What is gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a condition causing high blood sugar (diabetes), which begins during pregnancy. It affects approximately four percent of all pregnant women, causing potentially serious complications if not managed. Your OB/GYN can detect this condition during routine screenings, and help you manage it for a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby. This is one of many reasons to schedule an appointment as soon as you think you might be pregnant.
Hormonal changes naturally occurring in pregnancy inhibit the action of insulin. This is normal, preventing the mother’s blood sugar levels from dropping as nutrients are diverted to the developing fetus. As the pregnancy progresses and these hormones increase, glucose levels raise. In response, the mother’s pancreas produces more insulin, keeping a delicate, healthy balance. However, sometimes the mother’s pancreas is unable to produce the levels of insulin needed to counteract increasing hormones. When this happens, blood sugar levels continue rising, and gestational diabetes develops.
Every pregnant woman should be tested for gestational diabetes by the 28th week of pregnancy, if not sooner. High-risk patients are often tested earlier, and more often. Dr. Taryll Jenkins, your OB/GYN in Katy, TX, will examine your current condition, medical records, and risk factors to determine when you should be tested. Common risk factors include:
- Impaired glucose tolerance (pre-diabetic)
- Family medical history including diabetes
- Previous gestational diabetes
- Having given birth to a baby over nine pounds, or a stillborn baby in the past
One of the most important steps in managing any form of diabetes is a healthy diet. Dr. Jenkins will explain what foods are healthy right now, what should be avoided, and how to make wise choices. He will also help you learn the balance between too much strain, and too little exercise.
In many cases, these careful lifestyle alterations can keep the condition under control. Regular monitoring of blood sugar and urine ketones will alert you, and the doctor, if the condition worsens. If this happens, you may need to take insulin.
Dr. Jenkins will be there with you, every step of the way. Whether you have a complication-free pregnancy, develop gestational diabetes, or any other condition, he will provide the highest level of medical care, expert advice, and genuine compassion.
If you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, you need a caregiver who actually cares. Call Dr. Jenkins at 855 346 8610 today.