What You Should Know about Gestational Diabetes

Throughout your pregnancy, you may be at risk for certain conditions that make your pregnancy high-risk, such as gestational diabetes. It’s estimated that 2-10% of women develop this type of diabetes in the United States.

Derakhsh Fozouni, MD, realizes that gestational diabetes or any pregnancy complication can be frightening, and he offers comprehensive care to ensure you enjoy a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery.

Understanding gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a condition that involves elevated blood sugar levels during a pregnancy. Women who develop gestational diabetes often do so during the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.

You can develop gestational diabetes even if you never had the condition before. For many women, the high blood sugar levels resolve on their own after childbirth. However, there is a risk for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis as a result of developing gestational diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that results when your body doesn’t make enough of the insulin hormone to successfully convert sugar from your diet into the energy you need to function. You can also develop type 2 diabetes if your body isn’t efficiently using the insulin it makes.

Type 2 diabetes often results from an unhealthy diet, obesity, and a lack of exercise. In many cases, improving your overall health and maintaining a healthy weight can lower your blood sugar naturally. These factors are also important for preventing type 2 diabetes in the first place.

Another type of diabetes, type 1 diabetes, isn’t associated with gestational diabetes, but if you are a type 1 diabetic and become pregnant, Dr. Fozouni works closely with you to keep your disease well-controlled throughout your pregnancy.

Why you have gestational diabetes

The root cause of gestational diabetes isn’t clearly understood. However, it’s likely that pregnancy-related hormone changes contribute to the condition.

While you’re pregnant, your body produces excess amounts of hormones that can increase your resistance to insulin. These hormones are important for the development of your placenta and supporting a healthy pregnancy, but may increase your risk for gestational diabetes.

Insulin hormones help move glucose (sugar) from your blood into your cells for energy. Insulin resistance is a natural part of pregnancy because it ensures that your baby receives glucose necessary for development. However, if the resistance to insulin is so strong, consistently high blood sugar levels may result, which triggers a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

Identifying risk factors for gestational diabetes

Dr. Fozouni offers on-site glucose testing throughout your pregnancy to identify early signs of gestational diabetes. This test is simple and involves drinking a glucose solution and undergoing a blood test to measure sugar levels.

You may also need gestational diabetes evaluations if you have risk factors like:

If you have other high-risk pregnancy factors, like expecting multiple babies or an existing condition like polycystic ovary syndrome, you may also be more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

Options for managing gestational diabetes

To protect your health and the health of your baby, Dr. Fozouni creates a treatment plan based on the results of your blood glucose test. In addition to testing your blood sugar levels routinely at home, you also need to follow a healthy diet plan and eliminate excess sugar from your diet.

In some cases, medications or insulin therapy may be necessary to control blood sugar levels until you give birth. Dr. Fozouni also monitors your general health to determine your additional risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes after your pregnancy.

If you have questions or concerns about your risk factors for gestational diabetes, schedule a consultation with Dr. Fozouni today by phone or by using the online booking feature. 

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