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How Does Pregnancy Cause Diabetes?

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 >>

Diabetes During Pregnancy

Diabetes During Pregnancy

What is diabetes? Diabetes is a condition in which the body can't make enough insulin, or can't use insulin normally. Insulin is a hormone. It helps sugar (glucose) in the blood get into cells of the body to be used as fuel. When glucose can’t enter the cells, it builds up in the blood. This is called high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). High blood sugar can cause problems all over the body. It can damage blood vessels and nerves. It can harm the eyes, kidneys, and heart. In early pregnancy, high blood sugar can lead to birth defects in a growing baby. There are 3 types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. The body's immune system damages the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Type 2 diabetes. This is when the body can’t make enough insulin or use it normally. It’s not an autoimmune disease. Gestational diabetes. This is a condition in which the blood glucose level goes up and other diabetic symptoms appear during pregnancy in a woman who has not been diagnosed with diabetes before. It happens in about 3 in 100 to 9 in 100 pregnant women. What causes diabetes during pregnancy? Some women have diabetes before they get pregnant. This is called pregestational diabetes. Other women may get a type of diabetes that only happens in pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Pregnancy can change how a woman's body uses glucose. This can make diabetes worse, or lead to gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, an organ called the placenta gives a growing baby nutrients and oxygen. The placenta also makes hormones. In late pregnancy, the hormones estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen can block insulin. When insulin is blocked, it’s called insulin resistance. Glucose can't go into the body’s cells. The glucose stays in Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

only happens during pregnancy. It means you have high blood sugar levels, but those levels were normal before you were pregnant. If you have it, you can still have a healthy baby with help from your doctor and by doing simple things to manage your blood sugar, also called blood glucose. After your baby is born, gestational diabetes usually goes away. Gestational diabetes makes you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, but it won’t definitely happen. During pregnancy, the placenta makes hormones that can lead to a buildup of glucose in your blood. Usually, your pancreas can make enough insulin to handle that. If not, your blood sugar levels will rise and can cause gestational diabetes. It affects between 2% and 10% of pregnancies each year. You are more likely to get gestational diabetes if you: Were overweight before you got pregnant Are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American Have high blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diabetes Have a family history of diabetes Have had gestational diabetes before Have high blood pressure or other medical complications Have given birth to a large baby before (greater than 9 pounds) Have given birth to a baby that was stillborn or had certain birth defects Gestational diabetes usually happens in the second half of pregnancy. Your doctor will check to see if you have gestational diabetes between weeks 24 and 28 of your pregnancy. Your doctor may test sooner if you're at high risk. To test for gestational diabetes, you will quickly drink a sugary drink. This will raise your blood sugar levels. An hour later, you’ll take a blood test to see how your body handled all that sugar. If the results show that your blood sugar is higher than a certain cutoff (anywhere from 130 milligrams per deciliter [mg/dL] or hig Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes causes blood sugar levels to become too high. When you eat, your digestive system breaks down most of the food into a sugar called glucose. Glucose enters your bloodstream so your cells can use it as fuel. With the help of insulin (a hormone made by your pancreas), muscle, fat, and other cells absorb glucose from your blood. But if your body doesn't produce enough insulin, or if the cells have a problem responding to it, too much glucose remains in your blood instead of moving into cells and getting converted to energy. When you're pregnant, your body naturally becomes more resistant to insulin so that more glucose is available to nourish your baby. For most moms-to-be, this isn't a problem: When your body needs additional insulin to process excess glucose in blood, the pancreas secretes more. But if the pancreas can't keep up with the increased demand for insulin during pregnancy, blood sugar levels rise too high because the cells aren't using the glucose. This results in gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes needs to be recognized and treated quickly because it can cause health problems for mother and baby. Unlike other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes isn't permanent. Once a baby is born, blood sugar will most likely return to normal quickly. However, having gestational diabetes does make developing diabetes in the future more likely. Am I at risk of developing gestational diabetes? Anyone can develop gestational diabetes, and not all women who develop the condition have known risk factors. About 5 to 10 percent of all pregnant women get gestational diabetes. You're more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you Continue reading >>

