Celebrity health: Salma Hayek
Actress Salma Hayek has spoken about developing diabetes while carrying her first child
SALMA said that she was diagnosed with the diabetes condition when expecting daughter Valentina. "You don't know if the baby is going to be healthy; you are completely out of control," she said. "So the experience really makes you humble."
As many as 5pc of women are diagnosed with 'gestational diabetes' during pregnancy. The condition, characterised by high blood sugar levels, is linked to hormonal changes that happen as the baby grows in the womb.
It occurs when hormones produced by the placenta disrupt the body's ability to regulate glucose.
Because the placenta gets bigger through pregnancy, insulin resistance increases as full term approaches.
Normally, the pancreas counteracts this effect by raising the rate of insulin production.
Should the pancreas be unable to produce the required amount of insulin, however, sugar levels will surge, potentially leading to diabetes.
Some women have a higher than average chance of developing the condition. You are more at risk if you are overweight, over the age of 25, have a history of diabetes in pregnancy or a family history of the condition, or have previously given birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds.
However, around half of women who show impaired blood sugar levels will have no known risk factors.
In most cases, the condition will manifest itself around eight weeks into pregnancy. Doctors check for gestational diabetes by conducting an oral glucose tolerance test. The woman drinks a liquid containing 50g of glucose. A blood test is next taken to determine the degree to which the infusion has been metabolised.
Depending on the severity of the individual case, there are different ways of treating gestational diabetes. Your doctor may ask you to stick to a low-sugar diet or may recommend exercise.
In severe cases, you will be required to take insulin.