Nearly eight out of every 100 pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes -- a form of diabetes that only surfaces during pregnancy. In this week's Dealing with Diabetes report, we take a closer look at the condition -- that for some, may be a blessing in disguise.
As a diabetes educator, Las Vegas resident Heather Lamar guides women through diabetes and pregnancy. And she has personal experience. "It was right before I actually was pregnant that I got diagnosed with diabetes."
Lamar kept tight reins on her diabetes -- by eating right, exercising and checking her blood sugar several times a day. In the end, she delivered a healthy baby boy. Now, she uses her own experience to help other women get through gestational diabetes.
Las Vegas obstetrician-gynecologist, Joey Adashek specializes in complicated pregnancies. "Gestational diabetes is a disease of pregnancy where the glucoses are elevated, or the sugars are elevated due to the pregnancy itself."
Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, untreated or uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause problems for the patient and the baby.
"Gestational diabetes increases this risk for large babies. Significant increase in C-sections," said Dr. Adashek.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include age. Women over the age of 25 are at higher risk. Another is having a family history of type-2 diabetes. And being overweight also puts you at higher risk.
Fortunately, in most cases, gestational diabetes goes away after pregnancy. But the condition increase the chances of developing type-2 diabetes a few years down the road. For this reason, Dr. Adashek says it serves as a wake-up call.
"And you can actually change your lifestyle so you won't develop diabetes later in life," he said.
"Sometimes it is a blessing that you were diagnosed because you're probably going to live longer and healthier because of the changes in your lifestyle," said Lamar.
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