Gestational or pregnancy-related diabetes raises the risk for both mother and baby developing Type 2 diabetes further down the track. In April of 2016, the Mexican Gynecology Journal reported on a study of 671 Gestational diabetes cases. Over a period of 18 years, 10.3 percent of the participants developed full-blown Type 2 diabetes. The following raised the risk…
- age under 27 or over 35,
- a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30 (obese),
- having high blood pressure of pregnancy,
- insulin therapy,
- poor blood sugar control, and
- complications in the pregnancy other than Gestational diabetes.
1. Recommendations for age at childbearing differ. Some sources recommend 20 to 35 as ideal ages when mothers are the most healthy and have the lowest risk of producing a child with severe birth defects. Dr. Sheryl Ross, an obstetrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, United States, points out the rate of miscarriages is over 50 percent in women over 40. Women giving birth at ages 35 to 39 are at almost two times higher the risk of severe complications than women 20 to 24, and the risk increases more after age 40. Good health is also an important factor at any age.
2. A high BMI is a risk factor for both Type 2 and Gestational diabetes. Normalizing the BMI to between 18.5 and 24.9 lowers the risk according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States.
3. The link between high blood pressure of pregnancy and Type 2 diabetes is difficult to explain. High blood pressure, if not properly treated, can lead to preeclampsia and onto eclampsia, or seizures. How could that be related to Type 2 diabetes? Or is it some other factor is involved in both conditions? More research is needed.
4. Needing insulin is an indication diabetes diagnosed during the pregnancy is not well controlled by diet and exercise alone. Maintaining acceptable blood sugar levels by a healthful diet and lifestyle makes insulin unnecessary.
5. Poor blood sugar control could contribute directly to Type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, mothers with poor blood sugar control during the pregnancy could be maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet after pregnancy. More work is needed to clarify the connection.
6. Could other complications of the pregnancy be caused by Gestational diabetes, or do mothers with other complications tend to have other complications as well? The answer to this question should prove an interesting and useful field of research.