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May 24, 2001

Gestational Diabetes

Question from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA:

I just had my three-hour glucose test, and my fasting and one-hour levels were normal (75 mg/dl [4.2 mmol/L] and 172 mg/dl [9.6 mmol/L]), but my two-hour and three-hour tests actually went up (183 mg/dl [10.2 mmol/L] 185 mg/dl [10.3 mmol/L]). What causes the values to actually rise? I am in good health, exercise five times a week, and pre-pregnancy weight was 125 pounds. Also, I have lost about 5 pounds in the past few weeks. Is this a symptom of gestational diabetes?

Answer:

Your values went up because you did not release enough insulin, and there is ongoing insulin resistance due to the pregnancy. Exercise will reduce your risk, but will not eliminate it. Weight loss is not a symptom of gestational diabetes.

OWJ