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Gestational Diabetes Causes

Gestational Diabetes: What Is It, And What Causes It?

Gestational Diabetes: What Is It, And What Causes It?

When women are pregnant, they can develop something called gestational diabetes. This is similar to Type II diabetes, but it only occurs during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes arises because hormones generated in the placenta (the sack that surrounds the baby in the uterus) often have side effects on the rest of a woman’s body. Gestational diabetes can be a threat to the health of the mother and her baby, but if you’re an expectant mother—or are concerned about the health of a mother—be assured: women are generally tested for gestational diabetes as they get further into pregnancy, and if they follow some sensible guidelines for protecting their health, they can expect to recover after the baby is born. How Hormones Play a Role Pregnancy makes the body change in some obvious and less obvious ways. One of the less obvious ways is the effect pregnancy can have on the levels of various hormones in the woman’s body. Because hormones are the chemicals that parts of the body use to signal to to other parts of the body, these changing hormone levels can make you feel moody, sick, stressed, or calmer than normal, and they may make it harder to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits, among other things. Hormones can also affect your overall health by reducing your body’s ability to process blood sugar correctly. When that happens, blood sugar rises and gestational diabetes develops. That can harm the pregnant woman, and also have serious consequences for her unborn child. How Blood Sugar is Tested To screen you for gestational diabetes, your doctor will test your blood sugar in the same way they would test for Type I or Type II diabetes, by taking a tiny sample of your blood and checking the amount of blood sugar present in the sample. Generally, fasting blood s Continue reading >>

Symptoms & Causes Of Gestational Diabetes

Symptoms & Causes Of Gestational Diabetes

What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes? Usually, gestational diabetes has no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may be mild, such as being thirstier than normal or having to urinate more often. What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes occurs when your body can’t make the extra insulin needed during pregnancy. Insulin, a hormone made in your pancreas, helps your body use glucose for energy and helps control your blood glucose levels. During pregnancy, your body makes special hormones and goes through other changes, such as weight gain. Because of these changes, your body’s cells don’t use insulin well, 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. Being overweight or obese is linked to gestational diabetes. Women who are overweight or obese may already have insulin resistance when they become pregnant. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy may also be a factor. Having a family history of diabetes makes it more likely that a woman will develop gestational diabetes, which suggests that genes play a role. This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts. Continue reading >>

Causes Of Gestational Diabetes

Causes Of Gestational Diabetes

Tweet Gestational diabetes (GD) is a form of diabetes that specifically develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs following the body becoming resistant to the effects of insulin. There are a number of causes of gestational diabetes with the effect of placental hormones being one of the most significant causes. Gestational diabetes usually subsides after pregnancy but can sometimes remain as type 2 diabetes. Risk factors for gestational diabetes The following factors are known to increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes: Having previously had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy Having had a large baby weighing 4.5kg (10lbs) or more Being of South Asian, African Caribbean or Middle Eastern origin Tweet Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body: Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or Being unable to produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body. From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar. The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar, likely you will never need long-term medication. Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now bec Continue reading >>

What Causes Gestational Diabetes?

What Causes Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that you get only when you're pregnant. The word "gestational" means the time when the baby grows in the womb. About 3 to 5 out of every 100 pregnant women have this disease. You can get it even if you didn't have diabetes before your pregnancy. Good blood sugar control is important for your health and your baby’s. The first step in managing it is to understand what causes gestational diabetes. When you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates from foods into a sugar called glucose. The sugar goes into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to your cells to give your body energy. An organ called the pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which helps move sugar into your cells and lower the amount in your blood. During pregnancy, the placenta -- the organ that feeds and delivers oxygen to your baby -- releases hormones that help your baby grow. Some of these make it harder for your body to make or use insulin. This is called insulin resistance. To keep your blood sugar levels steady, your pancreas has to make more insulin -- as much as three times more than usual. If it can't make enough extra insulin, your blood sugar will rise and you'll get gestational diabetes. You may be more likely to get this disease if: You were overweight before you got pregnant; extra weight makes it harder for your body to use insulin. You gain weight very quickly during your pregnancy You have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes Your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with diabetes; this is called prediabetes. You had gestational diabetes in a past pregnancy You are over age 25 You gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds You had a baby who was stillborn You're African-American, American 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 >>

