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March 22, 2001

Gestational Diabetes

Question from New York, USA:

I am 35 weeks pregnant, and I have gestational diabetes. I have a question regarding your answer to a previous question. You have mentioned that although my blood sugar was only mildly elevated, it was probably enough to stimulate insulin production in the fetus. My questions are: How long does my blood sugar need to stay high to stimulate insulin production in fetus? If the fetus already increased its insulin production due to my prior high blood sugar level, and my blood sugar returns to normal range and stays within the normal range for the next few weeks, will it come back to normal?

Answer:

I do not know how quickly the fetus changes its insulin production in response to your blood sugar levels. If you improve your glucose control, then the fetus will adjust accordingly. This is what happens to the newborn only more rapidly.

OWJ