According to a study that was coordinated by investigators at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, two to three times more pregnant women may soon be diagnosed and treated for gestational diabetes, based on new measurements for determining risky blood sugar levels for the mother and her unborn baby.

“As result of this study, more than 16 percent of the entire population of pregnant women qualified as having gestational diabetes,” said lead author Boyd Metzger, MD.  “Before, between 5 to 8 percent of pregnant women were diagnosed with this.”

Blood sugar levels that were once considered in the normal range are now seen as causing a sharp increase in the occurrence of overweight babies with high insulin levels, early deliveries, cesarean section deliveries and potentially life-threatening preeclampsia, a condition in which the mother has high blood pressure that affects her and the baby. Large babies, the result of fat accumulation, are defined as weighing in the upper 10 percent of babies in a particular ethnic group. Because large babies increase the risk of injury during vaginal delivery, many of the women in the study were more likely to have a cesarean section.  To view entire news report written by science writer, Marla Paul click here.

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Interesting ... “At these levels, the frequency of having an overweight baby is almost double, the frequency of having preeclampsia is almost double, and the frequency of early delivery is 40 percent greater,” Metzger said. “These are really substantial differences.”

I was diagnosed with severe GD when I was 7 months pregnant. I'd like to see earlier testing, in addition to the broader criteria. After having severe morning sickness for almost 6 months, I now wonder if that nausea and vomiting was due to high sugar levels long before my doctor or midwife thought to have me take a GTT. Thankfully, several months of a strict diet and 4 insulin shots a day allowed me to have a normal birth weight baby girl who is extremely healthy.

It's also important to note that having Gestational Diabetes can pose a continued risk to a woman's life. The result of having larger babies and having to go through a cesarean section may make it more difficult to go through another pregnancy due to the surgery. It is critical that women get regular tests during the pregnancy for blood sugar levels and that you take action that ensures you remain healthy. The picture Dr. Metzger paints is indeed a dire one and should be given thought and educational resources.

ive been trying to do research on this topic, can this gestational diabetes be controlled by a low sugar diet throughout the pregnancy?

I think it's good that further studies were made to ensure that gestational diabetes and the complications it brings to the pregnancy are being prevented. The new measurements may cause more pregnant women to be diagnosed with GD but then again, this is all geared to help them have a safer delivery.

Really enjoyed this post. And from the comments, it seems to stir a lot of controversy. I believe the new breed of doctors that are looking at the brain as the cause of most of our physical problems, including diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory disease are going in the right direction. Research is making it more and more clear that we must take personal responsibility for getting accurate information on the role of fats, foods, lifestyle and toxins play in the overall health and performance of our brains.

Yeah, interesting the connection between gestational diabetes and the effects on baby weight. I had no clue that the high blood sugar increased the likelyhood that the baby will be heavier. How does that work when my wife has type 1 diatetes and is still within normal weight range? End time on your site. Thanks, Justin

I had gd very early in my pregnancy. I still had to have my snicker bar once a day those cravings are a pain and dry heaves aren't fun either. I would like to see a much better way of doing the sugar count and have more research done on this.

Gestational diabetes isn't the only problem for pregnant women. As a type 1 diabeteic I had to undergo a caesarian two weeks early as my baby was geting too large. The baby weight was fine but he was two weeks premature and had to make up that growth. Blood sugar levels is a real balancing act during pregnancy.

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