Risk Factors For Gestational Diabetes
There are several risk factors for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a glucose intolerance that develops in pregnancy. While gestational diabetes only affects about 4% of pregnant women, if you feel you are at risk, you may want to get tested. Most doctors do a glucose test between 20 and 24 weeks gestation. You will need to fast before this test. You'll have to drink a syrupy liquid, and then have blood drawn an hour later. If your numbers are high after this test, they will have you do a 3-hour test. This longer test is what will give you a definite diagnosis.
Signs of Gestational Diabetes
Most women with Gestational Diabetes rarely show signs or smptoms of GD. That is why it is important to know the risk factors for Gestational Diabetes and check with your doctor.
Some common signs of gestational diabetes are......
•Increased Urination - This is especially hard to tell since pregnant women have to urinate more often than normal.
•Weight Loss - Weight loss with increased appetite.
•Fatique - Again, most pregnant women feel more tired than usual.
•Nausea and Vomiting
•Age – While there is some dispute as to what the age is for being at risk, medical authorities will quote anytime between 25 to 35 years of age as being a determining factor.
•Obesity – One of the major risk factors for gestational diabetes, obesity is defined as scoring more than 30 body mass index (BMI) for your height and weight.
•Race – Women of Hispanic, Native American, African American, Pacific Island or South or East Asian descent seem to be more at risk for gestational diabetes.
•Family history – If your parents or siblings suffer from diabetes of any type, it can increase your chances of developing gestational diabetes when pregnant.
•Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy – If you developed diabetes in a previous pregnancy, chances are it will come back in subsequent pregnancies. Your chances of developing it again range from 30 to 80%, depending on your other risk factors.
•Birthed a large baby – Again, there are a few disparities. Some authorities consider a previous baby over 8 lbs 5 oz as a risk factor, while others don't count the weight of previous babies unless they are 9 lbs or more. While gestational diabetes can be a cause for high birth weights, it can also cause low birth weight babies. High birth weight babies will often have their blood sugar tested at the hospital to make sure they don't suddenly drop to a low level.
•Miscarriages/still births – If you have had unexplained miscarriages or had a stillbirth, you may be more at risk for developing gestational diabetes. Miscarriage is a symptom of PCOS, which in turn could lead to diabetes due to insulin resistance.
•Smoking – Smokers have double the chance of developing gestational diabetes than those who do not smoke. Smoking also can cause other gestational complications like a low birth-weight baby and placental problems.
•Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) already causes difficulty in conception due to hormonal imbalances. Women suffering from PCOS often experience weight problems, irregular ovulation and menstrual cycles, and excessive effects of masculine hormones. PCOS causes a resistance to insulin, which in pregnancy is more pronounced due to the extra needs of the fetus and the mother's body.
As you can see, it is important to check your risk factors for gestational diabetes. The more risk factors you have, the more important it is that you be tested early in your pregnancy so treatment can get started.
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Risk Factors For Gestational Diabetes.
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