Researchers from the National Institutes of Health in the US say that they have discovered a two-way link between depression and gestational diabetes.
According to a report by the NIH, “Women who reported feeling depressed during the first two trimesters of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to develop gestational diabetes. Conversely, women who developed gestational diabetes were more likely to report postpartum depression six weeks after giving birth.”
What exactly is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can only happen during pregnancy. It happens when a pregnant woman’s natural resistance to insulin increases the blood sugar in the body, thus causing the levels to become too high which can lead to diabetes.
For a long time, obesity has been identified as one of the potential risk factors for gestational diabetes. However, with this study, depression can be added to the list of risk factors for gestational diabetes.
Depression and diabetes
Stefanie Hinkle, Ph.D., stated that “Our data suggest that depression and gestational diabetes may occur together.” She then goes on to say, “Until we learn more, physicians may want to consider observing pregnant women with depressive symptoms for signs of gestational diabetes. They also may want to monitor women who have had gestational diabetes for signs of postpartum depression.”
Another researcher, Cuilin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D, said that “persistent depression from the first until the third trimester sets women at even greater risk for gestational diabetes.” Among obese women however, depression didn’t increase their chances of getting gestational diabetes.
What you can do
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women get screened at least once for depression during the perinatal period, or from the 22nd week of pregnancy until 7 days after birth.
If you do become diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels and make sure to keep it under control. You also need to eat a healthy diet, preferable one that’s recommended by your doctor, and you should also engage in regular physical activity to keep you fit during your pregnancy.
As for depression itself, the best thing to do would be to talk to a therapist so that they can help you out. Depression is an ongoing condition, and the important thing when it comes to handling depression would be to take it one day at a time. Having a good support group to help you out during your depression is also necessary for you to be better. Rest assured that you’re not alone in your struggle, and there are always people that will be there to help you.
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Depression During Pregnancy Linked to Gestational Diabetes
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