Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that affects mothers-to-be during pregnancy. Many women are told that it is a controllable pregnancy complication. Indeed, it isn’t uncommon for pregnant women to have high blood sugar.
Thankfully, they can keep their blood sugar level under control with a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy food and reasonable exercise. Sometimes, your doctor may also prescribe medication to reduce the risks to your health and your baby.
The good news about gestational diabetes is that it disappears after delivery. As a result, many mothers stop worrying about diabetes post-pregnancy. In reality, gestational diabetes should ring an alarm bell. Here’s why experiencing gestational diabetes can put you at risk even after the birth of your baby.
#1. You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes
Diabetes affects around 10% of the American population. The most commonly found diabetes diagnosis in the USA is type 2, affecting almost 9.5% of Americans.
Causes are diverse. Essentially, when you have diabetes, your pancreas becomes unable to produce sufficient insulin to manage blood sugar levels. At the same time, your cells develop insulin resistance, which means they need increased insulin levels to remove sugar from the bloodstream.
While doctors can’t explain why the condition affects some people more than others, a high BMI and a sedentary lifestyle are major contributing factors.
Therefore, as a new mother, it is important to focus your energy on losing baby weight after the pregnancy if you’ve experienced gestational diabetes. Indeed, pregnancy weight could put your pancreas under unnecessary pressure.
#2. You could develop gout
Gout is a type of arthritis that affects only one joint. It is frequently located in the big toe, which is why people with gout often require mobility assistance. Most people with gout share similar health issues that can dramatically increase the likelihood of the condition: They are prone to blood-related issues such as:
- High blood sugar level
- High blood pressure
- Decreased ability to cleanse the blood (aka kidney problems)
Gestational diabetes affects your blood sugar level. However, high blood sugar can also lead to high blood pressure, putting you at risk of gout. Gout, like any other form of arthritis, can be debilitating as a flare-up could last for a long period of time.
#3. It can increase dementia risk in later life
Dementia is a rapid decline in thinking skills and memory. While it is hard to recognize all factors contributing to dementia clearly, one thing is for sure: Protecting your cognitive functions begins with a healthy lifestyle.
Indeed, a healthy lifestyle brings oxygen and nutrients to the brain cells through the blood. A high blood sugar level affects the cells because it can deprive them of the oxygen and food they need to stay healthy. As a result, a decline is more likely to occur.
It is fair to mention that the brain is only one of the many organs that can be affected by blood sugar levels. Every part of your body that is connected to the bloodstream can develop complications, including kidneys, eyes, ears, heart, etc.
In conclusion, it is important to comprehend the risks of gestational diabetes fully. Even after pregnancy, your body could be prone to developing insulin resistance. Therefore, mothers must prioritize a healthy and active lifestyle to prevent future diabetes recurrences.