Fertility     Pregnancy    

Are you at risk of developing gestational diabetes?



Dr. Jed Turk of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses gestational diabetes

Six percent of pregnant women in the U.S. develop gestational diabetes
dr jed turk, obgyn, health quest, health quest medical practice, gestational diabetes, pregnancy, fertility, health, women's health, poughkeepsie, fishkill, new york

Having a baby should be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, but imagine being pregnant and struggling to remain calm as your blood-glucose levels inch higher and higher. Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes can be alarming, but Dr. Jed Turk, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at Health Quest Medical Practice, knows your diagnosis doesn’t mean your pregnancy won’t progress normally, nor does it mean your baby will be unhealthy.

What’s the difference?
It’s important to keep in mind that gestational diabetes is very different from type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes (or juvenile diabetes) occurs when the body's immune system destroys the cells that release insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body is resistant to the insulin it produces. However, gestational diabetes only occurs in pregnant women due to hormonal changes.  “For expecting moms, hormones from the placenta can make the body less responsive to insulin causing sugar intolerance,” says Dr. Turk. When the expecting mother’s body can’t keep up with the demand for insulin, she develops gestational diabetes.

Am I at risk?
Gestational diabetes can strike any pregnant woman and it usually develops in the second trimester.  “It’s very important to be tested for gestational diabetes,” says Dr. Turk. “Patients hate the test because they have to drink and unpleasant tasting syrup, but the test is extremely important.” According to current estimates by the American Diabetes Association, six percent of pregnant women in the U.S. develop gestational diabetes. “Obesity, a history of glucose intolerance, previous gestational diabetes, and multiple births are major risk factors for gestational diabetes,” says Dr. Turk.  Other risk factors include high blood pressure, excess amniotic fluid, history of unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth, and having glycosuria (sugar in your urine) before or during pregnancy.  According to Dr. Turk, “your health care provider will test your blood sugar early in the pregnancy, and then retest between week 24 and 28.”

Can I still have a healthy pregnancy?
“The key to having a healthy pregnancy is to maintain your ideal body weight prior to pregnancy,” says Dr. Turk; “However, there is no way to guarantee that a women will not develop gestational diabetes.” To maximize the potential of a healthy pregnancy, women along with their physician should create a pregnancy plan that will prepare them mentally, physically, and emotionally for pregnancy. Women should also have their blood sugar tested three months prior to pregnancy to make sure they are within normal range.  “If women manage their gestational diabetes (either by diet or medication), they can still deliver a healthy baby," says Dr. Turk. “But it is imperative that the expecting mother not cheat on her prescribed diet and that she takes the proper steps to managing the gestational diabetes.”

Will I always have diabetes?
“Gestational diabetes is not strongly related to type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Turk. “Usually a woman’s blood sugar levels will return to normal after giving birth, but women should keep an eye on their glucose levels after giving birth.” If your blood sugar is still high after giving birth, contact your primary care physician.

Jed Turk, Board Certified OBGYN, sees patients in Health Quest Medical Practice’s Poughkeepsie, Fishkill and New Paltz offices. He delivers at Vassar Brothers Medical Center and is certified in daVinci Robotic Surgery.





Other articles by Health Quest Medical Practice-Obstetrics and Gynecology


  • A girl’s first gynecological visit

    Dr. Obosa Osawe of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses taking your daughter to the gynecologist

    Dr. Obasa Osawe, a board certified Health Quest Medical Practice OB/GYN, shares insights on when to schedule your daughter’s first gynecological appointment and how to prepare her (and yourself) for the exam. read more »
  • Giving birth on your own terms

    Shaye Arnold of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses midwifery

    Childbirth is a truly amazing experience. Those that have witnessed the birth of their child know it is hard to describe the intense rush of emotions felt as your child enters the world. Shaye Arnold, a certified nurse midwife at Health Quest Medical Practice, knows exactly how empowering childbirth can be, which is why she knew she was destined to become a midwife. read more »
  • Am I going through the change?

    Dr. Jose E. Baez of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses perimenopause

    You wake up doused in sweat, your clothes don’t fit, and you’re literally crying over spilled milk. Dr. Jose E. Baez, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at Health Quest Medical Practice in Poughkeepsie, knows you’re not on the verge of a breakdown; but, you may be entering perimenopause. read more »
  • Ask the OB: Pregnant after 35

    Dr. Jed Turk of Health Quest Medical Practice answers questions about becoming pregnant as you get older.

    If you have put off becoming pregnant because of your career, relationship issues, or you just weren’t ready, you may have questions about becoming pregnant as you get older. Obstetrician Jed Turk, MD gives straight-forward answers to some of women’s top concerns. read more »
  • Is it Braxton Hicks or True Labor Contractions?

    Dr. Donna Kasello of Health Quest Medical Practice answers questions about Braxton Hicks contractions.

    Dr. Donna Kasello of Health Quest Medical Practice answers questions about Braxton Hicks contractions that occur in about 70% of pregnant women read more »
  • If you don't vaccinate your children - read no further.

    Dr. Molly Cowgill of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses the importance of immunizing for for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

    Dr. Molly Cowgill of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses the importance of immunizing for for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). read more »
  • What is a midwife and what services do they provide?

    Is using a midwife the right choice for you?

    Nancey Rosensweig, a certified nurse midwife, joined Health Quest Medical Practice (HQMP) in 2011, and has more than 15 years experience in guiding women through their pregnancies. She answers questions about midwives and their services. read more »
  • Ask the OB: What is abnormal uterine bleeding?

    Dr. Obosa Osawe, OBGYN, joined Health Quest Medical Practice in 2010. She answers questions on the topic of abnormal uterine bleeding. read more »
  • Ask the OB: Exercise during pregnancy

    Dr. Stacey Madoff of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses the importance of exercise during pregnancy

    Dr. Stacey Madoff of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses the importance of exercise during pregnancy read more »
  • Ask the OB - Reduce birthing pain

    Dr. Meredith McDowell of Health Quest Medical Practice gives advice for a less painful birthing experience

    Pain and birthing, do they go together? Not always! Dr. Meredith McDowell of Health Quest Medical Practice gives advice for a less painful birthing experience read more »