Gestational Diabetes

What is it?
Many women suffer from Gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. It is a high blood sugar condition which is caused when your body can't produce enough insulin, preventing the body from using food properly. Insulin is a hormone the pancreas makes that allows cells to turn sugar into energy, or usable fuel. If your gestational diabetes goes untreated, then it could affect your baby. If the diabetes is uncontrolled, your baby could get very big, which could in turn result in a difficult birth, or even having to have a cesarean section. There are of course people who believe that large babies are more prone to obesity later on in life.

Women are routinely tested for gestational diabetes around the 28th week of pregnancy because that is when the placenta begins producing large amounts of hormones that can cause insulin resistance.

Risk Factors
Several factors may make you more prone to developing gestational diabetes. Included below are some of the more common risk factors:

if you are a previous diabetes sufferer, you will obviously be more likely to develop gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.
older womem
women suffering from high blood pressure
women who were large babies at birth (i.e. over nine pounds)
women with family members suffering from diabetes

Signs and Symptoms
There usually are no warning signs of gestational diabetes, which is why your health care provider should test you around week 24 of your pregnancy. Some symptoms you may experience could include:

Excessive hunger
Excessive thirst
Frequent and excessive urination
Recurrent vaginal infections
Increase in blood pressure
Sugar in the urine (when tested in your practitioner's office)
- Fatigue

How is it Treated?
You will need to control your glucose intake. This is done by adhering to a diet, and most doctors will suggest that you follow the nutritional guideline of the American Diabetes Association. This basically limits your intake of fats and sugars while eating the right foods to ensure you get all the other nutrients you need for your pregnancy. Since you need to monitor your blood glucose levels, you might want to check out and shop ADW Diabetes supplies for monitors and blood glucose test strips, which will aid in controlling your glucose intake.  Exercise is also important in controlling blood sugar. If that doesn't work, then your doctor may suggest insulin shots or other medications. In 97 to 98 percent of women, the blood sugar abnormalities will disappear after delivery. Some of these women may be at higher risk of developing diabetes later in life. If all of your doctor's instructions are followed, your baby will have a good chance of being healthy.

Preventing Gestational Diabetes
By adhering to a good diet, controlling your weight, and getting regular exercise, you will be able to reduce the risk of getting gestational diabetes.

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Recommended Link
Have you been diagnosed with gestational diabetes? Want a way to help other women who are also dealing with this pregnancy complication? Visit Pregnancy Stories to share your experience of pregnancy and offer your words of wisdom to others affected by gestational diabetes.

Have a concern about your pregnancy? Get advice from other women in our forum.

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