Gestational diabetes is the appearance of higher-than-expected blood sugars during pregnancy. Once it occurs, it lasts throughout the remainder of the pregnancy. It affects up to 14 percent of all pregnant women in the United States. It is more common in African-American, Latino, Native American and Asian women compared with Caucasians. Like the other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes results when sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream can't be moved efficiently into body cells such as muscle cells that normally use sugar as a body fuel. The hormone insulin helps to move sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. In gestational diabetes, the body does not respond well to insulin, unless insulin can be produced or provided in larger amounts. In most women, the disorder goes away when the pregnancy ends, but women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later.
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