Gestational Diabetes: Do You Have Reasons To Be Concerned?
Gestational diabetes made news headlines in late July 2013 thanks to the release of one particular research group’s results. The study was completed by the well-respected researchers at Northwestern University. Here’s a quick look at what their findings may mean for pregnant women in the future:
The researchers’ findings seem to indicate that there are two, distinct, gene variants that are common among women who develop the disease. The two genes involved are BACE2 and HKDC1. BACE2 is classified as a protease and has made headlines before. Just last year, it was heralded as being beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It also plays a role in glucose metabolism as does HKDC1. It is an enzyme as well.
At this point, it is believed that the knowledge of the link may prove helpful to pregnant women and their OB/GYNs in the future. For example, an OB/GYN treating a woman with a family history of gestational diabetes may be able to look for the genetic markers prior to, or shortly after, conception.
Based on the test results, the OB/GYN and the woman involved will then be able to take a proactive approach to preventing the disease as opposed to a reactive one. Examples of a proactive approach would be to closely monitor the woman’s body mass index (BMI) and blood sugar levels throughout her pregnancy. The OB/GYN could also schedule a glucose tolerance test early on.
Women that do develop gestational diabetes will obviously need to take steps to maintain their health and that of their children. Depending on their OB/GYNs’ advice, those steps may include embracing dietary restrictions, a designated exercise routine and routine blood sugar testing. We should also mention that if a routine blood sugar testing regime is suggested, the supplies may be conveniently ordered online.