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What Does Gestational Diabetes Mean

When a pregnant woman who has had no history of diabetes gets the disease, it is called gestational diabetes. This usually occurs around the twenty-fourth to twenty-eighth week of pregnancy. The United States alone reports 135,000 cases of gestational diabetes each year. With the right medical care, a good diet plan, and monitored weight gain a woman with gestational diabetes can deliver a perfectly healthy baby.

To eliminate the possibility that a woman has gestational diabetes, her physician will perform one of two tests. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (One Step): after a pregnant woman has not eaten anything for a period of four to eight hours, her blood glucose level is tested. Then she will drink a concoction that is extremely high in sugar content and be tested again in approximately two hours. Two Step: this test requires the pregnant woman to drink the above mentioned concoction first, without the fasting period.

Then after one hour, her blood glucose level is taken. A non-diabetic woman will have a normal reading at this time. A woman who has a high level of blood glucose will be re-tested by means of the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test to be certain that she has gestational diabetes. No one knows why gestational diabetes happens, but some speculations are that the fetus makes hormones that prevent the mother from making adequate amounts of insulin to maintain blood sugar levels.

A pregnant woman's body is undergoing change and can require up to three times the normal amount of insulin needed to control her blood sugar levels. Macrosomia can occur in the infant if the surplus of sugar is passed to them through the placenta. Some other risks involved to both the mother and the baby are: A macrosomic infant may need to be delivered via caesarian section to avoid injury. The newborn may suffer from low blood sugar. The newborn may suffer jaundice.

The infant's blood may have low mineral levels. The infant may have breathing distress upon delivery. The children are at higher risk of being obese. The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is higher for both the child and the mother. The chances for a woman developing gestational diabetes with future pregnancy are increased.

In order to avoid risks to both mother and her baby, gestational diabetes needs to be diagnosed and treated quickly. Along with other advice that the health care provider gives, a healthy diet and safe exercise program should be initiated. Carbohydrate intake needs to be minimized because they are almost directly converted to sugar. Moderate exercise helps to maintain weight gain. An excessive weight gain leads to risks for the mother as well as the immediate and future risks to the baby.

If Insulin is needed to control blood sugar levels, take it as directed by the healthcare provider. Monitoring the blood glucose level closely is another way to avoid risk. Gestational diabetes corrects itself on its own after delivery. The placenta is not making hormones that have an effect on the mother's capability to manufacture insulin. It is strongly urged to get another glucose test approximately six weeks after delivering to make certain that Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes was not mistakenly diagnosed as gestational diabetes.

Also, having another test executed will also evaluate the possibility of getting Type 2 diabetes in the future. Women who have had gestational diabetes, and the children born under those conditions, can diminish the menace of developing Type 2 diabetes by making simple healthy changes in the foods they eat and how much they exercise. Eating healthy and exercise are necessary to lose weight especially with the fact that the leading cause in the development of Type 2 diabetes is obesity.

Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit http://www.yourdiabetescure.com and learn more about your solution for diabetes.

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