Why Gestational Diabetes Is On The Rise

Why Gestational Diabetes Is On The Rise

Gestational diabetes cases are soaring, and you (as well as your baby) might be at risk without even knowing it. Find out gestational diabetes symptoms and diet. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), or high blood sugar during pregnancy, used to be relatively rare, occurring in about 3 percent to 4 percent of pregnancies. But in recent years, the rate has doubled—now, up to 6 percent to 8 percent of moms-to-be are diagnosed with this prenatal complication. And new recommendations lowering the cutoff point for diagnosis may lead to an even more dramatic increase. If these new guidelines from an international panel of 50 experts are adopted in the United States, 16 percent of pregnant women may hear the words, "You have gestational diabetes." In women with GDM, excess glucose (blood sugar) passes from the mother's bloodstream through the placenta. Serious pregnancy complications include preeclampsia (a serious high blood pressure condition that can be fatal), preterm delivery and delivery of overweight babies, often via Cesarean section. Some 70 percent to 80 percent of women diagnosed with GDM in the United States eventually develop type II diabetes. New research is showing that GDM can have long-term consequences for children as well. "Children of women with GDM are at risk for developing type II diabetes themselves," says Danielle Downs, Ph.D., an associate professor of kinesiology and obstetrics and gynecology at Pennsylvania State University who conducts research on gestational diabetes. But even normal-size babies who are born to mothers with untreated GDM are at greater risk of becoming overweight kindergarteners—and, consequently, overweight adults. Although being overweight is a major risk factor for GDM, only about half of women diagnosed with it carry excess Continue reading >>

The Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Type 2

The Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Type 2

If you developed gestational diabetes mellitus (pregnancy-related diabetes) during your pregnancy, then you already know what you need to do to prevent type 2 diabetes: Watch what you eat, stay on top of your blood sugar levels, and get appropriate exercise. “Outcomes for gestational diabetes have improved dramatically because women are very motivated during pregnancy. We just wish they would stay that way after the birth,” says Vivian Fonseca, MD, professor of medicine and pharmacology and chief of the section of endocrinology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Gestational Diabetes: What Is It? Gestational diabetes — elevated blood sugar during pregnancy — occurs in pregnant women who have not had diabetes prior to the pregnancy. Doctors do not know what causes gestational diabetes, but they have some theories. Insulin, made by the pancreas, helps regulate the blood sugar levels in the body. When a woman is pregnant, the placenta, which nourishes the baby, also makes hormones that block the mother’s insulin. That makes it tough for the insulin to convert the blood sugar into energy. If the sugar can’t be converted into energy, that sugar gets stored in the blood. And that is the start of gestational diabetes. These high blood sugar levels can cause complications with the pregnancy and put the baby at risk. When a woman is diagnosed, she and her doctor will work hard, focusing on diet, exercise, and weight management, to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Gestational Diabetes: Who’s at Risk? “Weight certainly plays a role, and it’s also genetically determined,” explains Dr. Fonseca. If you are overweight, you have a close relative who had gestational diabetes, or you had gestational diabetes with a previous pregnancy, you ar Continue reading >>

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Diabetes is a disease marked by high levels of glucose (a simple sugar that the body stores and uses for energy) in the blood, which can cause a range of health issues. There are several different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes develops when the pancreas produces little to no insulin (a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood and helps move glucose into cells for energy). Type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — develops when the liver, muscles, and fat cells don't properly respond to insulin. Gestational diabetes, by comparison, develops only in pregnant women who didn't have diabetes before becoming pregnant. Gestational Diabetes Prevalence Gestational diabetes is fairly common in the United States, but its exact prevalence is unknown. Studies suggest the disease affects between 1 and 14 percent of pregnancies in the United States each year, but these estimates vary by population and diagnostic criteria, according to a 2014 report in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. But by looking at information from birth certificates and a pregnancy questionnaire, the report suggests that gestational diabetes affects between 4.6 and 9.2 percent of pregnant women in the country. This rate doesn't appear to have changed between 2007 and 2010, the report notes. The rate of gestational diabetes is lower in white women than in women of other racial backgrounds, according to a 2008 article in the journal Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Causes of Gestational Diabetes Similar to type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes develops when the body is no longer able to respond effectively to insulin — a condition called insulin resistance. When the bo Continue reading >>

