Posted by Claudia Grazioso on January 12, 2012
A good friend of mine had gestational diabetes during her first pregnancy, and I remember thinking it was bitterly unfair. No coffee, no wine and now no sweets? What did she do to tick off the gods? Then a few years later when I was pregnant, I got a call after a routine check up that my blood sugar was a little high. I was tested for gestational diabetes, and didn’t have it. I remember the flood of relief. Denied sugar and bread, I would have died from hunger. But it was a good wake-up call; I had been kind of, let’s say, over-indulging in all things Hostess.
Still, the possibility of being forced to part with dessert was really my biggest worry. I knew that most cases of gestational diabetes went away after pregnancy. I didn’t see it as a long-term problem. But now a new study suggests some troubling news: There might be a link between an expectant mom’s gestational diabetes and the onset of a child’s Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.
In a recent study, researchers found that children born to moms who had gestational diabetes were twice as likely to have ADHD. And if these children grew up in lower-income homes, the rate is even higher. Researchers think that one reason for this may be that lower-income women don’t get as much help in managing their gestational diabetes when they are diagnosed.
Gestational diabetes is pretty rare — only about 5 percent of pregnant women get it — but some doctors worry that this number is going up. Also, gestational diabetes usually develops in the second half of pregnancy, when a lot of important neurological development happens. Though they are quick to point out that this was a small, limited study and it doesn’t prove that there is a causal link between the two conditions, researchers think that that might be the connection between the onset of ADHD and gestational diabetes: During critical brain development, the baby is suddenly flooded with higher-than-normal levels of glucose.
If you are pregnant, do your best to eat a healthy diet. Do what I eventually learned to do: Put down the Twinkie and pick up some broccoli. And if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, talk to your doctor about working out a menu that will help you to best manage the condition.