ZocdocAnswersWhat is gestational diabetes?

Question

What is gestational diabetes?

I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and I want to learn more about it. I am a 27 year old female and I feel very sick.

Answer

Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to effectively process the sugar load that is ingested with meals. This results in high levels of sugar in the blood, which can have many short and long term effects and symptoms. Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. The reason that diabetes can occur during pregnancy is that some of the hormones that are involved in the pregnancy interfere with the function of insulin, which is the hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Because the level of sugar elevation in gestational diabetes tends to be less than in non gestational diabetes, the actual symptoms of gestational diabetes tend to be quite minimal when compared to non gestational diabetes. Nevertheless, it is important to treat and control gestational diabetes because it can have harmful effects on the baby, such as increasing the risk of birth defects and problems during and after delivery. Furthermore, although gestational diabetes fortunately tends to resolve after delivery, women who have had gestational diabetes tend to be at a much higher risk of developing regular diabetes later in life. Therefore, diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight will all be very important for you after the pregnancy.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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