Causes of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes occurs in approximately 2% – 5% of pregnancies and typically the condition improves or disappears completely after the child is born. If left untreated, however, Gestational Diabetes can cause severe heath issues to both mother and child. It is important to note that patients who are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes have a 20-50% chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes within 5-10 years of the birth of their child.
There are many risk factors for Gestational Diabetes, but it’s the cause of Gestational Diabetes we are going to look at here.
Within the uterus, along with the fetus, an organ called the placenta develops. The placenta is the connection between mother and child and it’s through this connection that the child receives the nutrition it requires for growth. The placenta is also responsible for the production of several hormones.
Some of the hormones produced by the placenta make it difficult for the insulin produced within the mothers pancreas to adequately perform its function in controlling the blood sugar levels within the mothers body.
When this occurs, the pancreas then produces more insulin in attempts to maintain blood sugar levels in normal ranges. Gestational Diabetes is the result when even the overproduction of insulin by the pancreas cannot keep the blood sugar levels under control.