Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels during pregnancy, leading to high blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes typically develops in the second or third trimester and affects approximately 2-10% of pregnant women. It is diagnosed through routine blood tests during pregnancy and can be managed through diet, exercise, and sometimes medication.
If left untreated, gestational diabetes can lead to complications for both the mother and baby, including high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, premature birth, and larger birth weight for the baby.
According to a new study from Canada that GlobalNews.ca writes about, the increase in cases of gestational diabetes may not be due to factors like obesity, maternal age, or lack of exercise, as previously thought. The study suggests that improved screening methods for this type of diabetes, which occurs during the later stages of pregnancy, could be a contributing factor to the rise in cases.
The research was conducted in British Columbia and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, revealing that the rate of gestational diabetes increased from four percent in 2004 to seven percent in 2014 across all racial and ethnic groups in Canada. This highlights the need for continued monitoring and screening of pregnant women for gestational diabetes to ensure timely and effective management.
Elizabeth Nethery, the lead author of the study, stated, as globalnews.ca quotes:
We were interested in understanding why rates of gestational diabetes were increasing in British Columbia. What we found was that rates of gestational diabetes … there was a change in the way that we screen for diabetes, which has really been taken up in British Columbia,
We’ve been using a much more sensitive method to screen, and we found that that change in screening practice has really led to the almost doubling of gestational diabetes cases in British Columbia.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. With proper management, the prognosis is generally good, and the vast majority of women with gestational diabetes give birth to healthy babies.