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October 16, 2000

Gestational Diabetes

Question from Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA:

My 32 year old pregnant daughter, who is due in 10 weeks, has just developed gestational diabetes. Her husband is saying it is all her fault. She does have a appointment with her doctor, but she is anxious to get this information. Is there any information on-line to ease her mind on the subject?

Answer:

Gestational diabetes, as the name implies, is hyperglycemia that only occurs during pregnancy. There are certain hormones produced during pregnancy that cause increased resistance to insulin. It is not due to anything the mother has done.

Diet and, occasionally, insulin shots are used to manage gestational diabetes. The fetus is not at any greater risk of abnormalities, but can have excessive growth if the mother’s blood sugar remains high.

OWJ