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Ask Our Physicians: Gestational Diabetes

Posted on November 8, 2017
Gary Stephens, DO, FACOOG
Gary Stephens, DO, FACOOG

Dear Dr. Stephens:

I just found out I’m pregnant, and I’m worried about getting gestational diabetes because my mother had it during her pregnancy with me. How do I know if I’m at risk?

Gestational Diabetes

Many women experience gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you’ll develop it. There are several risk factors that increase your chance for gestational diabetes, like prediabetes, high blood pressure, and a family or personal history of diabetes. 

Gestational diabetes happens when a hormone made by your placenta keeps your body from using insulin like it should and your blood sugar, or glucose, builds up in your blood instead of being absorbed by the cells in your body. It usually goes away after delivery. 

Diabetes Counseling

During your prenatal care, we’ll test for gestational diabetes between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. If you test positive, our certified diabetes counselors will provide you:

  • Instructions on how to closely monitor and control blood glucose levels
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Medication management when necessary

We’ll develop an individualized care plan to assist you in successfully managing your diabetes during pregnancy. Our goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle and maintain optimal blood glucose control to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your baby.

Speak with One of Our Counselors

If you’re interested in speaking with one of our diabetes counselors, please call (865) 331-2020 for an appointment.

Before you schedule an appointment, it is helpful to gather as much information as possible about the issues that are concerning you. We suggest you talk with family members and request medical records.


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