Will everybody who has gestational diabetes develop Diabetes Mellitus type 2? My patients with gestational diabetes, especially those who are on insulin often ask if they will have to continue insulin after delivery. A study described by the International diabetes Federation(IDF) World Diabetes Congress 2011 described by Medscape Medical News attempted to answer that question. They screened patients 6 weeks after delivery and noted only 47.7% were available for the screening. The majority had returned to normal glucose tolerance (78%). However, 22% had some degree of glucose intolerance or frank diabetes.
Specifically, 3.2% had isolated impaired fasting glucose, 11% had isolated impaired glucose tolerance, 2.1% had both, and 5.8% had developed type 2 diabetes. This study clearly shows that most people who had gestational diabetes will see the sugars normalize after delivery. However, overt Type 2 Diabetes may still manifest itself as time goes on. Patients are advised to practice healthy habits in choice of food, and exercise and to get their weight down to normal and keep it there to lower the risk of developing frank type 2 Diabetes.
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