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Gestational Diabetes is an enhanced form of Diabetes Mellitus that is brought about by Pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes is when the glucose tolerance of the women is abnormal due to pregnancy or during pregnancy. It is very similar to Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Although the individual may not be aware that they have diabetes prior to pregnancy and are learning about it for the first time during their pregnancy. Gestational Diabetes only occurs only during pregnancy and can be seen in up to 5% of all pregnancies.

Improvement and often complete resolution occur following the delivery of the baby. Insulin response and inadequate secretion are often the cause. Observation and medical attention are necessary during the pregnancy due to risk to the mom and the child.

Between 15% and 50% of women who experience gestational diabetes will, later in life, develop Type 2 diabetes.

The babies who are born to women with gestational diabetes are themselves at risk for being large for their size, low blood sugar, jaundice, and others.

If an individual has a known diagnosis of Diabetes prior to pregnancy, they are not considered to have gestational diabetes.

Risk Factors:

–  Impaired Fasting Glucose
–  Ethnic Background
–  Family History of Diabetes
–  Overweight
–  Previous pregnancy resulting in large birth weight
–  Smoking
–  Polycystic Ovarian Disease

Complications that may occur with and/or without treatment:

–  Large Birth Weight
–  Induction of labor
–  Cesarean Section
–  Perinatal mortality

Screening:

Oral Glucose tolerance Test – (OGTT)

–  This will often occur around 24-28 weeks’ gestation
–  Will report elevated glucose readings
–  When abnormal – probable gestational diabetes is present (when done during pregnancy)
–  It should be done fasting
–  A follow-up OGTT should be done 2-4 months following birth

Treatment:

1.)  Dietary restrictions

2.)  Regular blood samples

3.)  Medications:

The medications are oftensimilar to that found in Type 2 diabetics

–  Glyburide  [Sulfonylurea ]
–  Metformin   [Biguanide ]

–   Insulin

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