually disappears after pregnancy. However, a woman who has had gestational diabetes has an increased risk (50-60%) of developing type 2 diabetes in the future; therefore they should be tested for type 2 diabetes each year. Why insulin is important Insulin is a natural hormone produced by the body. It is needed to take the sugar from your blood and move it into your cells (where it is used as an energy source for the various things that cells have to do). If your body cannot make enough insulin, sugars from the foods you eat will stay in your blood stream and cause high blood sugars. High blood sugar levels are known as hyperglycaemia. What can gestational diabetes do to me and my child? The risks to you include: An increased chance of needing a caesarean section to deliver your baby An increased chance of developing HOP (toxaemia or pregnancy induced hypertension and protein in the urine) An increased chance of getting urinary tract infections The risks to your baby include: Being very fat and large at birth. Babies who are too large or fat at birth have a much higher risk of developing serious problems following their birth Having their shoul Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes (gd)

Gestational Diabetes (gd)

What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes (GD) happens when you have too much sugar (glucose) in your blood during pregnancy. Your blood sugar levels can go up when your body isn’t producing enough of a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps: the cells in your body to get energy from blood sugar your body to store any blood sugar that isn’t needed During pregnancy, hormones make it harder for your body to use insulin efficiently. So your body has to make extra insulin, especially from mid-pregnancy onwards. If your body can't make enough extra insulin, your blood sugar levels will rise and you may develop GD. Having too much sugar in your blood can cause problems for you and your baby, so you’ll have extra care during your pregnancy. On average, GD affects one mum-to-be in 20. GD goes away after your baby is born, because it's a condition that's only caused by pregnancy. The other types of diabetes, which are not caused by pregnancy, are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Some women have diabetes, without realising it, before they become pregnant. If this happens to you, it will be diagnosed as GD during your pregnancy. What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes? You probably won't notice any symptoms if you have GD. That's why you'll be monitored by your midwife, and offered a test if she thinks you're at risk. GD symptoms are like normal pregnancy symptoms, and easy to miss. By the time you have clear symptoms, your blood sugar levels may be worryingly high (hyperglycaemia) . Symptoms of hyperglycaemia include: feeling more thirsty needing to wee more often than usual having a dry mouth feeling more tired getting recurring infections, such as thrush, and UTIs having blurred vision If you have any of these symptoms, tell your midwife or doctor straig Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes: High Blood Sugar In Pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes: High Blood Sugar In Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes: high blood sugar in pregnancy Gestational diabetes affects about six per cent of pregnancies in Canada. Like type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes is a condition in which the body has trouble making or using a hormone called insulin, which is produced in the pancreas. Insulin controls blood sugar levels, so insufficient insulin can lead to high blood sugar. When those levels are too high, it poses risks for the baby. “Because gestational diabetes only comes up in the second half of pregnancy after all the organs have formed, the main risk is that the baby overgrows,” says Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, director of the Centre for Integrated Diabetes Care at Women’s College Hospital (WCH). “The baby grows too much because they have to secrete more insulin in order to get those sugars down, and insulin is a growth factor.” Large babies have increased risks for complicated deliveries, such as difficulty with vaginal deliveries, increased C sections, and shoulder trauma during delivery (shoulder dystocia). Gestational diabetes may also have some longer-lasting effects on the baby. “There is evidence emerging that if they are exposed to high blood sugars in pregnancy, the baby’s pancreas has to work harder and that can lead to a potential increased risk of diabetes and insulin secretory defects in the baby,” Dr. Lipscombe explains. “So that’s the other concern: that over the years it predisposes the baby to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, so it’s a vicious cycle.” One of the goals of identifying and treating gestational diabetes is to avoid these short-term and long-term risks to the baby. Women with gestational diabetes are usually cared for by specialists during pregnancy. They need to monitor their blood sugar levels several times a Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

What Is Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes sometimes develops when a woman is pregnant. It’s when the blood glucose level (blood sugar level) of the mother goes too high during pregnancy. Having an elevated blood glucose level during pregnancy can cause problems for your baby—if it’s left untreated. Fortunately, doctors are vigilant about checking for gestational diabetes so that it can be identified and effectively managed. A pro-active treatment plan helps you have a good pregnancy and protects the health of your baby. Gestational Diabetes Symptoms Gestational diabetes doesn’t often cause noticeable symptoms for the mother. Other types of diabetes (eg, type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes) do cause symptoms such as increased thirst, but that is hardly ever noticed in gestational diabetes. Because there aren’t often symptoms, it’s very important to be tested for a high blood glucose level when you’re pregnant. (Your doctor will most likely test you for gestational diabetes sometime between the 24th and 28th week. You can learn more about the diagnostic process here.) Then your doctor will know if you need to be treated for gestational diabetes. Gestational Diabetes Causes and Risk Factors Gestational diabetes develops when your body isn’t able to produce enough of the hormone insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose—what your body uses for energy—into the cells. Without enough insulin, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps gestational diabetes. The elevated blood glucose level in gestational diabetes is caused by hormones released by the placenta during pregnancy. The placenta produces a hormone called the human placental lactogen (HPL), also Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Topic Overview What is gestational diabetes? If your blood sugar level first becomes too high when you are pregnant, you have gestational diabetes. It usually goes back to normal after the baby is born. High blood sugar can cause problems for you and your baby. Your baby may grow too large, which can cause problems during delivery. Your baby may also be born with low blood sugar. But with treatment, most women who have gestational diabetes are able to control their blood sugar and give birth to healthy babies. Women who have had gestational diabetes are more likely than other women to develop type 2 diabetes later on. You may be able to prevent or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes by staying at a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, and increasing your physical activity. What causes gestational diabetes? The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps your body properly use and store the sugar from the food you eat. This keeps your blood sugar level in a target range. When you are pregnant, the placenta makes hormones that can make it harder for insulin to work. This is called insulin resistance. A pregnant woman can get diabetes when her pancreas cannot make enough insulin to keep her blood sugar levels within a target range. What are the symptoms? Because gestational diabetes may not cause symptoms, it is important for you to be tested for gestational diabetes. Sometimes a pregnant woman who has symptoms has been living with another type of diabetes without knowing it. If you have symptoms from another type of diabetes, they may include: Increased thirst. Increased urination. Increased hunger. Blurred vision. Pregnancy causes most women to urinate more often and to feel more hungry. So having these symptoms doesn't always mean that a woman has diabete Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar

Gestational Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar

Introduction Women who take insulin shots or take the medicine glyburide are at risk for low blood sugar levels. Most women with gestational diabetes do not have problems with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If your blood sugar (glucose) drops very low, make sure to get treated immediately so that neither you nor your baby is harmed. Low blood sugar occurs when the sugar level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. Women who take insulin may get low blood sugar if they don't eat enough food, skip meals, exercise more than usual, or take too much insulin. These steps can help you avoid a life-threatening emergency from low blood sugar: Test your blood sugar often so that you don't have to guess when your blood sugar is low. Know the signs of low blood sugar, such as sweating, shakiness, hunger, blurred vision, and dizziness. The best treatment for low blood sugar is to eat quick-sugar foods. Liquids will raise your blood sugar faster than solid foods. Keep the list of quick-sugar foods in a convenient place. Wait 10 to 15 minutes after eating the quick-sugar food, and, if possible, check your blood sugar again. Keep some hard candy, raisins, or other sugary foods with you at all times. Eat some at the first sign of low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar before getting in a car, and don't drive if your blood sugar level is less than 70 mg/dL. Teach your friends and coworkers what to do if your blood sugar is very low. How to deal with low blood sugar emergencies Here are some ways you can prevent and manage low blood sugar emergencies. Although most women with gestational diabetes do not have problems with low blood sugar, you should always be prepared for the possibility. Keep some quick-sugar foods with you at all times. If you are at home, Continue reading >>

9 Gestational Diabetes Dos And Don’ts

9 Gestational Diabetes Dos And Don’ts

1 / 10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy With a Gestational Diabetes Diet Pregnancy already comes with a long list of things that you should and shouldn’t do to achieve the best outcomes for you and your baby. But if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), then you need to learn some more dos and don’ts to keep your blood sugar under control and make sure that diabetes doesn’t harm your pregnancy. You will need to learn about a gestational diabetes diet — foods and lifestyle habits that help stabilize your blood sugar — as well as, possibly, gestational diabetes treatment. This may include diabetes medications your doctor prescribes during pregnancy to keep your blood glucose under control. It is possible to have a healthy pregnancy with gestational diabetes, but you must take care of yourself to reduce your risk of the following: An overly large baby Cesarean delivery (C-section) Miscarriage Preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) Preterm delivery Stillbirth Other poor health outcomes for your baby Long-term health effects for you Controlling your blood glucose is important for everyone, young and old. But for pregnant women, good blood sugar control is important before, during, and after pregnancy to reduce the chance of diabetes complications. According to the Mayo Clinic, good blood sugar control during pregnancy can help prevent or reduce these risks: Prevent complications for the baby Prevent complications for the mother Reduce the risk of birth defects Reduce the risk of excess fetal growth Reduce the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth Reduce the risk of premature birth To keep blood glucose under control during pregnancy, it’s important to check your blood sugar level frequently. If you are Continue reading >>

