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Is gestational diabetes easy to diagnose?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2017 | Misdiagnosis

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that appears in a woman during a pregnancy. If it is not diagnosed and treated, the repercussions can be serious. For example, babies may grow too large in the womb, and delivery can be extremely complicated. Injuries to the woman and/or child might result.

Because of the repercussions that stem from untreated gestational diabetes, many doctors check for it. But is it easy to diagnose?

The short answer is yes

In a nutshell, yes, gestational diabetes is easy to diagnose. The woman drinks a syrupy solution and undergoes a test to assess her blood sugar level. If gestational diabetes is not ruled out by the results of this test, the woman takes another glucose tolerance test. For this one, she fasts overnight, takes the syrupy solution again and has before-and-after blood sugar readings. There will be three “after” readings, one per hour. If two of the three (or three of the three) indicate too-high levels, there will likely be a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

Not every doctor tests for it

However, not every doctor tests for gestational diabetes. Risk factors for the condition include a previous pregnancy with gestational diabetes, being overweight, being older than 25 and a family history of type 2 diabetes. Ideally, doctors would test any pregnant woman who meets even one risk factor.

That said, it is possible to develop gestational diabetes and not have any risk factors for it. Doctors should carefully ask about the health of the pregnant woman and the progress of her pregnancy to determine if a gestational diabetes test is necessary.

After diagnosis

Careful attention is required after a diagnosis because conditions such as preeclampsia and high blood sugar can result. Plus, as touched on earlier, gestational diabetes can also seriously affect the baby and complicate delivery of the baby. If you believe that a doctor did not diagnose gestational diabetes or did not properly monitor it during pregnancy and you and/or your child suffered as a result, it may be worth your time to consult with an attorney.