How is gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) prevented?

Updated: Apr 29, 2020
  • Author: Thomas R Moore, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Prevention of gestational diabetes is an attractive concept, but no progress has been made, despite attempts in small studies. Because body fat and diet contribute to the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, patients who lose weight before pregnancy and follow an appropriate diet may lower their risk of gestational diabetes mellitus. However, the hormone levels in pregnancy impose such a high degree of insulin resistance that in very susceptible individuals, even marked weight loss and attention to diet are not likely to be successful.

Additionally, a large study by Stafne et al found that a 12-week standard exercise program during the second half of pregnancy had no benefit in preventing gestational diabetes in healthy women with normal BMI. [104]

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