Pregnancy: High-normal Blood Sugar Risky

Pregnancy: High-normal Blood Sugar Risky

May 7, 2008 -- Babies born to women with even slightly higher-than-normal blood sugar levels are at increased risk for a range of pregnancy and delivery-related complications, findings from an international study confirm. The large study examined the risks associated with having elevated blood sugar during pregnancy that is not high enough to be considered gestational diabetes. More than 25,000 pregnant women from nine countries took part in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) study, which appears in the May 8 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine and was largely funded by the National Institutes of Health. Even a small rise in blood sugar above what is considered normal was associated with an increase in adverse outcomes, including high birth weight, C-section delivery, and preeclampsia, a complication that can lead to premature birth and can be deadly if not treated. The findings make it clear that elevated blood sugar has a direct negative impact on pregnancy and delivery, study co-author Donald R. Coustan, MD, tells WebMD. Coustan is professor and chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University Medical School. "This lays to rest many of the criticisms about gestational diabetes treatment," Coustan says. "The critics have said that it isn't elevated glucose that leads to negative outcomes, it is obesity or maternal age or some other risk factor. But we were able to control for these risk factors, and glucose was still a major determinant of outcomes." Who Should Be Treated? One important question that remains unanswered is whether the threshold for treating high blood sugar in pregnancy should be lowered and if so, by how much. "Because there was a continuous relationship that was even seen in women with glucose levels considered n Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Pregnancy

Diabetes In Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes does not increase the risk of birth defects or the risk that the baby will be diabetic at birth. Also called gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), this type of diabetes affects between 3% and 20% of pregnant women. It presents with a rise in blood glucose (sugar) levels toward the end of the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. In 90% if cases, it disappears after the birth, but the mother is at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Cause It occurs when cells become resistant to the action of insulin, which is naturally caused during pregnancy by the hormones of the placenta. In some women, the pancreas is not able to secrete enough insulin to counterbalance the effect of these hormones, causing hyperglycemia, then diabetes. Symptoms Pregnant women generally have no apparent diabetes symptoms. Sometimes, these symptoms occur: Unusual fatigue Excessive thirst Increase in the volume and frequency of urination Headaches Importance of screening These symptoms can go undetected because they are very common in pregnant women. Women at risk Several factors increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes: Being over 35 years of age Being overweight Family members with type 2 diabetes Having previously given birth to a baby weighing more than 4 kg (9 lb) Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy Belonging to a high-risk ethnic group (Aboriginal, Latin American, Asian or African) Having had abnormally high blood glucose (sugar) levels in the past, whether a diagnosis of glucose intolerance or prediabetes Regular use of a corticosteroid medication Suffering from ancanthosis nigricans, a discoloration of the skin, often darkened patches on the neck or under the arms Screening The Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Gui Continue reading >>

32 - 36 Weeks The Toughest Time...

32 - 36 Weeks The Toughest Time...

Between 32 - 36 weeks are what we know to be the toughest time for gestational diabetes. It's at around this point that we typically see insulin resistance worsen. You think you have your gestational diabetes diet sussed out and you can literally wake and eat the same breakfast you've been tolerating well for weeks on end and get crazy blood sugar levels?! What the heck is going on and what did you do wrong???... Firstly, you've done NOTHING wrong! This is to be expected and is completely normal and typical with gestational diabetes. To understand what's going on, we need to understand a bit about gestational diabetes and how it works... Gestational diabetes is a progressive condition Gestational diabetes typically presents itself between 24 - 28 weeks. It is for this reason that it is around this time where screening for gestational diabetes typically takes place. It should be noted that insulin resistance can be detected much earlier than this time also, especially in subsequent pregnancies where the mother previously had gestational diabetes. Many ladies are told that earlier diagnosis means that they may have undiagnosed Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. We have found that this is not the case when ladies are tested following the birth of their baby and so we advise not panicking and waiting until you have your post birth diabetes testing before causing yourself too much distress. Further information on post birth diabetes testing can be found here. Gestational diabetes is caused by increased hormones levels from the placenta that cause insulin resistance. Those diagnosed with gestational diabetes are not able to increase insulin production to meet the additional requirement, or they cannot use the insulin which has been made effectively and so blood sugar levels remain to Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar During Pregnancy

Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar During Pregnancy

At some point during your pregnancy, your obstetrician will hand over a small bottle of a sugary flavored drink and ask you to down it just before you come to your next appointment. Within about 60 minutes of taking the drink, you'll have a blood sample taken. This is the glucose screening test for gestational diabetes, or high blood sugar during pregnancy. Between two and 10 of every 100 pregnant women in the United States develop gestational diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly every pregnant woman under a doctor’s care will take this test because, in some cases, it won’t present visible symptoms. Video of the Day The tricky part about gestational diabetes is that while a pregnant woman is dealing with nausea, backaches, headaches and all the other symptoms of a normal pregnancy, symptoms of increased blood sugar won't necessarily be apparent, notes the Texas Children's Hospital website. However, you could experience blurred vision, fatigue, increased thirst and urination, nausea or vomiting, frequent infections or weight loss despite an increased appetite. Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes Due to the typical lack of symptoms, doctors test nearly everyone for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks. However, if you are considered high-risk for high blood sugar, your doctor might also screen you at your first prenatal appointment. Those who are considered high risk include women who are obese, have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, have a family history of diabetes, previously gave birth to a big baby or one with a birth defect, have high blood pressure or are over age 35. Taking the glucose screening test, despite an absence of symptoms, is important for all pregnant women because of the effect high Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Many women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Here is what you need to know to plan for or manage gestational diabetes. Before you schedule an appointment, it would be helpful to gather as much information as possible about the issues that are concerning you. We suggest you talk with family members and request medical records. What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that happens during pregnancy. Unlike type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes is not caused by having too little insulin. Instead a hormone made by your placenta keeps your body from using the insulin as it should. This is called insulin resistance. Blood sugar (glucose) then builds up in your blood instead of being absorbed by the cells in your body. The symptoms of gestational diabetes usually go away after delivery. But sometimes they do not, or you may have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. What causes gestational diabetes? Healthcare providers do not know what causes gestational diabetes, but they do know what happens. The placenta gives your growing baby nutrients and water. The placenta also makes several hormones to keep the pregnancy healthy. These hormones include: Estrogen Progesterone Cortisol Human placental lactogen These hormones can affect how your body uses insulin (contra-insulin effect). This usually begins about 20 to 24 weeks into your pregnancy and could lead to gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, more fat is stored in your body, you take in more calories, and you may get less exercise. All of these things can make your blood sugar (glucose) levels higher than normal and possibly lead to gestational diabetes. As the placenta grows, it makes more of the hormones. The risk for insulin resistance becomes greater. Normally you Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

High Blood Sugar in Pregnancy Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. The term 'gestational' refers to pregnancy. When a woman develops high blood glucose (sugar) during pregnancy but has never had elevated blood glucose in the past, she is diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects how the cells use glucose, the body's main fuel source. Gestational diabetes causes high blood glucose levels that can adversely affect pregnancy and the baby's health. The good news is that expectant mothers can help control gestational diabetes by exercising and eating healthy foods ensuring a healthy pregnancy and baby. Gestational diabetes mellitus and type II diabetes mellitus are different problems but have some key similarities. In either case, your insulin is not working well or it is not being produced in sufficient supply to keep blood glucose levels normal. In pregnancy, some insulin resistance is expected, as the placenta makes hormones that work against insulin. But as long as the pancreas can keep up with the demand to counteract the pregnancy hormones from the placenta, blood glucose levels can remain normal. If the pancreas cannot keep up, then gestational diabetes is the result. Risks Factors for Gestational Diabetes Pregnant women with any of the following appear to be at an increased risk for developing gestational diabetes; the risk increases when multiple risk factors are present. They include: Obesity Glycosuria - sugar in your urine Family history of diabetes You have a prior history of gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies If you are of Black, Hispanic, Asian or American Indian descent Over the age of 25 What are the Risks to Babies Born to Mothers with Gestational Diabetes? Gestational Diabetes affects yo Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It can occur at any stage of pregnancy, but is more common in the second half. It occurs if your body cannot produce enough insulin – a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels – to meet the extra needs in pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can cause problems for you and your baby during and after birth. But the risk of these problems happening can be reduced if it's detected and well managed. Who's at risk of gestational diabetes Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you're at an increased risk if: your body mass index (BMI) is above 30 – use the healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI you previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg (10lbs) or more at birth you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy one of your parents or siblings has diabetes your family origins are south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern If any of these apply to you, you should be offered screening for gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. Symptoms of gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes doesn't usually cause any symptoms. Most cases are only picked up when your blood sugar level is tested during screening for gestational diabetes. Some women may develop symptoms if their blood sugar level gets too high (hyperglycaemia), such as: But some of these symptoms are common during pregnancy anyway and aren't necessarily a sign of a problem. Speak to your midwife or doctor if you're worried about any symptoms you're experiencing. How gestational diabetes can affect your pregnancy Most women with gestational diabetes have otherwise normal pregnancies with healthy babies. However, gestational diabetes can cause problems s Continue reading >>

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