Pregnancy and Obesity - Why is it a deadly combination?

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Pregnant Obesity Gestational diabetes

Pregnancy and Obesity are a Deadly Combination

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is an overwhelming complication some women may face during a pregnancy where the body does not produce enough insulin to deal with a high blood sugar level. GDM is one of the most common conditions affecting pregnant women, affecting approximately 1 in 10 expectant women [1]. Since rates of GDM is higher in overweight women, this condition has been on the rise alongside obesity. However, if this condition is diagnosed and treated early, a healthy pregnancy can be ensured.

To understand diabetes, in general, is to understand the function of the hormone insulin. Insulin regulates the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and helps transform sugar into energy. Diabetes usually occurs when there is insufficient insulin produced which causes high levels of glucose in the bloodstream.

For people with GDM, insulin is usually blocked by hormones found in the placenta.

Research has shown women over the age of 35, who have a family history, or are overweight are more prone to exhibit GDM [1]. Being overweight is the main factor because the extra mass prohibits insulin’s ability to function in keeping blood sugar levels up to par.

[1] Gestational Diabetes during Pregnancy. What to Expect. Retrieved from: http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/gestational-diabetes/

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