Risk Factors of Gestational Diabetes

Learn the negative and positive aspects of gestational diabetes, as well as the risk factors for pregnant woman.

Gestational Diabetes is something a type of diabetes that emerges in pregnant women. There are both positive and negatives to gestational diabetes because it commonly resolves its self after giving birth but can also be a sign that diabetes could be developed later in life. The risk of gestational diabetes in pregnancy is high due to hormonal changes as well as blood sugar changes. You may be wondering about the risk factors of gestational diabetes as well as the treatment, continue reading to find out more. 

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Risk of Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy

The risk factors of gestational diabetes developing during pregnancy can factor from various causes. Here is a list of a few factors that can raise the risk of gestational diabetes in pregnancy:

  • High blood pressure
  • Prediabetes
  • Previous cases of gestational diabetes
  • Family history that includes type 2 diabetes
  • Hormone disorders
  • Being overweight
  • Being older than 25
  • Being of certain descent such as African American, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, or pacific islander
  • Have given birth to a baby previously that was over 9 lbs.
  • Previous miscarriage or stillbirth

Other causes of gestational diabetes can stem from the body’s inability to respond or produce insulin. Unfortunately when the body cannot absorb glucose, also known as sugar, correctly into the bloodstream it leads to elevated levels of sugar in the blood. Having too much sugar in the blood can lead to varying complications. The hormones that are affected during pregnancy that can lead other risk factors of gestational diabetes. The following hormones affected are:

  • Growth hormones
  • Cortisol
  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Human placental lactogen
  • Placental insulanse

Because gestational diabetes can be harmful to the fetus, it’s important that gestational diabetes treatment is started immediately once diagnosed. It is also possible that gestational diabetes cause complications in pregnancy such as the need to have a cesarean section because the baby has grown to a larger size than normal. When the baby has grown too large it is called macrosomia.

Gestational Diabetes Treatment

Gestational diabetes treatment focuses on keeping blood sugar levels as low as the levels of the women who are pregnant without diabetes. Overall gestational diabetes treatment focuses on meal planning and physical activity and could also include the need for regular insulin injections and glucose testing.

Although risk factors of gestational diabetes can be dangerous, catching it early and working with a medical team can greatly lower the risks and turn your pregnancy into a healthy one. If you are thinking about having a child and are afraid that you may be at risk of gestational diabetes losing weight can help lower the risk of gestational diabetes in pregnancy. If you are more than 20% over a normal body weight, losing a few pounds can be greatly beneficial to your health. Also following a healthy diet as well as regular exercise can help the body use glucose. Glucose is converted into energy by the insulin in the body and when the body cannot properly use the insulin, too much glucose builds up in the blood.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes oftentimes doesn’t produce noticeable symptoms and therefore is hard to detect. The following symptoms can be caused by high levels of blood sugar:

  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive thirst and urination
  • Nausea and vomiting not associated with the pregnancy
  • Weight loss
  • More infections

These symptoms can often be associated with pregnancy. If you are afraid that you may have gestational diabetes, or could be developing it, speaking to a medical professional about your concerns if the best thing that you could go.

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