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How Does Gestational Diabetes Happen?

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition of abnormally raised blood sugar levels that may occur in the second part of the pregnancy and goes away once the baby is born. Some women with gestational diabetes may need no treatment, some need a strict diet and others may need insulin injections. As GDM is a condition that occurs during pregnancy, it is not the same as having pre-existing diabetes during your pregnancy. Between 5% and 10% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, usually around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. Typically, women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms. Most women are diagnosed after special blood tests Some women with gestational diabetes (about 30%) have larger than average babies. As a result, they are more likely to have intervention in labour such as a caesarean birth. But the baby will not be born with diabetes. Studies have suggested that women who develop gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Testing for gestational diabetes All women are screened for gestational diabetes at their 24 to 28 week routine check up. Women who are at higher risk may be tested more often. You are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes if you: are overweight over the age of 25 years a family history of type 2 diabetes come from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or some Asian backgrounds have had gestational diabetes before have had a large baby before. The tests available for gestational diabetes are: Glucose challenge test There is no fasting required and you are given a 50g glucose drink (equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar) with a blood test taken one hour after. This is a screening test only and if the result is above a certain level, you will be advised to have a gl 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 >>

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 >>

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

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 >>

Diabetes In Pregnancy

Diabetes In Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes refers to diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs in about 7 percent of all pregnancies, usually in the second half of the pregnancy. It almost always goes away as soon as your baby is born. However, if gestational diabetes is not treated during your pregnancy, you may experience some complications. Causes Pregnancy hormones cause the body to be resistant to the action of insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas that helps your body use the fuels supplied by food. The carbohydrates you eat provide your body with a fuel called glucose, the sugar in the blood that nourishes your brain, heart, tissues and muscles. Glucose also is an important fuel for your developing baby. When gestational diabetes occurs, insulin fails to effectively move glucose into the cells that need it. As a result, glucose accumulates in the blood, causing blood sugar levels rise. Diagnosis Gestational diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test. Your blood glucose level is measured after you drink a sweet beverage. If your blood sugar is too high, you have gestational diabetes. Sometimes one test is all that is needed to make a definitive diagnosis. More often, an initial screening test is given and, if needed, a longer evaluation is performed. Gestational diabetes usually does not occur until later in pregnancy, when the placenta is producing more of the hormones that interfere with the mother's insulin. Screening for gestational diabetes usually takes place between weeks 24 to 28. However, women at high risk are usually screened during the first trimester. Risk Factors There are a number of risk factors associated with gestational diabetes, including: Being overweight Giving birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds Having a parent or siblin 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 >>

What Are The Risks Of Gestational Diabetes?

What Are The Risks Of Gestational Diabetes?

A risk means there is a chance that something might happen. With every pregnancy there are some risks, but if you have gestational diabetes your risks of some things will be increased. Managing your blood sugar level brings these risks right down again though and most women with gestational diabetes have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. These things are very unlikely to happen to you, but understanding the risks may help you see why it is important that you follow your healthcare team’s advice. The risks linked to gestational diabetes are caused by blood glucose levels being too high. If you can keep your blood glucose as close as possible to the ideal level, your risks will be reduced. Risk of having a large baby (macrosomia) If your blood glucose level is high, it can cause high blood glucose levels in your baby. Your baby will produce more insulin in response, just like you do. This can make your baby grow larger than normal. This is called macrosomia. Babies weighing more than 4kg (8lb 8oz) at birth are called macrosomic. Macrosomia increases the risk of: Birth trauma - either the mother or baby can be affected when it is difficult for the baby to be born. Trauma may include physical symptoms, such as bone fractures or nerve damage for the baby, or tearing and severe bleeding for the mother as well as psychological distress. Shoulder dystocia - where the baby’s shoulder is stuck in your pelvis once the head has been born. This can squash the umbilical cord, so the team need to use additional interventions to deliver the baby quickly and safely. It means you may have labour induced early or to have a caesarean section so that your baby is born safely. Your baby's weight will be monitored carefully in pregnancy to see whether these interventions are needed. Continue reading >>

What Happens After Birth With Gestational Diabetes?

What Happens After Birth With Gestational Diabetes?

