gestational diabetes : Definition
is a carbohydrate intolerance of variable severity that starts or is first recognized during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed during the 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy. In many cases, the blood glucose level returns to normal after delivery.
It is recommended that all pregnant women be screened for gestational diabetes during the 24th and 28th weeks of their pregnancy. The symptoms are usually mild and not life-threatening to the pregnant woman.
However, the increased maternal glucose (blood sugar) levels are associated with an increased rate of complications in the baby, including large size at birth, birth trauma, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and jaundice. Rarely, the fetus dies in the womb late in the pregnancy.
Maintaining control of blood sugar levels significantly reduces the risk to the baby. The risk factors for gestational diabetes are being older when pregnant, African or Hispanic ancestry, obesity, gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, having a previous baby weighing over 9 pounds, an unexplained death in a previous fetus or newborn, a congenital malformation (birth defect) in a previous child, and recurrent infections
Weight loss in spite of increased appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Frequent infections including those of the bladder, vagina, and skin
Note: Usually there are no symptoms.
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