Gestational diabetes is the appearance of diabetes during pregnancy. It affects approximately 2% to 5% of all pregnant women. Once gestational diabetes occurs, it carries throughout the reminder of the pregnancy and usually disappears when a pregnancy is over.
Gestational diabetes is a results of certain hormones produced during pregnancy making the body resistant to the effects of insulin. These hormones are cortisal and human placental lactogen. Both of these hormones are vital to a health pregnancy and fetus. In normal circumstances during pregnancy, pancreas will reacts and produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance, but with women who have gestational diabetes the extra insulin produced is not enough. Hence, the glucoses are not being processed for the use of cells to produce body fuel. The glucoses then remain and accumulate in the bloodstream causing gestational diabetes.
Statistic shows that gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and American Indians. But it is also appropriate for women with a family history of diabetes, or who is overweight, or has symptoms suggesting diabetes to undergo testing at the first prenatal visit. Most other pregnant women should be tested 24-28 weeks into their pregnancy.
Diabetes will generally appear during pregnancy and usually return to normal after the women gives birth. However, the fact that the pancreas cannot maintain the normal insulin demands during the course of pregnancy suggests that it is operating without much reserve even when the individual is not pregnant. This suggests that women who develop gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
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