Each year in the United States, gestational diabetes is diagnosed in about 10% of all pregnancies. This type of diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. Elevated blood glucose and other symptoms can increase risk for both mother and child. Managing gestational diabetes can help you have a healthy pregnancy.
Why UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center?
The team at Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center provides expert consultation and ongoing care for patients with diabetes and any diabetes-related complications and conditions, including gestational diabetes.
Our center is unique in that we offer care and treatment of pediatric and adult patients across their entire lifespan. Our multidisciplinary health care team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified diabetes educators, pharmacists and social workers. We have an education center that provides first-class diabetes education in individual, small group and large settings.
Our outpatient location at UK HealthCare – Turfland provides a convenient, single location where patients can easily access many of their related health care services. UK HealthCare – Turfland, which offers abundant free parking, is home to many other expert clinical health care providers, including those from primary care, urgent care, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology/MRI, ophthalmology and more.
UK HealthCare’s state-of-the-art electronic health record uses the MyChart patient portal for communication between provider and patient.
How do providers work together to best serve their patients?
- UK HealthCare’s Maternal Fetal Medicine providers work closely with the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center to support people with diabetes in pregnancy. This includes diabetes education and a collaborative diabetes and pregnancy clinic located at UK HealthCare – Turfland.
- We coordinate a specific treatment plan tailored to each patient using a team of multidisciplinary care providers that includes physicians, nurse practitioners/physician assistants, certified diabetes educators, pharmacists and social workers.
- A comprehensive medical record network coordinates care among your healthcare team, as well as with local and regional health care facilities. The MyChart portal tool promotes quick and effective communication with our patients.
- Having our pediatric and adult teams housed in the same clinic offers a very smooth transition of care as pediatric patients reach adulthood.
Gestational diabetes often causes no symptoms. In some cases, though, gestational diabetes symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- Excess fatigue, even after sleeping or resting
- Increased need to urinate, beyond what’s normal during pregnancy
- Increased thirst and hunger
Researchers aren’t entirely certain what causes gestational diabetes, but pregnancy hormones can interfere with the way insulin is used in the body. The condition is also more common among people with certain factors, including:
- Being age 25 or older
- Being Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino or Pacific Islander
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a family history of diabetes, including a parent or sibling with the condition
- Having had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy
- Having high blood pressure or heart disease
- Having polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Having prediabetes prior to pregnancy
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
While there’s no foolproof way to prevent all cases of gestational diabetes, a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy lowers the risk.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Eat more whole foods and home-cooked meals instead of processed foods, which often contain added sugar, sodium and saturated fat.
- Move your body regularly. Experts recommend that pregnant people get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as briskly walking, each week. In addition to formal exercise, simply moving around more can also help. Build in habits like taking the stairs, parking farther away from the door and walking, and taking regular walking breaks during the workday.
- Get to a healthy weight before pregnancy. Talk with your medical provider about what a healthy weight looks like for you and how to reach that goal through regular exercise and a healthy diet.
People who develop gestational diabetes are at risk of other health issues, both during pregnancy and after. These complications may include:
- High blood pressure during pregnancy, which can place extra stress on the heart and kidneys.
- Increased risk of gestational diabetes in future pregnancies.
- Preeclampsia, a serious medical condition that causes high blood pressure, organ injury and the possible need for immediate delivery.
- Type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.
- For your first visit, you will be directed to the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center at UK HealthCare – Turfland.
- Plenty of free parking is available at UK HealthCare – Turfland.
- The Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is located on the first floor of the building in Suite 125. When you register, a Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center team member will help guide you through your appointment.
- To meet our patients’ needs, UK HealthCare accepts many forms of insurance.