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What is Gestational Diabetes?

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the glucose or sugar levels in your blood are too high. Normally, your stomach and intestines digest carbohydrates in your food into glucose, which is your body’s main form of energy. The glucose needs the hormone insulin to move from your blood into your cells to provide the energy you need. When you have diabetes, either your body doesn’t make insulin (Type 1), or your body doesn’t use insulin well (Type 2). If your body doesn’t produce insulin or doesn’t use it well, the glucose doesn’t get absorbed into your cells and remains in your blood. Having too much glucose build up in your blood can have a variety of devastating effects on your health, and can cause damage to your eyes, kidneys, and nerves, as well as possibly lead to strokes and heart disease.

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that first happens during pregnancy. While gestational diabetes goes away when you have your baby, it does increase your risk for developing diabetes later on and is not good for you or your unborn child. In general, your AOA healthcare provider will test for gestational diabetes between 24-28 weeks in your pregnancy.

If you develop diabetes during your pregnancy, your AOA provider will develop a plan to help you keep your blood sugar under control. Each woman will have a specific plan developed just for her, but there are some basic approaches to mitigating the impact of gestational diabetes. These usually involve regularly testing your blood sugar to know your levels; eating a healthy diet (your doctor may provide you with a specific meal plan); getting regular, moderate exercise; maintaining a healthy weight; and keeping a daily record of your diet, physical activity and blood sugar levels.

Learn more about gestational diabetes at: