Effects and Treatment of Gestational Diabetes

Wed, 26 Oct 2005
Knowing that you have gestational diabetes, that is, becoming diabetic when you are pregnant, can be very frightening.

You have to deal with all the emotions and being pregnant and the uncertainty of this new found condition.

There are many well-informed health professionals to help answer your questions and to guide you through this very important time in your life. The more you know, the easier it is to accept and make the necessary changes for a successful and happy pregnancy.

Somewhere between 24 and 28 weeks into your pregnancy your doctor most likely sent you to be screened for the presence of gestational diabetes. (If you were at greater risk for getting gestational diabetes, your doctor may have sent you earlier, at 16 weeks.) You may think this is too late in your pregnancy to be finding out about such a problem, but in most cases, screening before this time would be of little value. It is the hormonal changes (hormones made by the placenta that resist insulin) in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, along with the growth demands of the foetus, that increase a pregnant woman's insulin needs by two to three times that of normal.

Insulin is needed to take the sugar from your blood and move it into your cells for energy. If your body cannot make this amount of insulin, sugar from the foods you eat will stay in your blood stream and cause high blood sugars.

Gestational diabetics means diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar) first found during pregnancy. It occurs in three to five percent of all pregnancies (in other words, one in 20 pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes); so, you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
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