Gestational diabetes is caused by hormonal influences on how our bodies convert food into energy. Insulin is a hormone that helps break down sugar and transports it to our body cells. It regulates the amount of glucose in the human blood. However, if insulin does not function properly or is insufficient, sugar accumulates in the blood, leading to diabetes. In this article, we will discuss whether gestational diabetes continues after pregnancy. If yes, then the reasons behind it and ways to manage the condition.
Can gestational diabetes continue after pregnancy?
Sometimes. For most women with gestational diabetes, diabetes goes away soon after delivery. When it does not go away, the diabetes is called type 2 diabetes. Even if diabetes goes away after the baby is born, many women who have gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes later in life. This is why it’s important for women who have had gestational diabetes to have regular check-ups with their healthcare provider and to make lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, to help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Why did my GDM stay even after my delivery?
Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy, but in some cases, it can persist even after delivery. This can happen if the woman has an underlying predisposition to developing type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes is an early manifestation of the condition. As per an article published in the World Journal of Diabetes, there is a 60% risk of gestational diabetes progressing into Type 2 diabetes in the future. Gestational diabetes develops in women who cannot overcome the insulin resistance that arises during pregnancy. Usually, this condition goes away after the baby is born. But the risk of developing type 2 diabetes stays. This happens because, with Gestational Diabetes, the woman suffers from insulin resistance, and she is likely to have a greater risk of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) which furthermore increases the progression to abnormal glucose tolerance levels, causing diabetes in the future.
How to manage this condition after delivery?
It is necessary to timely introduce measures to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes onset. Clinical management should include an assessment of glucose tolerance in the postpartum period to detect diabetes or assess diabetes risk. If necessary, the healthcare provider may recommend lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, and medication to help manage the blood sugar levels. Other than this, one must exercise regularly and consume a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits and protein. However, everything must be consumed in moderation, and a properly balanced diet must be followed. The woman must limit their sugar and processed food intake and avoid smoking and consuming alcohol.
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