Especially during pregnancy, it is important to be proactive about your health. Learning about related conditions to gestational diabetes can help patients make better health care decisions and prevent serious complications.
The most closely related conditions to gestational diabetes are these other forms of diabetes:
- Prediabetes – a condition where blood glucose levels are high, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. This is a warning condition that can help patients delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. It is also important for patients who have prediabetes before pregnancy to seek extra support to avoid gestational diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes – a condition where the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. There isn’t enough insulin to help cells absorb sugar. This cannot be prevented and doctors do not know what causes it.
- Type 2 diabetes – a condition where the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs or the cells do not react efficiently to the insulin. This may be preventable through dietary and lifestyle changes. Women with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Besides the forms of diabetes, other related conditions to gestational diabetes include the fetal complications possible from high blood sugar. These are some of those conditions:
- Birth defects, involving heart, brain, blood vessels, spine, kidneys, urinary tract, and digestive tract development
- Macrosomia – a condition where babies are larger than normal because their cells absorbed the glucose that the mother’s blood couldn’t.
- Hypoglycemia – the baby has low levels of blood sugar after birth
- Respiratory distress – too much insulin or glucose delays lung development
- Birth injury – extra weight can cause injury to the baby during birth
- Stillbirth (fetal death) – more likely in women with diabetes