(Saturday, 1st Nov, 2014)
Pregnancy diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and usually disappears just after delivery. The disease is most common among women who are overweight or have a family history of diabetes.
Diabetes occurs if the body is not able to produce the increased amounts of insulin required by pregnant women. After delivery, the need for insulin falls back to normal levels and the diabetes will usually disappear. However, there is then a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life as the production of insulin decreases with increasing age.
Many pregnant women do not notice any symptoms and the disorder is usually detected by screening. However, you may experience:
Pregnant women are screened for pregnancy diabetes if they:
If you do plan your pregnancy and follow your doctors advice during pregnancy, you have a good chance of delivering a healthy baby. The following risks are associated with untreated pregnancy diabetes:
Your doctor will advise you to follow a diabetes diet that is low in fat and rich in carbohydrates and show you how to check your sugar levels at home. It may also be necessary to take insulin to control your sugar level.
For most women pregnancy diabetes disappears after birth, although there is a risk that you will develop diabetes later in life. If you became diabetic during one pregnancy, then you are more likely to develop diabetes in future pregnancies, so you should be tested early for diabetes in the next pregnancy.
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