A new study from the National Institues of Health has found that gestational diabetes may put women at a higher risk of developing early-stage kidney disease.
Up to ten percent of American women experience gestational diabetes – a condition in which women who did not have diabetes prior to pregnancy get it during pregnancy. It’s unknown how many West Virginia women experience the condition, but gestational diabetes significantly increases women’s risk of developing type two diabetes after giving birth. And West Virginia has the highest rate of type two diabetes in the country.
Diabetes is known to increase the risk for chronic kidney disease. Researchers were trying to determine if gestational diabetes also had an affect on kidney function.
Using a blood test, researchers found evidence that gestational diabetes may predispose women to early-state kidney disease – the precursor to chronic kidney disease.
The treatment and prevention for gestational diabetes is similar to that of type two diabetes: start pregnancy at a normal weight, eat healthy, exercise and watch blood sugar levels.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.