We often think of chronic diseases as diseases we obtain as we get older. But, many times chronic diseases have precursors to them. Take for example, gestational diabetes. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, between two and 10 percent of U.S. pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes every year. So what is gestational diabetes and who is at risk of getting this disease?
Gestational diabetes is a type of high blood sugar that pregnant women get. If a woman gets high blood sugar while she is pregnant and has never had high blood sugar before, then she has gestational diabetes. This is a concern for pregnant women because it can cause health problems for both the mother and the baby. The body produces a hormone called insulin which moves the sugar or glucose out of the blood into the cells of the body. In pregnant women who have gestational diabetes, the glucose can’t get into the cells, so the amount of sugar in the blood increases to high levels.
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