Gestational diabetes can be a major worry during pregnancy, and healthcare providers do a glucose test to diagnose it as a routine part of any woman's prenatal care. With the right care, gestational diabetes is managed quite well, normally. But, as the saying does, preventing is better then curing! Will we soon have access to screenings that may prevent diabetes in pregnancy? This might well be possible, if you believe new findings just published in the American Journal Epidemiology. How does this metabolic screening work, and how can this benefit pregnant women in the future? Let's have a look!
Did you know that having gestational diabetes during any of your pregnancies increases your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes later in life? That is a worrying statistic, and exactly the reason a research team followed more than a thousand pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 30, who had gestational diabetes during their pregnancies. The monitoring process, they hoped, would give them insights into what causes women to develop diabetes during pregnancy and to ways of preventing it from occurring. The participants of this study were asked a wide range of questions, from their medical histories to their lifestyle and eating habits. Apparently, 27 percent those "guinea pigs" that took part in the study and had cardio-metabolic problems ended up with gestational diabetes, and around seven percent of those with metabolic risk factors.
The lead researcher, Erica Gunderson, explained the findings of the study: "Women may benefit from a focus on care before conception that would encourage screening for metabolic abnormalities before pregnancy, rather than only during pregnancy. Screening and treatment of metabolic risk factors before pregnancy to prevent Gestational Diabetes Mellitus may help reduce its lasting adverse health effects on children." What do you think about this news? If a metabolic screening was offered to you while you were trying to conceive, would you take your healthcare provider up on the offer? Why, or why not?