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JAMA Patient Page
June 4, 2008

Pregnancy and Diabetes

JAMA. 2008;299(21):2590. doi:10.1001/jama.299.21.2590

Diabetes, a disorder that changes how the body deals with glucose (sugar), is divided into two main types: type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, which usually occurs in young persons, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is much more common and affects adults and children. Insulin resistance, not a shortage of insulin, is the major problem with type 2 diabetes. It is associated with obesity, heart disease, vascular disease, and other health problems. Women who have never had diabetes before but who develop high blood glucose levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. This requires evaluation and treatment during pregnancy. It usually goes away after pregnancy but may return in subsequent pregnancies and may precede development of type 2 diabetes years later.