Gestational diabetes, as the name suggests, is diabetes that develops in women who are pregnant. It usually develops in women who insulin resistant.
How common is gestational diabetes?
Every year, 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes.
What causes gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes occurs in those that have an underlying metabolic process that also leads to weight gain called insulin resistance, according to Dr. Prab R. Tumpati, founder of W8MD.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance is a condition when your body does not respond to the hormone called insulin which tends to get worse during pregnancy due to the physiological stress that happens during pregnancy.
What is insulin and where is it produced?
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy.
Why do women develop this during pregnancy more so than other times?
During pregnancy, your body makes more hormones and goes through other changes, such as weight gain. These changes cause your body’s cells to use insulin less effectively, a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases your body’s need for insulin.
Who is at risk of getting insulin resistance and gestational diabetes?
All pregnant women have some insulin resistance during late pregnancy. However, overweight or obese women tend to have insulin resistance even before they get pregnant. They start pregnancy with an increased need for insulin and are more likely to have gestational diabetes.
How to prevent gestational diabetes?
About 50% of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes, but there are steps you can take to prevent it. Talk to your doctor about how to lower your risk and how often to have your blood sugar checked to make sure you’re on track.
What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes typically doesn’t have any symptoms. Your medical history and whether you have any risk factors may suggest to your doctor that you could have gestational diabetes, but you’ll need to be tested to know for sure.
What are the complications of gestational diabetes?
Having gestational diabetes can increase your risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy. It can also increase your risk of having a large baby that needs to be delivered by cesarean section (C-section).
If you have gestational diabetes, your baby is at higher risk of:
- Being very large (9 pounds or more), which can make delivery more difficult
- Being born early, which can cause breathing and other problems
- Having low blood sugar
- Developing type 2 diabetes later in life
What is the prognosis for gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes usually improves or goes away after your baby is born. However, about 50% of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. You can lower your risk by reaching a healthy body weight after delivery.
How can W8MD help?
Since W8MD’s program is a pioneer in the nation to target the underlying insulin resistance which causes not only the gestational diabetes but also the weight gain, W8MD is uniquely positioned to help you deal with it and reduce the risk of diabetes. Our weight loss program is unique in many ways with a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to weight loss. The center’s team of practitioners are among the most qualified, dedicated and hospitable professionals in the industry.