Diabetes and pregnancy do not get along

A British study showed that the number of pregnant women suffering from diabetes has more than doubled in the last six years. As Canada is also trapped in this epidemic of fast-food consumption, obesity and sedentariness, the numbers are very likely quite similar here.

We are all well aware of the many risks attributable to diabetes for pregnant women. Yet, a British study showed that the number of pregnant women suffering from diabetes has more than doubled in the last six years. As Canada is also trapped in this epidemic of fast-food consumption, obesity and sedentariness, the numbers are very likely quite similar here. This escalation is alarming, because it will likely lead to an increase in obstetrical complications.

The risk of giving birth to a stillborn infant is seven time higher in women suffering from diabetes. Furthermore, women suffering from Type 2 diabetes have double the risk of having a miscarriage, and five times the risk of having a baby with birth defects than women with Type 1 diabetes. In addition, children born to diabetic mothers are generally more susceptible of suffering from this disease.

There are three basic types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes usually arises during childhood and cannot be prevented. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to unhealthy lifestyle habits. As excess weight, sedentariness and bad eating habits are rapidly gaining ground in our society, this type of diabetes is reaching new heights.

The good news is that most of the risks associated with gestational diabetes can be avoided if the expecting mother improves the control of her blood glucose levels (glycaemia) before and throughout her entire pregnancy. This type of diabetes can usually be prevented and treated by simply adopting healthier eating habits and being physically active regularly. However, when blood glucose levels remain too high, the mother-to-be will likely require insulin injections.

Gestational diabetes usually disappears after childbirth, but women who have suffered from it have a greater risk of suffering from diabetes in subsequent years, particularly if they remain overweight. This is just another great example that clearly demonstrates how important it is to adopt healthier lifestyle habits, for the wellbeing of your entire family.

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