November is American Diabetes Month and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is promoting awareness for health after gestational diabetes. If you are trying to get pregnant or already are, take the time to speak with your doctor about your risk and what you can do.
What is it?
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy in women who were not previously diabetic. Gestational diabetes is when cells are unable to process glucose (sugar) and causes high blood pressure. As we eat, food is broken down into sugar and released into the bloodstream. The pancreas produces insulin to control sugar, but in the case of gestational diabetes, the changes in the mother’s body can create insulin resistance in addition to the placenta releasing conflicting hormones.
Although it’s not very common (only 2-10% of women experience gestational diabetes), it is important to speak with a doctor to see if they think you might be at risk. It is better to catch it and treat it before gestational diabetes causes issues for you and the baby later on, including being at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms and treatment:
Usually, symptoms of gestational diabetes aren’t noticeable. This is why it is important to speak with your doctor if you are trying to get pregnant or already are. Your doctor will know if you are at risk and need to be tested. Usually this is through family medical history or if the mother is already at risk for type 1 diabetes.
Once you speak with your doctor, treatment is pretty simple. A well balanced diet and exercise are important. If you are trying to get pregnant and might be at risk for gestational diabetes, try to lose weight before getting pregnant. Losing weight is not recommended during pregnancy.
What can you do?
Speak with your doctor! Luckily, gestational diabetes can be easily monitored with a healthy balanced diet and frequent exercising, as prescribed by your nutritionist or doctor. Community Care Physicians provides comprehensive diabetes education at our Nutrition and Diabetes Center. If you need help managing your gestational diabetes, call our office today at (518) 452-1337, opt 1. Our Nutrition and Diabetes Center is located at 501 New Karner Road, Suite 1A, Albany, NY 12205.
Community Care Physician Diabetes Educators:
For more information on gestational diabetes and our diabetes facilities: