(ABC) -Gestational diabetes is one of the most common conditions in pregnancy; affecting almost 10 percent of women. In most ways, it's just like regular diabetes.
"Diabetes is a condition where your body does not respond to the sugar that you're absorbing, whether that comes from carbohydrates, or sugars directly," said Dr. Justin Sloane, obstetrician and gynecologist.
Dr. Sloane says experts don't know exactly what causes the disease, but there are some known risk factors.
"We know that it has a lot to do with demographics, which essentially means the patient's race and background," Dr. Sloane said.
Some of those risk factors can't be avoided he says, like race, but others, like a mother's weight going into pregnancy, can be controlled.
"I hear often in my practice, 'Oh, I'm eating for two.' Or, 'I have to gain a certain amount of weight for the baby.' But that's actually a common misconception. The average caloric intake we recommend additionally a day is only 300 calories. In general, patients should gain approximately 30-45 pounds of their normal weight. The biggest risk factor actually happens after delivery. Once the baby is born, the baby who is used to being exposed to lots and lots of sugar and now isn't getting any sugar in the maternal breastmilk, but it's still releasing the sugar absorbing hormone. So what ends up happening is that the baby's sugar actually drops, which puts the baby at risk for seizure and coma," Dr. Sloane explained.
Your diabetes will likely go away once the baby is born, but could return later in life.
In other health news, Comanche County Memorial Hospital will host a smoking cessation course to help smokers quit. The free seven-week course will begin Tuesday, Jan. 5, at 5:30 p.m. in Maple Conference Room. To sign up, call 580-585-5527.
Comanche County Memorial Hospital will also host a weight loss options luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 11:30 a.m. in the Oakwood Conference Center. The cost is $5 and the guest speaker will be bariatric surgeon Dr. Michael Sawyer. He will be discussing weight loss options for the new year. For more information and to make a reservation, call 580-585-5406.