I saw a figure cited on the FAQ for alt.support.diabetes that blew me away. Was it true? I researched it and found the following quote in the document "Type 2 Diabetes Risk After Gestational Diabetes," produced by the National Diabetes Education Program:
"After pregnancy, 5 to 10 percent of women who had GDM are found to have type 2
diabetes. Women who have had GDM have a 20 to 50 percent chance of developing diabetes in
the next 5 to 10 years following pregnancy.(1, 2)"
1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: National diabetes statistics fact sheet: general information and national estimates on diabetes in the United States, 2005. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, 2005.
2. American Diabetes Association: Gestational diabetes mellitus (Position statement). Diabetes Care 2004; 27(Suppl. 1): S88-S90.
Whoa. Would it have made a difference in how I've lived the past four years? Hard to say, really. I think part of me wanted to deny diabetes. I got rid of all the paraphernalia once I was declared "in the clear." I should not only have gotten a post-breastfeeding food plan, but have monitored things now and then over the years.
Instead, I let myself climb up to 265 lbs. I was one of the unusual people who lost weight during pregnancy, and my post-second child weight was 210 lbs. I could kick myself for not trying harder to maintain that weight. Now I'm having to battle it down again. On the plus side, I'm down to 242 lbs (-23 lbs!). I still have a looooooong way to go, but it's a good start.
As I expected, the diabetes educator is recommending that I start a medication to help control my numbers. My post-meal numbers are within range, but my fasting are out of line. Looking at the average over the past month, my a1c numbers are going to be a lot better the next time I get that checked. Speaking of fasting, I tested my husband's fasting blood glucose this morning. 86! He's overweight, too, but does not have the family history. He's been on a low carb diet since his visit to the cardiologist a few months ago, the doctor said he's probably sensitive to carbs. We both started taking calcium supplements then, and with the extra vitamin D, I wonder if that was a catalyst in my "awakening" to the fact that I didn't want to be so friggin' huge anymore.