Updated 23 November 2016

Kim Kardashian's gestational diabetes scare

Kim Kardashian recently revealed that she may be suffering from gestational diabetes, but what is it exactly and who is at risk?


In a promotional clip for the 11th season of her reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian revealed that she has excess fluid in her placenta which could be a sign that she has gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that first develops while a woman is pregnant. It occurs when certain hormones affect the body's ability to effectively utilise the insulin it produces, resulting in insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels.

Women with gestational diabetes often don't notice any symptoms. The condition is usually picked up by a doctor during a routine check-up. 

If not properly managed, gestational diabetes can be harmful to the baby. The condition also often causes babies to be bigger (macrosomia) which can cause birth complications and a number of other issues.

Expectant mothers with the condition should stick to a healthy diet, ensure that they are getting enough exercise and monitor their blood glucose levels regularly.

Could you be at risk of gestational diabetes?

Some people are at a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes. The NHS explains that the following factors increase your risk:

- Having a family history of diabetes

- Having previously suffered from gestational diabetes

- Having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more

- Previously giving birth to a baby weighing 4.5kg or more

- Being of Indian, South Asian or Middle Eastern descent

Since the promotional clip was released, Kim hasn't confirmed whether or not she was eventually diagnosed with gestational diabetes – a fact that has left many of her fans stressed out about her health.

Read: Kim Kardashian's very pregnant birthday party

Kim's other pregnancy health scares

It is no secret that Kim has a tough time when she's pregnant. In a recent post on her website, Kim explains how she has battled with pregnancy:

“I’m gonna keep it real: For me, pregnancy is the worst experience of my life! LOL! I don’t enjoy one moment of it and I don’t understand people who enjoy it. My mom and Kourtney clearly did! More power to them but I just don’t relate!” 

While she was pregnant with daughter North West in 2013, Kim developed placenta accreta and pre-eclampsia – both of which can cause serious complications for both baby and mom.

Placenta accreta is a high-risk gestational condition where the placenta attaches too deeply in the wall of the uterus. It can cause premature birth and excessive bleeding during birth.

Pre-eclampsia is characterised by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and fluid retention. It can affect blood flow to the placenta and even cause placental abruption where the placenta detaches from the uterus before the baby is born.

Read more:

Kim Kardashian's second baby may be her last

Kim Kardashian wants a tittie tattoo

Sorry Kourtney – eating own placenta has no benefit for new moms


Ask the Expert

Diabetes expert

Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

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