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What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of Gestational Diabetes

Provided by Expert Zhang Youkang on 2012-09-18 14:40

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of Gestational DiabetesGestational diabetes is seen during pregnancy. It occurs in approximately 4% of all pregnancies. The following article will list the causes and risk factors of gestational diabetes.

Causes of gestational diabetes in pregnancy

During pregnancy, there is some hormonal changes. Increased levels of certain hormones is made in the placenta, which can help shift nutrients from the mother from the developing fetus. Meanwhile, some other hormones are produced by placenta to help prevent the mother from developing low blood sugar.

Over time, these hormones may cause progressive impaired glucose intolerance. The blood sugar may become higher than normal. In order to decrease blood sugar levels, the body makes more insulin to remove sugar into body cells. However, if the mother’s pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to overcome the increased blood glucose level due to hormonal changes, gestational diabetes will occur.

Risk factors of gestational diabetes during pregnancy

Every pregnant woman may develop gestational diabetes, but some women are more likely to develop the disease if they carry the following risk factors.

* Age greater than 25

Women with age greater than 25 are at higher risk of gestational diabetes than others.

* Family history of diabetes

If the women’s parents or siblings have diabetes, they are more likely develop gestational diabetes. Also, the risk of developing gestational diabetes increases if women have slightly higher blood glucose level than normal known as prediabetes.

* Being overweight

If the women are 20% or more over the ideal body weight, their risk of developing gestational diabetes is higher than others.

* Being a member of a high risk ethnic group

The women in these ethnic groups like Hispanic, Black, Native American or Asian have higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.

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