Gestational diabetes is increasing in recent years as the number of people who have diabetes in the United States is rising. According to the CDC, there are around 14% of pregnancies that are affected by gestational diabetes. This could all be prevented by taking a few simple steps to be healthy. This rate could be reduced by half if we took better care of our bodies.
Gestational diabetes can occur with any woman, but during pregnancy the body goes through several physiological changes which can affect both mother and baby. Gestational diabetes is when a mother has high blood glucose levels during pregnancy because the body doesn’t have the ability to make and use all the insulin it needs. The glucose that the body produces naturally ends up unused and is not able to convert into energy, like it would normally do. Gestational diabetes can also increase a mothers’ risk of developing type 2 diabetes 5 to 10 years after giving birth to the child! The mother is also more likely to become obese later in life too.
A study found that 48% of the pre-existing gestational diabetes pregnancies could have been avoided if women had exercised, maintained a healthy weight and diet and didn’t smoke. This study was published in the British Medical Journal.
In the study that was conducted, researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 14,000 healthy women in the US. Out of that group, 823 women reported having gestational diabetes. The researchers found that if a woman had a body mass index below 25 before pregnancy, exercised, and did not smoke, that her chances of gestational diabetes was very slim but if a woman had a BMI above 33 or more, she had a 4X higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
So women, you should be taking care of your body no matter what and if you do end up pregnant don’t use that as an excuse to eat whatever you want. Read our article on best foods for pregnancy!
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