What Is Gestational Diabetes and Should I Be Screened for It?

What Is Gestational Diabetes and Should I Be Screened for It? (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes (GD) is diabetes that develops in pregnant women who were not diabetic prior to pregnancy. The CDC estimates that two to ten percent of pregnancies are affected by GD. Having GD means your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin to maintain a normal blood sugar level. Anyone can develop GD, but you may be predisposed to it if you had it during a previous pregnancy, are overweight, or have polycystic ovarian syndrome. You can learn more about the risk factors for GD here.

Gestational Diabetes Is Diabetes That Develops In Pregnant Women (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What Does Gestational Diabetes Screening Involve?

Gestational diabetes usually doesn’t have any symptoms, so it’s diagnosed via a specialized test. Your OB/GYN will schedule you for an oral glucose tolerance test at around 24 to 28 weeks pregnant.

Gestational Diabetes Usually Doesn’t Have Any Symptoms (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Does Gestational Diabetes Mean I Have a High-Risk Pregnancy?

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your OB/GYN may refer you to a high-risk specialist in maternal-fetal medicine to help you manage it. I know it’s difficult not to panic at this point, but your doctor can help to ease your anxiety. Expectant mothers with GD can go on to deliver healthy babies, but they do require extra monitoring and care.

Gestational Diabetes: Managing Risk During and After Pregnancy Video│Brigham and Women’s Hospital
It’s No Fun to Deal With an Issue Like Gestational Diabetes (Image Source: Shutterstock)

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