Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. A diagnosis of diabetes doesn’t mean that you’ll have diabetes following your pregnancy. However, it does mean that you’ll need to work closely with your health care team to lower the risk of complications.
At Burlington Medical Center, endocrinology specialist Dr. Sam Morayati takes special care to help patients with gestational diabetes manage the condition. Because gestational diabetes can have serious health consequences for you and your baby, your health care team, including your doctor and obstetrician work together to provide comprehensive care during and after your pregnancy.
There are two primary ways gestational diabetes develops. In some cases, hormones produced by the placenta reduce the body’s ability to use insulin. The body needs insulin for blood sugar to enter your cells. When you’re unable to use insulin, blood glucose builds up in the bloodstream.
In other cases, something reduces the body’s ability to produce enough insulin during pregnancy. Because pregnancy-related mechanisms cause gestational diabetes, blood sugar levels usually return to normal after delivery.
We don’t know why some expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes and others don’t. It’s believed that some women produce enough additional insulin to overcome insulin resistance, thereby preventing high blood sugar.
Gestational diabetes occurs when insulin production is insufficient to counteract the influence of placental hormones. Expectant mothers who are overweight, or have a family history of diabetes, have a higher chance of developing gestational diabetes.
Dr. Morayati and your obstetrician determine the specific treatment based on various factors, including your personal medical history, your blood sugar levels, and your overall health. Gestational diabetes can cause the baby to develop high blood sugar, grow too large, or develop low blood sugar after delivery.
However, with the right care, complications are usually manageable and preventable. The key is to control your blood sugar levels so they stay within a normal range. Your health care team monitors you closely and works together to manage your blood sugar levels.
Because gestational diabetes can harm both you and your baby, it’s vital to begin treatment as soon as possible. If you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you require assistance from your doctor, nurse educator, and other members of your health care team for your treatment to be modified as needed.
Work with Dr. Morayati to keep you and your baby safe and healthy. Get started by calling or requesting an appointment online today. Our clinic is located in Burlington, North Carolina.