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Gestational Diabetes
(GY009)

Introduction


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and disappears following delivery of the baby. In GDM, the mother's body does not produce and use enough insulin to respond to glucose derived from food. This leads to high levels of glucose (hyperglycemia) in the mother's body, which then circulates to the fetus via the umbilical cord blood.

In response to the high glucose levels, the fetus grows larger than normal (macrosomia) which can lead to several complications at the time of delivery. Meanwhile, the fetus produces more insulin to handle the extra glucose. This can lead to complications in the management of the infant's glucose levels following delivery.

GDM affects 135,000 pregnant women (3-5 %) in the United States. While several risk factors have been identified, almost 50% of women with the disorder have no predisposing factors.

The management of GDM varies according to the individual physical, psychological, social, cultural, and educational needs of the woman. The mainstay of treatment is diet and exercise, although it may be necessary to use insulin injections to provide adequate control of blood glucose levels.

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