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Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

So... What IS Gestational Diabetes and how can Gestational diabetes affect me?  Well it will not affect any of the male of the species, well not directly anyway ;)

 

Gestational diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels.  Approximately 4% of pregnancies in the United States ate diagnosed with GDM and it occurs during pregnancy (usually the second or third trimester when hormone levels are at their highest level) where the body cannot make enough insulin to cope with the pregnancy.  If this happens during the first trimester, it is usually a precursor that the condition was in the body before the pregnancy. Gestational Diabetes need not be too much of a problem if you take care of it during your pregnancy. 

 

 

In most cases, the condition usually goes away shortly after the baby is born, your GP usually handles this and you will have blood tests to confirm that you are clear of the condition. Any medication will then cease to be needed, although those developing the condition in the first trimester may need to be treated for type 2 diabetes at some time.

 

What are the risk factors of developing GDM?

You need to know the risks of gestational diabetes.  There are high risk and low risk factors.  How do you measure up?

High risk - Your risk of developing GDM if you fall into any of the following:

  • If you are obese
  • Have previously given birth to a large baby (nine pounds or greater)
  • Have had gestational diabetes with a previous pregnancy
  • Have glycosuria (sugar in your urine) before or during pregnancy
  • Have a strong family history of diabetes

If you are considered high-risk, your health care provider will test your blood sugar early in the pregnancy, and then retest you around the 24th week(third trimester). Women at average risk of gestational diabetes are tested between week 24 and 28 of their pregnancy.

Can I prevent Gestational Diabetes?

You can lessen the risk of developing gestational diabetes.  As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, you can talk to your doctor or healthcare educator about creating a pregnancy plan, eat properly and exercise regularly.  This will help to keep your weight down to a normal pregnancy level.  Your blood sugars will need be monitored, especially if type 2 diabetes runs in your family but with a proper program this need not be a huge problem. 
Please note. Video clips are in English only:

Gestational 1

 

Gestational 2

 

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