Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Gestational diabetes generally has few symptoms
- is most commonly diagnosed by blood glucose tolerance test during pregnancy.
- Diagnostic tests detect inappropriately high levels of glucose in the blood.
- Gestational diabetes affects 3-10% of pregnancies, depending on the population studied.
- No specific cause has been identified
- It is believed that the hormones produced during pregnancy increase the body’s resistance to insulin, resulting in impaired glucose tolerance.
- a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes or prediabetes
- impaired glucose tolerance
- Family history of a first degree relative with type 2 diabetes
- maternal age – a woman’s risk factor increases as she gets older (especially for women over 35 years of age)
- ethnic background (those with higher risk factors include African-Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Native Peoples, Hispanics
- severe obesity
- a previous pregnancy which resulted in a child with a high birth weight (8 lbs 12.8 oz and over)
- regular excercise
- diet (containing a variety of foods, distributing calories and carbohydrates evenly throughout the day, three small-to-moderate-sized meals with two to four snacks every day is recommended)
- blood glucose monitoring and insulin injections if needed
Gestational Diabetes usually resolves within hours of the placenta being delivered or within 1-2 days postpartum
Martin, Glenn and Porth, Carol, Mattson. 2009. Pathophysiology Concepts of Altered Health States. 8th ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Philadelphia