Jos — A diabetes specialist with Apex Diabetes Screening Centre, Mr Chima Adinu, has said that women who experience gestational diabetes had increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Adinu told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, yesterday in Jos, that this form of diabetes typically occurred during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
Adinu said: "Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. It is like Type 2 diabetes because the body becomes resistant to insulin. It generally disappears after the birth of the baby, but women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life."
According to him, such risk can be decreased with lifestyle modification such as healthy dieting, lesser weight, constant exercise and routine sugar level checks.
"Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy are therefore advised to stick to a healthy diets rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, poultry, seafood and nuts. Such women should also have limited intake of red and processed meats.
"Investigations have confirmed that women who follow this type of diet in the years after having gestational diabetes, consistently reduce their risk by about half than women who did not," he explained.
He advised that such women should also do away with sedentary lifestyle that could lead to being overweight since that could increase the risk of an individual developing Type 2 diabetes.
According to him, if gestational diabetes is left unmanaged, various health complications can occur such as it will usually affect the developing foetus. "In early pregnancies, a mother's diabetes can result in birth defects, and an increased rate of miscarriage; many of the birth defects that occur affect major organs such as the brain and heart."
He explained that during the second and third trimester, gestational diabetes could lead to over-nutrition and excessive growth of the baby. "Having such a large baby increases the risks during labour and delivery. Large babies often require caesarean deliveries. "If a baby is not delivered vaginally, the child is at an increased risk for trauma on the shoulders," he said.