Diabetes During Pregnancy: A Warning Sign for Type 2
4 Ways to Cut Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Fortunately, the news isn’t all bad. If you have a history of gestational diabetes, you can take steps to significantly reduce your risk. A study by the Diabetes Prevention Program found that these women could lower their risk for type 2 diabetes by 50 percent or more by making healthier lifestyle changes, including losing weight and exercising, and taking the medication metformin to help lower their blood sugar levels. Women who made lifestyle changes or took metformin — but not both — still had a reduced risk 10 years later.
If you have had (or develop) diabetes during pregnancy, here are a few recommendations to help you avoid type 2 down the road:
- Talk to your doctor about being tested for diabetes. He or she may recommend testing after delivery and then every few years.
- Get back to your pre-pregnancy weight within 6 to 12 months after your baby is born.
- If you are still overweight, aim to lose at least 5 to 7 percent of your body weight, and maintain your weight loss.
- Breastfeed if you can; breastfeeding may lower your child’s risk of obesity and diabetes.
Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD, is a board certified endocrinologist and the corporate vice president for the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute at Scripps Health in San Diego.
Video: Signs and Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy
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