For Women

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar levels diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. Throughout pregnancy, your placenta makes hormones that cause glucose to build up in your blood. Usually, your pancreas can send out enough insulin to handle it, but if your body can’t make enough insulin or stops using insulin as it should, your blood sugar levels rise, and you can develop gestational diabetes.

How Does Gestational Diabetes Impact Me?

Women with gestational diabetes have an increased risk for fetal macrosomia (large baby), cesarean delivery, and for developing problems associated with high blood pressure during pregnancy. Post pregnancy, there can be long-term complications for the mother including cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. GDM significantly increases the likelihood of developing type II diabetes later in life.

Does Gestational Diabetes Affect My Baby?

Babies with high birth weight or size face health problems of their own, including damage to their shoulders during birth, higher risk for breathing problems, and increased rates of childhood obesity. GDM in the parent also increases the chances of the baby developing type II diabetes as an adult.

What Are Social Determinants of Health?

Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments which affect a wide range of health and quality of life outcomes and risks. Examples of SDOH include access to transport, what food a person eats or how much support someone has at home.

How Does Genetic Sequencing Work?

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) determines the sequence of all the nucleotides in an individual’s DNA and can determine a genome-wide set of genetic variants and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with human disease phenotypes.

Is Genetics All That Matters?

Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are small chemical modifications to DNA that are reversible and do not alter your DNA sequence. Epigenetic tags are affected by lifestyle, physical and social environments and can persist over time. Social determinants of health are examples of epigenetic factors

What Is A Polygenic Risk Score (PRS)?

A PRS is a score that can estimate a person’s risk to develop a disease based on their DNA; this is often presented as a percentage.

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