Popular actress Halle Berry recently revealed that during her pregnancy with her first child, Nahla, she suffered the disabling condition of diabetes.

The Oscar winner was not alone with the condition. One out of every 20 women develops some form of the disabling condition of diabetes while pregnant. The condition is known as gestational diabetes.

While the baby is growing inside the mother’s womb, hormonal changes can cause the mother to experience high levels of blood-sugar. The placenta, through which nutrients are delivered by the mother to the baby, produces these hormones.

During the course of the pregnancy, the larger the placenta grows, the more hormones are released, meaning a greater chance of diabetes.

Usually the pancreas, the organ which supplies insulin to the body, will counter the upsurge in hormones. However, when the pancreas struggles to produce the necessary amount of insulin is when gestational diabetes occurs.

The risk of development of gestational diabetes is significantly higher among women over the age of 25, which 41-year-old Berry falls under.

Though Berry hardly falls under this category, there are also indications of gestational diabetes being more prevalent among overweight women.

Unfortunately, in up to 50 percent of cases of gestational diabetes, no cause of the disabling condition is discernable.

Gestational diabetes can lead to birth defects for the unborn child, such as macrosomnia, which causes babies to be born oversized.

According to a recent study in the U.S., it was discovered that the amount of women with diabetes during the course of their pregnancy has doubled over the past seven years.

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