The healthcare team will usually stop any diabetes-related medication as soon as you have given birth. However, you or your baby will receive extra monitoring, and perhaps extra care, as a result of the gestational diabetes. Your baby after the birth Gestational diabetes can directly affect your baby’s blood glucose levels. That means that he could be born with low blood glucose. This could lead to serious consequences if it is not treated, but your team will be aware of these risks and will know what to do. He may also have jaundice (which is usually harmless if treated) and may also have increased risk of breathing difficulties. You will be encouraged to feed your baby within half an hour after birth and then every two-to-three hours until his blood glucose levels stabilise. Two-to-four hours after the birth, the healthcare team will test his blood glucose level. They will do this by pricking his heel to get a drop of blood for testing. Your baby will not enjoy this, but try not to let it upset you. The test is done to keep your baby safe. If your baby’s blood glucose remains low, he might need some extra help to increase his blood glucose levels, such as being put on a drip or being tube fed. He may need to spend some time being monitored or treated in the neonatal unit – especially if there are extra complications. However the hospital will try to keep him in the ward with you wherever this is possible. "I was an emotional wreck afterwards for a whole week, crying all the time. I didn't like seeing my baby with tubes in him and he had jaundice as well so we weren't allowed to go home. But now, he's fabulous; constantly crawling around, he's a really busy baby!" Aisha, mum of one You after the birth Your blood glucose should be tested before you leave the hospi Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (sometimes referred to as GDM) is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. It is diagnosed when higher than normal blood glucose levels first appear during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is the fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia, affecting thousands of pregnant women. Between 5% and 10% of pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes and this usually occurs around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. All women are tested for gestational diabetes as part of the 24-28 week routine examination with their GP. Women who have one or more of the risk factors are advised to have a diabetes test when pregnancy is confirmed then again at 24 weeks if diabetes was not detected in early pregnancy. While there is no one reason for why women develop gestational diabetes, you are at risk of developing gestational diabetes if you: Are over 25 years of age Have a family history of type 2 diabetes Are overweight Are from an Indigenous Australian or Torres Strait Islander background Are from a Vietnamese, Chinese, middle eastern, Polynesian or Melanesian background Have had gestational diabetes during previous pregnancies Have previously had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Have previously given birth to a large baby Have a family history of gestational diabetes Most women are diagnosed after special blood tests. A Glucose Challenge Test (GCT) is a screening test where blood is taken for a glucose measurement one hour after a glucose drink. If this test is abnormal then an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) is done. For an OGTT a blood sample is taken before and two hours after the drink. For many people, being diagnosed with gestational diabetes can be upsetting. However, it is important to remember 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 >>

Gestational Diabetes: What It Means For You And Your Baby

Gestational Diabetes: What It Means For You And Your Baby

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website. What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that starts during pregnancy. (The word gestational means “during pregnancy.”) If you have gestational diabetes, your body isn't able to use the sugar (glucose) in your blood as well as it should, so the level of sugar in your blood gets too high. Gestational diabetes affects about 3% of all pregnant women. It usually starts in the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy (between the 24th and 28th weeks). This kind of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. How can gestational diabetes affect me and my baby? Your baby may grow somewhat larger than a typical baby. This can happen because the extra sugar in your blood “feeds” your baby more. If your baby is very large, you may have a more difficult delivery or need a cesarean section. Gestational diabetes can also cause some problems for your baby at birth, such as a low blood sugar level or jaundice (yellowish skin color). Neither of these problems is very serious. If your baby's blood sugar level is low, he or she will be given extra glucose (sugar water) to bring it back to normal. Jaundice is treated by putting the baby under special lights. Jaundice is common in many newborns and not just those born to mothers with gestational diabetes. What can I do if I have gestational diabetes? Your doctor will probably suggest a special diet for you and may want you to have your blood tested to monitor (check) the sugar level. He or she may also want you to ge 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 >>

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

Home » About Diabetes » Pregnancy » Gestational Diabetes Gestational Diabetes Gestational diabetes is the type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Like other forms od diabetes, gestational diabetes affects the way the body uses the glucose [sugar] in the blood and as a result the blood sugars rise too high. The glucose in the blood is the body’s main source of energy. If gestational diabetes is untreated or uncontrolled, it can result in a variety of health problems for both that mother and baby. So it is important that a treatment plan is worked out to keep blood sugars within the normal range. The good news is that controlling blood sugars can help to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Signs and Symptoms Most women do not have any signs or symptoms of gestational diabetes but your healthcare professional will check for gestational diabetes as part of your prenatal care. When signs and symptoms do occur they include: Excessive thirst Increased urination. About 3 to 5% of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. The Causes of Gestational Diabetes Normal metabolism Normally during digestion the body breaks down the carbohydrates you eat into simple sugars [glucose] and this glucose is absorbed into the blood and transported around the body by the blood vessel system to provide the energy needed for all our activities. This process cannot take place without insulin. Insulin is produced in the pancreas, a gland behind the stomach, and helps the glucose to pass into the cells to provide energy and maintains normal levels of glucose in the blood. The liver also plays a part in maintaining normal blood glucose levels. When there is more glucose in the cells than your body needs for energy, it is removed from the blood and stored it in the liver Continue reading >>

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