- Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during pregnancy.
- People diagnosed with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
- A recent study showed that for women with gestational diabetes, adopting certain lifestyle practices was associated with a 90% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- The results held true even among women who were obese or at a higher genetic risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Pregnancy can bring with it a number of unique health challenges and concerns.
Pregnant women and their fetuses require various forms of monitoring throughout pregnancy to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. One condition monitored in women is gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. People with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
A recent study was published in
Researchers found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was reduced in women who adopted certain healthy lifestyle practices.
This risk assessment held true even among women who were obese or at a higher genetic risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that clearly develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can occur due to existing insulin resistance and increased insulin resistance associated with hormonal changes and fat gain during pregnancy.
After pregnancy ends, blood sugar levels usually return to a healthy level. However, for those with gestational diabetes, there is a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Dr.. Weta FreemanHe, an obstetrician-gynecologist at UT Physicians Women’s Center and Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital in Houston, Texas, who was not involved in the study, said, MNT A history of gestational diabetes “predicts an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and even type 1 diabetes.”
Therefore, individuals who have developed gestational diabetes should schedule regular follow-up appointments with their doctor to screen for type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions.
Dr. Kai LovegExplanation of an endocrinologist at White Plains Hospital in New York, who was not involved in the study Medical news today:
“Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. During pregnancy, hormones secreted by the placenta lead to insulin resistance in everyone. Insulin resistance means that your body does not respond effectively to the insulin it produces in order to have a normal blood sugar… People who develop gestational diabetes have an increased insulin resistance compared to those who do not develop gestational diabetes. Therefore, those who have gestational diabetes are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is also the result of insulin resistance.”
Researchers are still looking for the best ways to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes among those with gestational diabetes.
His own study looked at five modifiable risk factors among women with a history of gestational diabetes:
- Not being overweight or obese
- Eating a high quality diet
- exercise regularly
- Drink moderate amounts of alcohol
- Do not smoke
The study included more than 4,000 participants from the Nurses’ Health Study 2. The researchers followed the participants for nearly 28 years. During this follow-up time frame, 924 participants developed type 2 diabetes.
It found that participants with optimal levels in all five groups had a 90% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
They found that “each additional modifiable factor was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.”
The risk association has been shown to hold true, even among women who are overweight or obese or have a higher genetic risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Sherry Robertsa registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, who was not involved in the research, shared her thoughts about the study with MNT:
“I feel the study was well done and comprehensive because it followed nurses with gestational diabetes for nearly 28 years. It looked at modifiable risk factors of not being overweight or obese, high-quality diet, regular exercise, moderate alcohol consumption, and not smoking The overall results indicate that women who are able to maintain optimal levels of modifications have a lower risk of developing diabetes.The clinical implications of this study provide additional support for the importance of maintaining healthy habits for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Prevention and support for those trying to prevent type 2 diabetes.”
The study has some limitations. For example, it was an observational study, so the results cannot determine the cause. The researchers relied on the participant’s self-report, which increased certain risks of error.
The authors excluded non-white participants who are likely to be predominantly of European descent, which may limit the applicability of the data to other ethnic groups. It also indicates the need for more diverse groups for longitudinal studies in the future.
The study also specifically addressed physical activity based on leisure time activities. The researchers note that more data could look at how other physical activities, such as work-related activity, will be studied further in the future.
They also had no data on participants’ gestational diabetes severity or baseline glycemic control.
Finally, based on data collection methods and participants, the full benefit of these healthy lifestyle choices may be underestimated. Overall, the results show the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, particularly among those who have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Roberts noted the following areas of ongoing research:
“More research should be done for women with gestational diabetes who do not have a healthcare background and who are part of the general population. Similar research should also be done on children born to mothers with gestational diabetes.”
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