Causes Of Gestational Diabetes

Causes Of Gestational Diabetes

Researchers don't yet understand why some women get gestational diabetes and others don't. But we know that here are some risk factors that make it more likely and we have outlined these below. If you have one or more of these then you are more likely to get gestational diabetes but doctors do not yet know why. Although having a high BMI is a risk factor for gestational diabetes, slim women can also get it. To understand what causes gestational diabetes, it can help to understand how your body uses glucose. Your body needs some glucose in your blood to provide energy. The levels of blood glucose levels are kept at safe limits in your body, by a hormone called insulin. If your glucose level is too high, you may become unwell. When your blood glucose level is high (such as after a meal), insulin allows the extra glucose to be stored in your cells for later use. Then, when your blood glucose levels fall, another hormone (glucagon) releases some of that stored glucose to keep enough energy available to your body. When you are pregnant, your body produces high levels of hormones. Some of these hormones stop insulin working as well as it normally does. Usually, the body responds by increasing the amount of insulin it produces. However, some women do not produce enough of this extra insulin, resulting in gestational diabetes. "My health was fine until about 26 weeks into my pregnancy. Then at a routine appointment they noticed glucose in my urine, so they said they needed to do a test to rule out gestational diabetes. They told me I had it and asked me to attend the diabetic clinic the following day." Gemma, mum of one Risk factors for gestational diabetes You are more likely to develop gestational diabetes if: you had a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 before you became Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Pregnancy

Diabetes And Pregnancy

Diabetes is a condition in which the body can't produce enough insulin, or it can't use it properly.Insulin is the hormone that allows glucose (sugar)to enter the cells to be used as fuel. When glucose cannot enter the cells, it builds up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. Damage from diabetes comes from the effects of hyperglycemia on other organ systems including the eyes, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, and nerves. In early pregnancy, hyperglycemia can result in birth defects. What are the different types of diabetes? There are three basic types of diabetes including: Type 1 diabetes. Also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system destroys, or attempts to destroy, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but can start at any age. Type 2 diabetes. A metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to make enough, orproperly use, insulin. It used to be called noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Gestational diabetes. A condition in which the blood glucose level is elevated and other diabetic symptoms appear during pregnancy in a woman who has not previously been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease, which, if not controlled, can be life-threatening. It is often associated with long-term complications that can affect every system and part of the body. Diabetes can contribute to eye disorders and blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputation, and nerve damage. What happens with diabetes and pregnancy? During pregnancy, the placenta supplies a growing fetus with nutrients and water. The placenta also makes a variety of hormones to maintain the Continue reading >>

Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes

Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes and plan to have a baby, you should try to get your blood glucose levels close to your target range before you get pregnant. Staying in your target range during pregnancy, which may be different than when you aren’t pregnant, is also important. High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can harm your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnant. If you have diabetes and are already pregnant, see your doctor as soon as possible to make a plan to manage your diabetes. Working with your health care team and following your diabetes management plan can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you develop diabetes for the first time while you are pregnant, you have gestational diabetes. How can diabetes affect my baby? A baby’s organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs, start forming during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. High blood glucose levels can be harmful during this early stage and can increase the chance that your baby will have birth defects, such as heart defects or defects of the brain or spine. High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can also increase the chance that your baby will be born too early, weigh too much, or have breathing problems or low blood glucose right after birth. High blood glucose also can increase the chance that you will have a miscarriage or a stillborn baby.1 Stillborn means the baby dies in the womb during the second half of pregnancy. How can my diabetes affect me during pregnancy? Hormonal and other changes in your body during pregnancy affect your blood glucose levels, so you might need to change how you manage your diabetes. Even if you’ve had diabetes for years, you may need to change your meal plan, physical activity routine, and medicines. Continue reading >>

Can You Prevent Gestational Diabetes?

Can You Prevent Gestational Diabetes?

