Who doesn’t love that glucose tolerance test? Who can forget the “cola” flavor which 1. does not taste like cola, and 2. does not taste better when chilled.   Did you wonder why you had to do that? What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is when you develop diabetes (high blood sugar) while pregnant.  You don’t want your blood sugar to be too high.  People with long term diabetes have issues all over their body due to problems with blood flow- heart disease, loss of sensation, loss of limbs, higher infection rates, vision issues to name a few.  In pregnancy, diabetes is associated with higher birth weight of your baby, early delivery, higher C section rates, diabetes in the mom, and future diabetes and obesity in your child. 

A study came out in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of 65,000 women studied from 1991-2008 at Kaiser.  It showed for recurrent gestational diabetes:

  • if you have gestational diabetes with your first child, you are 6x more likely to have it again with your second pregnancy
  • if you have it with your first two pregancies, you hae a 26X risk for having it with your third pregancy
  • higher rates found in Hispanic women, and Asian/Pacific Islander women
  • higher recurrence in women over age 30
  • higher recurrence when bigger time gap between pregnancies

This may seem like a “of course that makes sense” kind of thing.   But for those women who have had gestational diabetes, are older, or are certain ethnicities, that glucose tolerance test is extra important.