Gestational Diabetes

This is a type of diabetes that some women get during pregnancy.  Between 2 and 10 percent of expectant mothers develop this condition, making it one of the most common health problems of pregnancy.  When you’re pregnant, hormonal changes can make your cells less responsive to insulin.  For most moms-to-be, this isn’t a problem: when the body needs additional insulin, the pancreas dutifully secretes more of it.  But if your pancreas can’t keep up with the increased insulin demand during pregnancy, your blood glucose levels rise too high, resulting in gestational diabetes. (Source:

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Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “prediabetes” – blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.  There are 79 million people in the Unisted States who have prediabetes.  Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially the deart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during prediabetes. (Source: American Diabetes Association)

If you have further questions visit Prediabetes FAQson the American Diabetes Association website.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes.  In adults, type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.  It usually begins as insulin resistance, a disorder in which the cells do not use insulin properly.  As the need for insulin rises, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce it.  Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity.(Source: 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet)


The warning signs for diabetes may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet

Further Diabetes information is accessible on WebMD



A test that measures a person’s average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months

Beta Cell

A cell that makes insulin (located in the islets of the pancreas)

Blood glucose

The main sugar found in the blood and the body’s main source of energy (also called blood sugar)

Fasting plasma glucose test

A test that checks a person’s blood glucose level after the person has not eaten for 8 to 12 hours.  This test is used to diagnosis pre-diabetes and diabetes, and is also used to monitor people with diabetes.

Glycemic index

A ranking of carbohydrate-containing foods, based on the food’s effect on blood glucose compared with a standard reference food


A chemical produced in one part of the body and released into the blood to trigger or regulate particular functions of the body.

Impaired glucose tolerance

A condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes (also called pre-diabetes)


A hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy

Insulin resistance

The body’s inability to respond to and use the insulin it produces

Oral glucose tolerance test

  1. A test to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes.  This test is given after an overnight fast.
  2. A blood sample is taken, then the patient is given a high-glucose beverage.
  3. Blood samples are taken at intervals for 2 to 3 hours then compared with a standard to show how the body uses glucose over time.


An organ that makes insulin and enzymes for digestion

Other terms can be found at American Diabetes Association