When Gestational Diabetes and Pre-Eclampsia Join Forces

I suppose you could say that gestational diabetes has an advantage over other types of diabetes. Gestational diabetes, which only appears when a woman is pregnant, also disappears after the pregnancy is over.

It can reappear if she becomes pregnant again, but many women who've had gestational diabetes have gone on to become pregnant at a later time, without a reappearance of the illness.

Faulty interaction between your blood glucose (sugar) and insulin is at the heart of any kind of diabetes. During pregnancy, the change in hormones can also change your body's handling of another hormone, insulin. Insulin has the important job of transforming glucose in your blood into a form of energy your body can use. When insulin fails to do its job, that sugar stays in your blood.

This is known as insulin resistance. When insulin resistance occurs in the body of a pregnant woman, she can end up with gestational diabetes. Pre-eclampsia can follow.

There are a number of roads that can lead to pre-eclampsia besides gestational diabetes. Chronic high blood pressure and other chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus can be risk factors.

Migraines, kidney disease, urinary tract infections and oral/dental health problems can all increase your risk for pre-eclampsia. Overweight women are more liable to have pre-eclampsia than women of a healthier weight.

If you have had pre-eclampsia before or if other women in your family have had it, you're at higher risk. First pregnancies are most likely to lead to pre-eclampsia. If you are carrying multiple babies, the risk for pre-eclampsia is greater.

Women younger than 20 years of age, and women older than 40 years of age, are in the prime group for pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia can be a very serious development. Blood pressure rises above normal, and protein levels in the urine or in the blood also rise. The hands, feet and face become swollen.

Contact your doctor right away if you see indicators of pre-eclampsia. The doctor will want to watch you closely to safeguard against such complications as seizures.

If you have a mild case of pre-eclampsia, you may be able to rest at home, as long as you stay in bed, drink plenty of water and avoid salt in your food. Before 37 weeks gestation, the preferred choice will be to opt for rest at home. If symptoms are serious your doctor may want you in the hospital.

Once your pregnancy has reached 37 weeks, the game plan may change. After considering all factors, your doctor may advise that you have a cesarean section, or may urge you to have your labor induced.



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Tags: gestational diabetes,blood glucose,blood sugar,insulin resistance,insulin,pregnancy,pre-eclampsia,high blood pressure

Category: Risks,Featured Articles,Overview