Gestational Diabetes: Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs in 3 to 8 percent of pregnant women during late pregnancy. Its cause is thought to be pregnancy-related hormonal fluctuations and a shortage of insulin that often occurs during pregnancy.
Many women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms, so it is important to get screened for this condition during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can lead to problems such as high-birth-weight babies, breathing problems in the baby, and high blood pressure in the mother during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is usually treated with dietary changes and exercise, and sometimes insulin injections.
Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 40 to 60 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years after their pregnancy.
Additional Types of Diabetes
LADA – Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, or LADA, is a less common form of diabetes that usually affects people over the age of 30. In LADA, initial type 2 diabetes symptoms eventually develop into a condition resembling type 1 diabetes.
People with LADA make enough insulin at first, but their immune system later begins making antibodies against insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Patients will usually require insulin injections as part of their treatment. It is estimated that up to 10 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have LADA.
Double Diabetes – Double diabetes occurs when someone who already has type 1 diabetes develops a resistance to the insulin medication they are taking, similar to type 2 diabetes. This condition is more and more frequently seen in children, especially those who are overweight or obese.
Diabetes requires careful management to keep blood glucose in check, but specific diabetes treatment plans depend greatly on the type – which is why talking with your doctor and identifying what type of diabetes you have is the essential first step.