Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and disappears following delivery of the baby. In GDM, the mother's body does not produce and use enough insulin to respond to glucose derived from food. This leads to high levels of glucose (hyperglycemia) in the mother's body, which then circulates to the fetus via the umbilical cord blood.
In response to the high glucose levels, the fetus grows larger than normal (macrosomia) which can lead to several complications at the time of delivery. Meanwhile, the fetus produces more insulin to handle the extra glucose. This can lead to complications in the management of the infant's glucose levels following delivery.
GDM affects 135,000 pregnant women (3-5 %) in the United States. While several risk factors have been identified, almost 50% of women with the disorder have no predisposing factors.
The management of GDM varies according to the individual physical, psychological, social, cultural, and educational needs of the woman. The mainstay of treatment is diet and exercise, although it may be necessary to use insulin injections to provide adequate control of blood glucose levels.
The Medifocus Guide on Gestational Diabetes provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of Gestational Diabetes?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing Gestational Diabetes?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of Gestational Diabetes?
What treatment options are available for the management of Gestational Diabetes?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in Gestational Diabetes?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for Gestational Diabetes?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about Gestational Diabetes?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Controversies in the diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2000
Gestational diabetes in primary care. Medscape Womens Health. 2000
Carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in pregnancy: normal compared with gestational diabetes mellitus. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000
Dietary regulation for 'gestational diabetes'. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews [computer file]. 2000
The infant of the woman with gestational diabetes mellitus. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2000
Management of gestational diabetes. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2000
Making the diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2000
Physiologic and molecular alterations in carbohydrate metabolism during pregnancy and gestational diabetes mellitus. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2000
Gestational diabetes: risk or myth?. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 1999
Gestational diabetes mellitus: controversies and current opinions. Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology. 1999
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