Gestational diabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle may reduce risk

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A recent study suggests that people who’ve had gestational diabetes may be able to reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes with healthy lifestyle practices. Jovo Jovanovic/Stocksy

  • Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during pregnancy.
  • People who’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • A recent study shows that for women who have had gestational diabetes, adopting certain lifestyle practices is associated with a 90% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The results held true even among women who were obese or had a higher genetic risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes risk

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops explicitly during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can be caused by existing insulin resistance and increased insulin resistance linked to hormonal changes and fat gain during pregnancy.

A​bout 6-9% of womenTrusted Source develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Doctors in the U.S. may recommend testing for gestational diabetes about 6 months into the pregnancy because this is when gestational diabetes is most likely to develop.

Pregnancy can bring with it a number of unique challenges and health concerns.

Pregnant people and their fetuses require various forms of monitoring throughout pregnancy to ensure healthy pregnancies and deliveries. One condition women are monitored for is gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. People who have gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

A​ recent study published in BMJTrusted Source looked at modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes among women with a history of gestational diabetes.

The researchers found that the risk for developing type 2 diabetes decreased in women who adopted certain healthy lifestyle practices.

This risk assessment held true even among women who were obese or had a higher genetic risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

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