Diagnosing gestational diabetes before pregnancy
According to latest research by Kaiser Permanente, risks of gestational diabetes can be diagnosed almost seven years prior to conception. Gestational diabetes is the diabetes that pregnant women contract. However, after delivery, the blood sugar comes back to normal and the woman can lead a normal life.
Nevertheless, the diabetes can cause complications in pregnancy such as premature birth or caesarian section. Further, women who are stricken with gestational diabetes give birth to overweight and plump babies, which is not healthy for the infant.
Symptoms of gestational diabetes before pregnancy
With the release of the latest revelations, symptoms of gestational diabetes are visible years before conception. Several factors lead to this kind of diabetes and controlling these factors can control its onset. Blood sugar and weight of a woman are the biggest tell tales of diabetes. Blood pressure is also one of the causes for the disease. The study was conducted on five hundred and eighty women from different backgrounds, races and regions. The duration of the study was a twelve-year period beginning from 1984 to 1996.
Case study – obesity is the major cause
Among the five hundred and eighty women who were studied, it was found that gestational diabetes occurred 4.6 times more in women who were obese, had high blood sugar and hypertension. Risks were found to be higher in women who were obese and had hypertension by almost 50%.
Since obesity is also the major contributing factor for hypertension, high blood sugar and poor heart health, it was concluded that obesity is the major cause for gestational diabetes. 44% of the women who contracted the disease were found to be obese.
The study comes as a major warning signal for children and teenage girls who are overweight and obese. Their weight issue can manifest itself during pregnancy in the form of gestational diabetes and cause havoc to their and the baby’s health. However, gestational diabetes also strikes women who have never had a history of obesity, although the percentage is very low.
Other causes of gestational diabetes
Apart from obesity, another factor that contributes to gestational diabetes is hereditary diabetes in the family. As per the study, it was found that non-white women showed a greater incidence of the disease, the cause of which is yet to be ascertained. A woman who has had a heavy baby previously stands a chance of developing the problem during second gestation. Women who go in for babies in the later stages of their lives were found to develop the diabetes more than the women who had children in their twenties or early thirties.
Women can now take precautions
Following the results of the study, women can begin to take precautions from their early teens and maintain healthy weight in order to avoid gestational diabetes in the later stages of their lives. According to the another study conducted along the same lines by the same group, high weight gain after first childbirth is a cause and symptom of the diabetes during second pregnancy. Further, not delaying childbirth can also save them and their child from the harmful repercussions of gestational diabetes.