Type 2 Diabetes – Diabetes and Depression in Pregnancy

In December of 2017, the Journal of Psychiatric Research reported on a study showing metabolic problems after having Gestational diabetes in 22 women. Scientists at the University of Munchen in Munich, Germany, found several risk factors for Type 2 diabetes in depressed mothers following Gestational diabetes also referred to as diabetes of pregnancy.

Both Gestational diabetes and depression raise the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later. Researchers tested 173 women six to twelve months after having pregnancy-related diabetes. Some had a clinical diagnosis of depression, and some did not. Every participant was screened for even mild depression. A total of 22 women had mild to moderate depression. Depressed women have…

  • over a 59 percent chance of having insulin resistance or full-blown Type 2 diabetes, compared to
  • 33 percent of women without depression.

The women with depression had a higher…

  • body mass index (BMI),
  • blood pressure measurement,
  • leptin (hormone concerned with energy metabolism),
  • plasma resistin (thought to have links with insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity), and belly fat.

The investigators came to a decision even mild depression should lead female patients and their doctors to suspect they are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Women with Gestational diabetes, in general, have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within the following five to ten years. Studies show different results, but it is thought they have a 10 to 35 percent risk of developing the condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, United States, has guidelines for lowering the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals…

  • lower weight by 5 to 7 percent if overweight or obese,
  • perform at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week,

Physical activity is measured by how hard the exerciser has to work. Work units are measured in metabolic equivalents (METs). A MET is the amount of energy expended or oxygen consumed for an individual’s body weight over one minute. Some examples of moderate physical activity include…

  • brisk walking, four miles per hour – 2.5 to 6.0 METs,
  • swimming laps – 7 to 10 METs,
  • mowing the lawn,
  • sweeping a floor,
  • slowly dancing,
  • vacuuming,
  • washing windows,
  • shooting basketballs,
  • bicycling 10 miles per hour,
  • walking up stairs,
  • water aerobics – 4 METs,
  • playing volleyball,
  • jumping rope – 10 METs

Do not hesitate to see your doctor before embarking on a course of physical activity, and remember you do not have to perform all 2.5 hours in one session.