What Is Gestational Diabetes

What is gestional diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. Like other forms of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects the way your body uses sugar (glucose) – your body’s main source of fuel. The result may be dangerously high blood sugar levels. Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes.

What are the cause of gestional diabetes?

We don’t know what causes gestational diabetes, but we have some clues. The placenta supports the baby as it grows. Hormones from the placenta help the baby develop. But these hormones also block the action of the mother’s insulin in her body. This problem is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother’s body to use insulin. She may need up to three times as much insulin.

What are the risk factors?

Age. Women older than age 25 are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

Family or personal history. Your risk of developing gestational diabetes increases if you have prediabetes a precursor to type 2 diabetes or a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, has type 2 diabetes. You’re also more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you had it during a previous pregnancy, if you delivered a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds, or if you had an unexplained stillbirth.

Weight. You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you’re overweight before pregnancy.

Race. For reasons that aren’t clear, women who are black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian are more likely to develop gestational diabetes than are other women.