Even though gestational diabetes risk is higher for certain ethnic groups, there are many ways you can prevent the complications linked to the problem if you belong to one of the ethnic groups susceptible to it.
Diabetes which is first diagnosed during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. It is a medical problem in which the body has the problem of using and producing insulin, a hormone which regulates blood sugar so that the levels of blood sugar stay within the normal range.
Stuart Weiss, MD, who is New York University School of Medicine’s Langone Medical Center’s associate clinical professor states that pregnancy causes the body to be resistant to insulin, resulting in a poorer insulin response. This can lead not only to gestational diabetes but also type 2 diabetes in future.
Gestational diabetes affects approximately 4 percent of women who are pregnant. According to a recent study, ethnicity is found to be an important gestational diabetes risk factor. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Asian women, Hispanic, and African American are the main ethnic groups with greater chances of getting gestational diabetes.
From not less than one million birth certificates of New Yorkers from 1990 to 2001, it was found that more from the main ethnic community got gestational diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. According to the study, Hispanic women, non-Hispanic black women and Asian women have the most number of gestational diabetes sufferers.
How’s it linked?
The reason certain ethnic communities have greater chances of getting gestational diabetes is not yet fully understood. The factors given below probably have some connection:
- Genetic susceptibility: Certain ethnic communities seem to be more susceptible genetically to gestational diabetes. Although age and weigh were similar among the pregnant women studied, Black, Hispanic, and Asian women are found to be more susceptible to gestational diabetes.
- Socioeconomic level: Socioeconomic level can have an effect on the possibility of getting gestational diabetes. A study revealed that pregnant women from the top socioeconomic group have lower risk for gestational diabetes than the pregnant women from the socioeconomic groups below it. Socioeconomic factors are frequently linked to ethnicity and can mean the difference between sufficient overall health care, especially prenatal care. Insufficient regular attention to health has been associated with a number of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
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Ways to Prevent Gestational Diabetes?
Although socioeconomic level and genetics can affect the possibility of your getting gestational diabetes, many steps can be taken to reduce the possibility of developing the problem:
- Lifestyle modification: It was Dr. Weiss who showed that there is greater risk of gestational diabetes when there is too much food and insufficient exercise. It is already widely known that obesity can cause type 2 diabetes as well as gestational diabetes. Therefore, having the right weight at all times can assist to prevent the occurrence of type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. While losing weight during pregnancy is not advisable, ask your doctor for a suitable exercise program and a healthy food plan.
- Regular blood sugar tests before conceiving: When you wish to conceive, discuss with your doctor on monitoring blood sugar levels to make sure they are within the normal range before getting pregnant. Having your blood glucose within the normal range can reduce the possibility of getting gestational diabetes.
- Get help from the experts: Get your doctor’s help to refer you to an exercise expert and a nutritionist who have experience in dealing with women who have gestational diabetes. Choose someone you can work with to plan things that you know will help you to avoid complications.