Gestational diabetes is a condition that only occurs during pregnancy. This is understandably a concern for many women. However, even if you develop gestational diabetes, you can still give birth to a healthy baby.
At the Houston Fertility Clinic in Houston, TX, Dr. Sonja B. Kristiansen offers a variety of infertility treatments and also helps women who have developed gestational diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, your blood sugar can be managed by following a few simple guidelines.
Here, we discuss pregnancy and gestational diabetes, and how you can care for your body during this exciting time.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
You eat healthy. You exercise. You are doing all the right things. So how can gestational diabetes occur in healthy women? During pregnancy, hormones are produced by the placenta. These hormones can result in an increase of sugar in your blood. Most of the time, the pancreas can produce enough insulin to balance this out. However, if it does not, the blood sugar levels will continue to increase, and you can develop gestational diabetes.
How to Know if You Are at Risk
Gestational diabetes can affect any woman. However, there are a few common risk factors that can contribute to its development. You are more likely to acquire this condition if:
- You are Asian, Hispanic, Native American, or African-American.
- You typically have high blood sugar, but the levels are not elevated enough to qualify as diabetes.
- You were overweight before you became pregnant.
- You have had gestational diabetes in the past.
- Diabetes is a common disease in your family history.
Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes
If you are at risk for gestational diabetes, your doctor will check for it right away. If you are not considered high-risk for this condition, testing will be performed at approximately 24 to 28 weeks.
In order to test for gestational diabetes, you will be asked to drink a sugary beverage to raise your blood sugar levels. After one hour, your blood will be tested. If your results show 130 milligrams per deciliter or higher, you will require further testing to gather more specific information. If your results are normal, but you are still at high risk, you may take another test a few weeks later to make sure you have not developed gestational diabetes.
Treatments for Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes can be managed effectively if you follow Dr. Kristiansen’s recommended guidelines. Typically, in order to treat the condition, you will be asked to:
- Assess your blood sugar levels at least four times every day.
- Take at-home urine tests to check the levels of ketones in your system.
- Consume a well-balanced and healthy diet.
- Adopt a regular exercise regimen.
Most of the time, these tips can help keep your condition under control for the health of you and your baby. During each office visit, your doctor will check your weight gain to determine if further treatment is necessary. In some cases, insulin or other medications can be taken to help keep gestational diabetes under control.
Learn More about Gestational Diabetes
If you are pregnant or are trying to conceive, it is important to know if you are at risk for gestational diabetes. To determine if this condition could affect your pregnancy, schedule a consultation with your doctor.
You can contact us online anytime, or call one of our two office locations.