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Diabetes occurs when there is a higher level of glucose in the blood than is normal. Glucose comes from the breakdown of the food you eat. It travels through your body in the blood. A hormone called insulin then helps glucose move from your blood to your cells. Once glucose is in your cells, it can be used for energy. A problem making or using insulin means glucose cannot move into your cells. Instead, the glucose builds up in your blood. The build-up is called hyperglycemia.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs or is first recognized during pregnancy. The extra glucose can affect the mother and the baby.
Gestational diabetes is more common in women who are 25 years and older. It is also more common in women of Hispanic, African-American, Native-American, Asian-American, Indigenous Australian, or a Pacific Islander descent.
Factors that may increase the risk of gestational diabetes include:
or being overweight—This can affect the body's ability to use insulin.
As part of prenatal screening, you will be tested for gestational diabetes. If you don't have a history of diabetes, the test will be done at 24-28 weeks of gestation. You will be given a drink that has a special glucose solution in it. The level of glucose in your blood will be measured. Other tests may be used that require fasting (not eating or drinking anything). If you are high risk for gestational diabetes or have symptoms, you will be tested earlier in the pregnancy.
A blood glucose monitor will help you check your glucose levels throughout the day. Knowing your glucose level will help you plan your meals, activities, and medication. Keep a record of your results. Discuss them with your doctor at your visits.
Gestational diabetes. ACOG practice bulletin No. 30.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated August 19, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2014.
Hillier TA, Pedula KL, Vesco KK, et al. Excess gestational weight gain: modifying fetal macrosomia risk associated with maternal glucose.
How to treat gestational diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated April 29, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2014.
2/5/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Cheng YW, Chung JH, Kurbisch-Block I, Inturrisi M, Shafer S, Caughey AB. Gestational weight gain and gestational diabetes mellitus: perinatal outcomes. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;112:1015-1022.
4/1/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Dhulkotia JS, Ola B, Fraser R, Farrell T. Oral hypoglycemic agents vs insulin in management of gestational diabetes: a systematic review and metaanalysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010;203(5):457.e1-9.
3/17/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Luoto R, Laitinen K, et al. Impact of material probiotic-supplemented dietary counselling on pregnancy outcome and prenatal and postnatal growth: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Br J Nutr. 2010. Jun;103(12):1792-1799.
6/9/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Qin JZ, Pang LH, et al. Obstetric complications in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2013;11:56
10/13/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Zhang C, Tobias DK, et al. Adherence to healthy lifestyle and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2014 Sep 30;349.
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