Strong Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Depression
Women who develop gestational diabetes are more prone to suffering with postpartum depression.
This association was found in first time mothers and conducted by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Karolinska Institute. The study looked at data from more than 700,000 women and was published in the journal Depression and Anxiety.
In this study the researchers also found that women with a history of depression are more than 20 times more likely to develop postnatal depression than women who haven’t suffered depression before. The combination of prior depression plus gestational diabetes was the biggest determinant in who would suffer with postnatal depression.
Michael E. Silverman, PhD is a professor of psychiatry and lead author of the study. He has said: “Most practitioners think of these as two isolated and very different conditions, but we now understand gestational diabetes and postpartum depression should be considered together. While having diabetes increases postpartum depression risk for all women, for those women who have had a past depressive episode, having diabetes during pregnancy makes it 70 percent more likely that they will develop postpartum depression.”
The period following childbirth can be incredibly stressful and demanding. Postpartum depression varies in intensity among women, however it can be completely debilitating. This association with gestational diabetes can serve as an early warning system, so that at-risk women can be more prepared for its onset.
Postnatal depression can develop as a result of a combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and the significant fatigue common at that time. Progesterone levels plummet at this time, and the use of a natural progesterone cream can offer dramatic benefits for many women. Nutritional deficiencies may also play a role. This is not surprising, since vitamins and minerals are required for both hormone production and neurotransmitter production. Diabetics tend to be deficient in magnesium, which helps with blood sugar control as well as relief from anxiety and depression.