Things To Do In Bristol With A 5 Year Old Type 2 Diabetes – Do High Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy Affect the Baby’s Intellect?

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Type 2 Diabetes – Do High Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy Affect the Baby’s Intellect?

Diabetics can find it especially difficult to control blood sugar during pregnancy, and gestational diabetes (gestational diabetes) can develop in previously healthy women in response to pregnancy. Diabetes can pose a number of threats to the health of both mother and child, and according to a study from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, a child’s intellect may be one cause for concern.

This particular study, published in August 2012 in the journal Experimental research on diabetes, included:

  • 6,032 four-year-old children,
  • 5,282 eight-year-olds, and
  • 7,615 sixteen-year-olds.

In the youngest group, pre-existing diabetes, gestational diabetes and high blood sugar were found to be associated with lower scores on a test called the School Entry Assessment. Eight-year-old children whose mothers had diabetes or high blood sugar levels during pregnancy had lower IQs than their peers whose mothers had normal blood sugar levels during pregnancy.

British General Certificate of Secondary Education results were lower for 16-year-olds whose mothers were diagnosed with gestational diabetes or who had high blood sugar levels during pregnancy than those whose mothers had normal blood sugar levels. Children of mothers with gestational diabetes had an average of 5 points lower on IQ tests than children of mothers with normal blood sugar.

Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause women who have never had diabetes to develop diabetes temporarily. Pregnancy hormones can block insulin from doing its job, causing type 2 diabetes. After giving birth, women who had gestational diabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes later.

Babies of women with type 2 diabetes can be born overweight because of all the sugar they were exposed to in the womb, putting them at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes for life. Because infants are sometimes overweight, delivery can be difficult and the baby may suffer broken shoulders passing through the birth canal or have to be delivered by caesarean section. Heart defects are also more common in infants of mothers with gestational diabetes.

To prevent gestational diabetes, start your pregnancy in a healthy state: normalize your weight and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, as well as exercise daily. Obstetricians perform a glucose tolerance test to find cases of gestational diabetes. If diagnosed, follow your doctor’s or midwife’s advice on diet, exercise and medical care. Give your baby the best possible start.

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