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Diabetes Health Center

Gestational Diabetes

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Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that is first recognized during pregnancy. The condition occurs in approximately 4% of all pregnancies.

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

Diabetes can affect the developing fetus throughout the pregnancy. In early pregnancy, a mother's diabetes can result in birth defects and an increased rate of miscarriage.

Because gestational diabetes does not cause symptoms, you need to be tested for the condition.

Find out what causes gestational diabetes.

If you have had gestational diabetes before, or if your doctor is concerned about your risk of developing gestational diabetes, a test may be performed before the 13th week of pregnancy.

All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Screening may be done by taking the woman's medical history, examining certain risk factors, or screening with an oral glucose tolerance test.

If you have gestational diabetes, you will be asked to take certain dietary and lifestyle measures to keep your blood sugar at a safe level.

In some women, gestational diabetes cannot be prevented. But you may be able to lower your chance of getting gestational diabetes by staying at a healthy weight and not gaining too much weight during pregnancy.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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