Diabetes Mellitus: Women’s Risk Factors Include Gestational Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes [Video]

Diabetes Mellitus in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta estimates that 25.8 million people in the United States have Diabetes Mellitus, with 18.8 million being diagnosed and 7.0 million people going undiagnosed. This is 8.3% of the U.S. population.

The CDC estimates that 79 million adults in the U.S. have pre-diabetes, a health determination whereby that persons blood sugar levels are higher than normal, just not high enough for a complete diagnosis of Diabetes.

Pre-Diabetes is a major risk factor for type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke.

Just 3 years ago, these numbers were quite a bit lower, with total cases at only 23.8 million, or 7.8% of the population, with only 57 million adults having pre-diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes and Women’s Health.

Gestational Diabetes is an affliction whereas pregnant women that don’t have Diabetes experience high blood sugar levels during their pregnancy. Estimates are that fully 18% of all pregnancies are affected by Gestational Diabetes.

It is not known why this happens, but it appears as though the problem is related to insulin resistance. As the fetus grows, hormones from the babies placenta help the fetus advance, however these hormones create an insulin resistance in the mother, forcing the pancreas to make more insulin. Without insulin, sugars and carbohydrates cannot be converted to energy, making the mothers glucose level rise. This is termed hyperglycemia.

This finding can have an adverse affect on your unborn child, so controlling Gestational Diabetes is good medicine.

When you have Diabetes, your pancreas steps up production of insulin, sometimes 3 times as much as normal. Vitamins and minerals needed by the fetus for growth will cross the placenta, along with glucose. But the extra insulin needed does not, and the fetus’s pancreas has to make the extra insulin needed to turn the glucose into energy. Not needing that much energy, the baby’s body then stores it as fat, which leads to macrosomia, or excessive birth weight. Fetal macrosomia is a factor in up to 10% of all pregnancies.

Gestational Diabetes is a risk factor for type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, and 5% to 10% of pregnant women with GB develop type 2 diabetes Mellitus after giving birth. Of those that do not develop it, 35% to 60% of those women have increased risk of development over the next 10-20 years.

Complications associated with Diabetes Mellitus include, Heart Disease and stroke, ocular issues, Kidney Disease, Hypertension, loss of the lower extremities, gum disease, erectile dysfunction, nerve damage, diabetic ketoacidosis, autoimmune diseases, complications with pregnancy, limited mobility and depression are just some of the related complications.

In a study published last year, the CDC estimated that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. Type 2 diabetes, in which the body gradually loses its ability to use and produce insulin, accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of diabetes cases. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history, having diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes), a sedentary lifestyle, and race/ethnicity. Groups at higher risk for the disease are African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and some Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from complications such as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, kidney failure, blindness and amputations of feet and legs. Diabetes costs $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical expenses.

Here is a video explaining Gestational Diabetes from the CDC. Women should pay close attention and look to prevent this from occuring during pregnancy.

Article by Jim Donahue

3 Responses to Diabetes Mellitus: Women’s Risk Factors Include Gestational Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes [Video]

  1. Diabetics Survival kit December 13, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Gestational Diabetes is becomming more common than ever. Women with this condition need to realize the importance of following the regimen recommended by their health care provider. There is a dramatic difference in outcomes between women who follow the regimen perfectly and those who do not. Women with gestational diabetes need a great deal of education related to diet, monitoring sugar and often need insulin during pregnancy.


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