Gestational diabetes increases type 2 diabetes risk

Beat the odds, exercise regularly

Contributed by Emily DeFranco, DO

crossing the finish lineGestational diabetes affects about five percent of all pregnancies. It occurs when a woman’s body does not use insulin efficiently and the level of blood sugar increases, putting both the mother’s and baby’s health at risk. The good news is medical treatment and lifestyle changes improve the chances for a healthy pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately, though, gestational diabetes does put the mother at a significantly increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

You have the power to fight type 2 diabetes!

It’s important for women with a history of gestational diabetes to be screened annually after pregnancy for the development of  type 2 diabetes. But don’t just sit around waiting for the disease to develop—get active!  A new National Institutes of Health research study reported women who exercise regularly (150 minutes a week) had a 45 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This finding was independent of body mass index and other major risk factors. In addition to exercising, there are other things you can do to lessen your risk for type 2 diabetes. These include:

  • Eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Watching portion size.
  • Limiting fat intake to less than 30 percent of your daily calories.
  • Losing weight. Even a few pounds can help you avoid developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduce sedentary activities like watching TV and playing on gaming devices.

We’ve added Maternal-Fetal Medicine consultation services

Diabetes is just one of many complications that can affect pregnancy. The UC Health Women’s Center is pleased to now have maternal-fetal medicine specialists on staff to provide high-risk obstetric consultation and prenatal diagnostic services. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call (513) 475-UC4U.

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