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Gestational Diabetes

Diet and Exercise Don’t Prevent Gestational Diabetes

A study done by Louisiana State University suggests that a balanced diet and regular exercise may not prevent pregnant women from developing gestational diabetes as was previously thought.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes can develop during a pregnancy. Similar to other types of diabetes, it will affect the way that you use glucose. It can cause high blood sugar during your pregnancy that can affect the baby’s health.

It can lead to health issues for the pregnant mother and baby. The issues for the mother can continue after the pregnancy, but most return to normal soon after delivery. However, 50 percent of the women who have gestational diabetes during their pregnancy develop type 2 diabetes later, according to Centers for Disease Control.

Babies that have been exposed to this have a higher risk of becoming overweight and are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

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The study

The study done by Pennington Biomedical has shown that the “first-line” strategy that is used to prevent gestational diabetes (diet and exercise) may not actually be working.

The study has taken place over the past five years and over 5,000 women have participated in the clinical trials. The trials from the study were focused on limiting weight gain in an attempt to prevent gestational diabetes. The pregnant women ate a balanced diet and increased their exercise and activity.

Even with these changes, these women still developed gestational diabetes at roughly the same rate as those who did not change anything.

Diet and exercise are not the only cause. For example, sometimes the pancreas is not able to adapt to the insulin needed during pregnancy. Others can develop it due to their muscles and liver becoming too resistant to insulin to work properly.

More research will need to be done to discover more about other contributing factors that lead to insulin resistance during pregnancy.