What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that can occur during pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes, it means you have higher blood sugar levels than normal during pregnancy. Approximately 9 percent of pregnant women experience gestational diabetes. If you do have gestational diabetes, it’s important to get treated quickly since it can cause problems for both your health and your baby’s. The causes of gestational diabetes are not fully understood and it can’t be prevented entirely. But you can lower your risk of developing it. Keep reading to learn more about this condition and what you can do to decrease your risk. The causes of gestational diabetes aren’t known, but it is associated with a variety of risk factors. Those factors include: being over age 25 being overweight having a close relative with type 2 diabetes having higher-than-normal blood glucose levels prior to pregnancy, or signs of insulin resistance, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or acanthosis nigricans Some ethnic groups are also at a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes, and include: African-American Asian-American Hispanic Native American Pacific Islander The best way to lower your risk for gestational diabetes is by being healthy before you get pregnant. If you’re overweight, work on improving your diet, eating healthy food, and exercising regularly. Talk with your doctor about the best way for you to lose weight, since even a few pounds can make a difference in your risk level for gestational diabetes. If you’re inactive, start regular physical activity at least three times a week. After you’re pregnant, don’t try to lose weight, but do continue a healthy diet that focuses on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Exercise moder Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Pregnancy

Diabetes And Pregnancy

Diabetes and your unborn baby Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood is too high. Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods, such as bread and rice. Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, helps your body to use glucose for energy. Three types of diabetes can affect you when you're pregnant: type 2 diabetes – long-term conditions that women may have before they get pregnant (pre-existing diabetes) gestational diabetes – develops only in pregnancy and goes away after the baby is born The information on this page is for women who have pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy. Most women with diabetes have a healthy baby, but diabetes does give you a higher risk of some complications. If you already have diabetes If you already have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may be at a higher risk of: having a large baby – which increases the risk of a difficult birth, having your labour induced, or a caesarean section People with type 1 diabetes may develop problems with their eyes (diabetic retinopathy) and their kidneys (diabetic nephropathy), or existing problems may get worse. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your baby may be at risk of: not developing normally and having congenital abnormalities, particularly heart and nervous system abnormalities being stillborn or dying soon after birth having health problems shortly after birth, such as heart and breathing problems, and needing hospital care developing obesity or diabetes later in life Reducing the risks if you have pre-existing diabetes The best way to reduce the risk to your own and your baby's health is to ensure your diabetes is controlled before you become pregnant. Ask your GP or diabetes specialist (diabetologist) for advice. You should be referred to a diabetic 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

Gestational diabetes definition and facts Risk factors for gestational diabetes include a history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, There are typically no noticeable signs or symptoms associated with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause the fetus to be larger than normal. Delivery of the baby may be more complicated as a result. The baby is also at risk for developing low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) immediately after birth. Following a nutrition plan is the typical treatment for gestational diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight and following a healthy eating plan may be able to help prevent or minimize the risks of gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is diabetes, or high blood sugar levels, that develops during pregnancy. It occurs in about 4% of all pregnancies. It is usually diagnosed in the later stages of pregnancy and often occurs in women who have no prior history of diabetes. What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is thought to arise because the many changes, hormonal and otherwise, that occur in the body during pregnancy predispose some women to become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by specialized cells in the pancreas that allows the body to effectively metabolize glucose for later usage as fuel (energy). When levels of insulin are low, or the body cannot effectively use insulin (i.e., insulin resistance), blood glucose levels rise. What are the screening guidelines for gestational diabetes? All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Most pregnant women are tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy (see Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Pregnancy

Diabetes And Pregnancy

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. When you are pregnant, high blood sugar levels are not good for your baby. About seven out of every 100 pregnant women in the United States get gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is diabetes that happens for the first time when a woman is pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after you have your baby. But it does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on. Your child is also at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Most women get a test to check for diabetes during their second trimester of pregnancy. Women at higher risk may get a test earlier. If you already have diabetes, the best time to control your blood sugar is before you get pregnant. High blood sugar levels can be harmful to your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy - even before you know you are pregnant. To keep you and your baby healthy, it is important to keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible before and during pregnancy. Either type of diabetes during pregnancy increases the chances of problems for you and your baby. To help lower the chances talk to your health care team about A meal plan for your pregnancy A safe exercise plan How often to test your blood sugar Taking your medicine as prescribed. Your medicine plan may need to change during pregnancy. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Continue reading >>

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