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April 29, 2001

Gestational Diabetes, Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from Ankara, Turkey:

I am 33 years old, have a history of a pre-term labour in week 24 with my earlier pregnancy resulting in the loss of my first baby, and now I have gestational diabetes with this second pregnancy in week 28 (with very high blood sugars). Since then, I have been put on diet and exercise, and now I am in week 33. My blood sugars are: fasting: 98-108 mg/dl [5.4-6 mmol/L]; one-hour: 119-135 mg/dl [6.6-7.6 mmol/L]; and two- hours: 87-110 mg/dl [4.8-6.1 mmol/L]. Since I had very high numbers on my GTT [glucose tolerance test], will these high numbers result in earlier type 2 diabetes later? My endocrinologist doesn't see a need for insulin. Would you agree?

Answer:

The fact that you have gestational diabetes puts you at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. I am not aware that the actual values on the glucose test correlate with the risk of developing diabetes.

Based on some elevated fasting blood and post meal glucose values you might benefit from insulin management. I would suggest discussing this with your physician.

OWJ