Gestational Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

Gestational Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

Gestational diabetes has become one of the most common pregnancy complications in the US, with about 7 percent of pregnant women developing the condition. But just because it’s more widespread doesn’t mean it comes without risks. So what is gestational diabetes—and how can you minimize your chances of getting it? In this article What is gestational diabetes? What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes symptoms Gestational diabetes treatment How to prevent gestational diabetes What Is Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes means your body can’t properly regulate your blood sugar levels while you’re pregnant—either because you don’t produce enough insulin or your body can’t properly use the insulin it does produce. That causes your blood sugar levels to spike when you eat, leading to a condition called hyperglycemia. Most moms-to-be diagnosed with gestational diabetes experience diabetes only during pregnancy, and the condition clears up soon after birth. But 5 to 10 percent of women continue to have type 2 diabetes after pregnancy, and those whose diabetes clears up after childbirth are still at a 20 to 50 percent risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the next 10 years. So why are doctors so concerned about this condition? “Gestational diabetes puts the mom and baby at increased risk for pregnancy complications,” says Sherry A. Ross, MD, a Santa Monica, California-based ob-gyn and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period. For moms, those include: High blood pressure Preeclampsia Preterm labor C-section Gestational diabetes effects on baby can increase the risk of: Higher birth weight Shoulder dystocia (when the shoulders get stuck in the birth canal) Congenital malformations (such as abnormal sp 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 >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which a woman without diabetes develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy.[2] Gestational diabetes generally results in few symptoms;[2] however, it does increase the risk of pre-eclampsia, depression, and requiring a Caesarean section.[2] Babies born to mothers with poorly treated gestational diabetes are at increased risk of being too large, having low blood sugar after birth, and jaundice.[2] If untreated, it can also result in a stillbirth.[2] Long term, children are at higher risk of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes.[2] Gestational diabetes is caused by not enough insulin in the setting of insulin resistance.[2] Risk factors include being overweight, previously having gestational diabetes, a family history of type 2 diabetes, and having polycystic ovarian syndrome.[2] Diagnosis is by blood tests.[2] For those at normal risk screening is recommended between 24 and 28 weeks gestation.[2][3] For those at high risk testing may occur at the first prenatal visit.[2] Prevention is by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising before pregnancy.[2] Gestational diabetes is a treated with a diabetic diet, exercise, and possibly insulin injections.[2] Most women are able to manage their blood sugar with a diet and exercise.[3] Blood sugar testing among those who are affected is often recommended four times a day.[3] Breastfeeding is recommended as soon as possible after birth.[2] Gestational diabetes affects 3–9% of pregnancies, depending on the population studied.[3] It is especially common during the last three months of pregnancy.[2] It affects 1% of those under the age of 20 and 13% of those over the age of 44.[3] A number of ethnic groups including Asians, American Indians, Indigenous Australians, and Pacific Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Has your doctor diagnosed you with gestational diabetes (GD or GDM), a form of diabetes that appears only during pregnancy? While it might feel overwhelming at first, it turns out that this pregnancy complication is much more common than you might think. In fact, up to 9.2 percent of pregnant women have GD, according to a 2014 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Know that with careful monitoring and treatment, it can be managed, and you can have a safe and healthy pregnancy. READ MORE: What causes gestational diabetes? Who's most at risk? What are the symptoms? How is it diagnosed? What are the complications? How can you prevent gestational diabetes? How is it treated? What happens to mom and baby after birth? What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes usually starts between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy when hormones from the placenta block insulin — a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the body's metabolism of fats and carbs and helps the body turn sugar into energy — from doing its job and prevent the body from regulating the increased blood sugar of pregnancy effectively. This causes hyperglycemia (or high levels of sugar in the blood), which can damage the nerves, blood vessels and organs in your body. Who’s most at risk for gestational diabetes? While researchers aren't certain why some women get gestational diabetes while others don’t, they do know that you may be at an increased risk if: You are overweight. Having a BMI of 30 or more going into pregnancy is one of the most common risk factors for gestational diabetes because the extra weight affects insulin's ability to properly keep blood sugar levels in check. You have a higher level of abdominal fat. Recent research published in the American Di Continue reading >>

