Why expecting women should check for diabetes
BUDERIM mum-of-four Dana Truasheim is one of 293 women on the Coast to suffer from gestational diabetes.
Knowing that children of mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to get type 2 diabetes later in life, she checked herself when she was pregnant with each of her four children.
She trialled a series of lifestyle changes, and natural methods to prevent the diabetes being passed down the line.
They were unsuccessful, so she was placed on drugs to raise her insulin levels.
While side effects weren't nice, she urged all mothers to get checked for gestational diabetes.
"I am quite a small person and my pancreas couldn't keep up,” she said.
"So they put me on these drugs which made me pretty sick.
"Most people it affects for a couple of days, mine was stubborn so it was bad.
"But absolutely mothers should get checked. If I didn't and something went wrong I'd never forgive myself.”
Diabetes Queensland CEO Sturt Eastwood said women may not be aware that gestational diabetes puts both them and their child at increased risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.
"Research has shown us that if a mum has gestational diabetes, their child is six times more likely to develop diabetes or pre-diabetes in later life,” Mr Eastwood said.
"We also know about half of women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years of that pregnancy.”
In the Sunshine Coast Regional Council area, there are currently about 293 women who are pregnant and have gestational diabetes.
Data shows there are more than 979 women in the same area who have had gestational diabetes in past pregnancies.
The latest figures show there are now more than 14,965 people in the Sunshine Coast region with all types of diabetes.
Mr Eastwood said there was ways mothers can prevent the risk of getting the disease.
"We need to ensure Sunshine Coast Mums and families get support after gestational diabetes to reduce their risk of type 2.”
Women at increased risk of developing gestational diabetes include those who:
- Are aged 40 years or over
- Have a family history of type 2 diabetes or a first-degree relative (mother or sister) who has had gestational diabetes
- Are above the healthy weight range
- Have had elevated blood glucose levels in the past
- Are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
- Are from a Melanesian, Polynesian, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern or Indian background
- Have had gestational diabetes during previous pregnancies
- Have previously had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Have previously given birth to a large baby (weighing more than 4.5kg)
- Are taking some types of anti-psychotic or steroid medications
- Have gained weight too rapidly in the first half of pregnancy.