How are Gestational Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Connected?
Gestational Diabetes is something that can occur in pregnant women. It commonly develops in women who have not previously had diabetes but have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes and future diabetes risk is a possibility due to changes that your body goes through during pregnancy. Here we are going to discuss the link between gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes as well as what gestational diabetes can mean for you during your pregnancy.
Gestational Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Development
The American Diabetes Association states that women can develop gestational diabetes around the 24th week of pregnancy. Although this doesn’t mean that you had undiagnosed diabetes before pregnancy or that you will continue to have the risk of type 2 diabetes after gestation. It simply means that you need to take care of your health during your pregnancy to not only help yourself but your baby as well.
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s important that you follow your doctors’ instructions immediately in regards to treatment. You will be working on keeping your blood sugar levels low as well as eating the right things mixed with exercise. If you don’t treat your gestational diabetes it can not only cause harm to you but also to your baby and your future health.
Gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes don’t always go hand and hand because often after pregnancy, it can go away. Although gestational diabetes and future diabetes risk is something that you will need to think about. It’s very common to have reoccurring gestational diabetes throughout other pregnancies and it’s even possible to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Gestational diabetes and future diabetes risk can be directly related to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when your body is unable to produce or respond correctly to the insulin in the body allowing blood sugar levels to rise and other health risks.
What Gestational Diabetes Can Mean for Your Pregnancy
While most women who have gestational diabetes don’t have complications during their pregnancy or with their babies, if it’s not treated serious problems can occur. The Mayo Clinic came up with a list of complications of gestation diabetes that could affect your baby:
- Excessive Birth Weight: Having too much sugar in your blood can cause the baby to create extra insulin allowing the baby to grow too large inside the womb. When babies are over 9 pounds there are often complications related to the birth canal and may either suffer birth injuries or the mother may need a C-section.
- Early Birth and Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Having high blood sugar during pregnancy can increase risk of early labor. Early birth can cause respiratory distress syndrome, making it difficult for the baby to breath and they may need help breathing until their lunes are strong enough. Babies who are born to a mother with gestational diabetes may suffer from respiratory distress syndrome even if they’re not born early.
- Low Blood Sugar: Babies who are born with low blood sugar may have seizures due to having high insulin production.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Babies who are born to mothers with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
If you are worried about gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes during pregnancy the best thing you can do for your health and your babies health is to eat healthy, exercise often and lose any excess weight prior to pregnancy. When in doubt, speak to a medical professional about plans and treatment to ensure both you and your baby are healthy.