Gestational Diabetes: Can I get diabetes again?

To lower your risks, keep up
your healthy eating and
exercise habits.Shortly after delivery, your blood-glucose levels will probably return to normal and your temporary gestational diabetes will be over because you no longer have the placenta inside you, which was producing the insulin-resistant hormones. Your body’s natural balance of hormones and insulin should return. Because a few women continue to have diabetes after they deliver, your doctor will test you for diabetes between 4 to 16 weeks after your baby is born. Even if you do not have diabetes after your baby’s birth, you should get your blood glucose tested every year.

Once you have had gestational diabetes, you have a 2 in 3 chance of getting it again and your risk for getting type 2 diabetes 5 to 15 years later rises to between 40 to 60%. The risks for getting type 2 diabetes for women who are obese are even higher. But there is good news.

If you keep a healthy body weight and get regular exercise, you can drop your risk of getting type 2 diabetes later in life to a 1 in 4 chance. That’s a big improvement and worth the effort. Not only do your risks for diabetes decrease, but your overall health will improve.

Blood Sugar Records are Important for Good Control

The important thing is to keep regular records. You should keep records of your blood sugar readings whether you are using just diet or diet, exercise, and insulin to control your gestational diabetes. You can print this Blood Sugar Record worksheet to keep your weekly records or use a record book that your doctor may give to you. Most glucose meters come with record books. The important thing is to keep regular records so that you will see a pattern of your blood sugar level. This will help you and your doctor know if your diet, exercise, and possibly insulin are keeping your blood sugar levels in the right range for you or whether you need to make some changes in your treatment. Here are some things to remember about recording your sugar levels:
• Ask your doctor or nurse practitioner the number of times per day, the exact times during the day you should be testing, and when you should call with blood sugar results.
• Ask your doctor what the healthy range of blood sugar levels is for you and where in the range you should be at different times during the day.
• Ask your doctor if you should check your urine for ketones.
• Use the comments column to note any high or low-blood sugar reactions, illnesses, delayed mealtimes, exercise, stress or anything else unusual. These notes may be really important in understanding why your blood-sugar readings are at a certain level.

Call your doctor when
1) the blood sugar is greater than 250 mg/dl and the ketones are positive or
2) the blood sugar has increased over the past 12 hours and the ketones are positive.

These could mean KETOACIDOSIS –– A DIABETIC EMERGENCY.

More about Gestational Diabetes

What is Gestational Diabetes?
How Do I Know If I Have Gestational Diabetes?
Will My Baby Be Alright?
Will I Be Alright?
Managing Your Diabetes
Tests To Check Your Baby’s Health
Labor and Delivery
Can I Get Diabetes Again?

Pregnancy and Childbirth

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