What is gestational diabetes (key points)?
Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that can occur during pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes, it means you have higher blood sugar levels than normal during pregnancy. Approximately 9 percent of pregnant women experience gestational diabetes.
If you do have gestational diabetes, it’s important to get treated quickly since it can cause problems for both your health and your baby’s.
The causes of gestational diabetes are not fully understood and it can’t be prevented entirely. But you can lower your risk of developing it. Keep reading to learn more about this condition and what you can do to decrease your risk.
What are the risk factors for gestational diabetes?
The causes of gestational diabetes aren’t known, but it is associated with a variety of risk factors. Those factors include:
- being over age 25
- being overweight
- having a close relative with type 2 diabetes
- having higher-than-normal blood glucose levels prior to pregnancy, or signs of insulin resistance, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or acanthosis nigricans
Some ethnic groups are also at a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes, and include:
- Native American
- Pacific Islander
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