Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that happens during pregnancy and usually goes away after delivery. Often there are no symptoms of gestational diabetes, and it can lead to many other serious health conditions. Dr. Carolina Solis-Herrera, an endocrinologist at University Health, discusses the risks of gestational diabetes and how to prevent it.
Effects of Gestational Diabetes
“One of them is high blood pressure, which can hurt your heart and cause an emergency called preeclampsia,” Solis-Herrera said. “Eventually one out of two women develop Type 2 diabetes in five to 10 years.”
Symptoms of gestational diabetes don’t usually appear until your blood sugar is very high. “In some patients, (symptoms) can be increased urination or thirst, so it’s very important to check with your doctor,” Solis-Herrera said.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes for the mother
- Being overweight or obese
- Not being physically active
- Having had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome
- Having an immediate family member with diabetes
Effects gestational diabetes may have on the baby
- Putting your baby at risk of being very large
- Being born prematurely with related risks like breathing difficulty
- Having low blood sugar
“There’s a risk of these babies developing Type 2 diabetes when they’re adolescents or adults,” Solis-Herrera said.
How to Treat Gestational Diabetes
Managing gestational diabetes is much like managing Type 2 diabetes. “You need to be a healthy weight and exercise regularly,” Solis-Herrera said.
Pregnancy Care at University Health
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