Gestational Diabetes: The Overlooked Form of Diabetes
Did you know you could have diabetes and not realize it? Out of the almost 30 million Americans suffering from diabetes, over eight million cases are undiagnosed, and almost 1.5 million new cases of diabetes appear every year. As the onset of type 2 diabetes reaches epic proportions in American families, health experts continue to build awareness of the risks and rally for prevention. But what about gestational diabetes? Although it’s easy to shrug off this form of diabetes that targets a specific portion of the community—and often remedies itself after giving birth—the temporary condition, if left untreated, can produce permanent damage.
What is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus?
This form of diabetes occurs exclusively in women—pregnant women, to be exact. Women can be diagnosed with gestational diabetes having no history of diabetes at all. Doctors don’t understand why it occurs in some women, but they know it’s affected by the hormones that support the unborn baby in the placenta. These essential hormones help in the baby’s development, but they also contribute to insulin resistance in the mother. Without regular access to insulin, the mother’s glucose cannot be converted to energy, so it builds up in the blood to dangerous levels. This is called hyperglycemia.
What are common symptoms and factors that may increase the risk of developing GDM?
You’ll need to examine both your family and personal medical history. Some factors that increase your chances of developing GDM include a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure, obesity prior to pregnancy, Continue reading