Gestational Diabetes

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Definition - What does Gestational Diabetes mean?

Gestational diabetes is usually a temporary form of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women, characterized by high blood glucose levels, serving as a physiological cue to divert carbohydrates from ingested food to the unborn baby. Women experience an upsurge of placental hormones during pregnancy, causing a deficit of insulin, which helps regulate the distribution of glucose in the blood at a healthy level.

SureHire explains Gestational Diabetes

A physician conducts testing for gestational diabetes between the 24-28 week interval, observing hormonal deviations and suggesting a course of action that covers insulin therapy, a diet and exercise regimen, and consistent monitoring of blood glucose levels for both the mother and baby. Although gestational diabetes generally ceases after delivery, many women are predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes mellitus later in life. Early treatment for gestational diabetes can help bypass health complications that can affect the mother and baby including abnormal birth weight, cesarean section delivery, or neonatal death.

During testing, physicians account for biological and physiological variables including women over the age of 35, being overweight, and a family history of diabetes, noting distinct symptoms related to gestational diabetes including fatigue, nausea, dehydration, and genitourinary infections. However, postnatal sessions are useful in determining if blood sugar levels remain elevated suggesting that women may be candidates for diabetes. The physician administers a sweet liquid preparation for the patient to consume, serving as a baseline criterion in measuring insulin production.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), federal laws stipulate that employers must provide reasonable accommodations tailored for individuals diagnosed with a medical condition. If gestational diabetes develops into chronic diabetes, women in the workplace will need to gauge their blood glucose levels where periodic insulin shots are mandatory. Employers are generally flexible in creating an environment that is conducive to individuals with disabilities in line with anti-discrimination regulations.

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