Many of you know her as Lieutenant Olivia Benson from Law & Order: SVU. Some of you may even know her as Justice from Taylor Swift's Bad Blood video (side note: T. Swift is a huge Olivia Benson fan). But what you might not know is that at one time, Mariska was checking her blood sugars often. Daily. Mariska had gestational diabetes.
Mariska Hargitay & Gestational DiabetesAt 42, Mariska was pregnant and thriving. But 15-hour work days and added job stress eventually caught up with her. During her third trimester, Hargitay learned she had gestational diabetes. The culprit? Too much comfort food, as a means to dealing with stress. Mariska told People post-pregnancy:
"I was overwhelmed by my lack of energy. All I could do to survive was to eat... I did get into eating too much. This pregnancy was really hard for me at the end. I wasn’t mobile.”
That dangerous duo of stress and comfort food eventually caused a 54-pound weight gain, insulin resistance, and gestational diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes: Tell Me More
This is a form of diabetes that, as its name implies, can appear during pregnancy (gestation being the carrying of an embryo or fetus). According to the CDC, roughly 2-10% of pregnancies in the US are affected by gestational diabetes each year. So what exactly is it? All pregnant women experience some sort of insulin resistance during pregnancy (we're lookin' at you, hormones ;) ). In the case of gestational diabetes, there is so much insulin resistance (for any number of reasons) that blood glucose levels can rise to unhealthy levels, dangerous to both mother and child. It's this kind of insulin resistance that can result in gestational diabetes.