Why Diet Is A Significant Cause Of Gestational Diabetes

Why Diet Is A Significant Cause Of Gestational Diabetes

As with many issues related to pregnancy and parenting, there are many myths and misconceptions about gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes has been a controversial topic for some time, with even world famous obesterician, Michel Odent, weighing in on the matter. Some medical and health professionals believe gestational diabetes (not to be confused with type 1 diabetes) is a “diagnosis looking for a disease”, because the steps to manage it is exactly the same as the advice to prevent it – with diet. Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are given a label, without any evidence to show that the label improves outcomes. Low carb, high healthy fat eating, quitting smoking and exercise is how you prevent and treat insulin resistance. As Doctor Chatterjee says, “Our genes load the gun, but it's our environment that pulls the trigger”. Our addiction to sugar and processed foods is literally making us — and our future children — sick. If you haven't yet read about the 3 year old who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it's a must read. Women Need Educating, Not Testing A diagnosis of gestational diabetes results in the very advice which should already be given to all pregnant women — long before their glucose tolerance tests. They should eat a low GI diet, eliminate sugar and processed grains, as well as get some daily exercise. Very wise advice for all of us, regardless if we're pregnant or not. A recent study concluded, “A low GI diet was associated with less frequent insulin use and lower birth weight than control diets, suggesting that it is the most appropriate dietary intervention to be prescribed to patients with GDM [gestational diabetes mellitus].” However, the vast majority of doctors and midwives are not trained nutritionists, dieticians 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 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

Overview Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy (gestation). Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby's health. Any pregnancy complication is concerning, but there's good news. Expectant women can help control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising and, if necessary, taking medication. Controlling blood sugar can prevent a difficult birth and keep you and your baby healthy. In gestational diabetes, blood sugar usually returns to normal soon after delivery. But if you've had gestational diabetes, you're at risk for type 2 diabetes. You'll continue working with your health care team to monitor and manage your blood sugar. Symptoms For most women, gestational diabetes doesn't cause noticeable signs or symptoms. When to see a doctor If possible, seek health care early — when you first think about trying to get pregnant — so your doctor can evaluate your risk of gestational diabetes as part of your overall childbearing wellness plan. Once you're pregnant, your doctor will check you for gestational diabetes as part of your prenatal care. If you develop gestational diabetes, you may need more-frequent checkups. These are most likely to occur during the last three months of pregnancy, when your doctor will monitor your blood sugar level and your baby's health. Your doctor may refer you to additional health professionals who specialize in diabetes, such as an endocrinologist, a registered dietitian or a diabetes educator. They can help you learn to manage your blood sugar level during your pregnancy. To make sure your blood sugar level has returned to normal after your baby is born, your health care team wil Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

KEY POINTS Most pregnant women get a test for gestational diabetes at 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. If untreated, gestational diabetes can cause problems for your baby, like premature birth and stillbirth. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after you have your baby; but if you have it, you’re more likely to develop diabetes later in life. Talk to your health care provider about what you can do to reduce your risk for gestational diabetes and help prevent diabetes in the future. What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes (also called gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM) is a kind of diabetes that can happen during pregnancy. Seven out of every 100 pregnant women (7 percent) develop gestational diabetes. It’s a condition in which your body has too much sugar (called glucose) in the blood. When you eat, your body breaks down sugar and starches from food into glucose to use for energy. Your pancreas (an organ behind your stomach) makes a hormone called insulin that helps your body keep the right amount of glucose in your blood. When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use insulin well, so you end up with too much sugar in your blood. This can cause serious health problems, like heart disease, kidney failure and blindness. It’s really important to get treatment for diabetes to help prevent problems like these. Can gestational diabetes cause problems during pregnancy? Most of the time gestational diabetes can be controlled and treated during pregnancy to protect both you and your baby. But if not treated, it can cause problems during pregnancy, including: Preeclampsia. This is when a pregnant woman has high blood pressure and signs that some of her organs, like her kidneys and liver, may not be working properly. Signs of pre 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 >>

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