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Diabetes Health Center

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What Increases My Risk of Diabetes?

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Diabetes when you’re expecting affects about 4% of all U.S. pregnancies. It's caused by hormones the placenta makes or by too little insulin. High blood sugar from the mother causes high blood sugar in the baby. That can lead to growth and development problems if left untreated. Things that can lead to gestational diabetes include:

  • Obesity or being overweight. Extra pounds can lead to gestational diabetes.
  • Glucose intolerance. Having glucose intolerance or gestational diabetes in the past makes you more likely to get it again.
  • Family history. If a parent or sibling has had gestational diabetes, you're more likely to get it.
  • Age. The older you are when you get pregnant, the higher your chances are.

Steps to Take

Whatever your risk are, there's a lot you can do to delay or prevent diabetes.

  • Manage your blood pressure.
  • Keep your weight within or near a healthy range.
  • Get 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
  • Eat a balanced diet.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on September 02, 2014
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