Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Gestational Diabetes? - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Gestational Diabetes?

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If you are pregnant and expecting a new addition to the family, chances are you aren't thinking about diabetes. However, doctors say it is something you can develop during pregnancy.

"Gestational diabetes is diabetes that's first detected during pregnancy and is not thought to be Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes that pre-existed," said Dr. Kara Hawkins, an endocrinologist at Martha Jefferson Medical and Surgical Associates.

Although it's the last thing women may be thinking about during pregnancy, it is a reality, and something that occurs due to changes in a women's body.

"During a normal pregnancy there is an increase in insulin resistance due to the placenta making hormones, and also due to the increase in the weight of the mom, and usually increased caloric intake and decrease in exercise during pregnancy," said Dr. Hawkins.

In some cases, women can compensate for the resistance, but in other cases, it's not possible, and that's when gestational diabetes can occur.

The good news is – it's typically easily treatable.

"Gestational diabetes can a lot of times be treated with dietary modifications alone," noted Dr. Hawkins. "Patients also need to control their weight gain, and prevent excessive weight gain during the pregnancy."

Typically, gestational diabetes will go away after pregnancy, but in some cases it can develop into Type 2 diabetes.

"About 1 in 10 women will continue to have diabetes after the baby is born, and an even greater percentage will go on to have diabetes 5-10 years later."

Just to be safe, doctors say it's a good idea to be tested once your baby arrives to keep a check on where things stand.

"It's recommended that you're tested at six to 12 weeks postpartum for diabetes again," shared Dr. Hawkins.

For more information on this topic, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.  If you have a health question you'd like answered, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

Do you have health questions? Starting June 4, get the answers every Monday morning from the experts at Martha Jefferson Hospital in our new feature: Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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