Diabetes Mellitus GESTATIONAL AND PREGESTATIONAL DIABETES Other type of Diabetes

How has the White classification changed—and how does it often cause confusion?

Written by StopDiabetes

As research uncovered information about diabetes, the White Classification of Diabetic Pregnancies listing changed accordingly. Other more complex revisions were made in the classification, based on differences in research and new discoveries of how diabetes affects other parts of the body. For example, one later classification listed class A as involving a pregnant woman having diabetes that can be controlled by diet alone, at any duration or onset age. Class B means the onset age is older than 20, with the duration less than ten years (same as with the White classification). But such listings also become more complicated. For instance, also in this listing, the classes are even farther down the alphabet, such as class H, in which arteriosclerotic heart disease is clinically evident, and class T, which is listed as “prior renal transplantation,” or excessive kidney disease that led to a kidney transplant. Still other classifications list not only other symptoms in each class but add different and/or more classes. Thus, many researchers are now calling for a more standardized classification to simplify—yet explain the complexities of—the list of types of diabetes in pregnant women.

Is there a classification based on just gestational diabetes?

As with many diseases, there are often several classifications. Gestational diabetes also has its own classification that differs from the White and subsequent listings (see above). One of the simplest states that if a pregnant woman can control her diabetes through diet, then it is called class A1; if a pregnant woman needs insulin or oral medication to control her diabetes, then it is called class A2.

Are multiple pregnancies connected to diabetes?

Multiple pregnancies, or pregnancies with more than one fetus, often pose special risks because of the extra demands on the mother’s system. For example, the need for oxygen and other nutrients for each fetus is multiplied. In addition, two common health conditions often affect the mother in multiple pregnancies. One is called preeclampsia, or having high blood pressure and protein in the urine. The other condition is gestational diabetes, or high blood sugar levels during the pregnancy (see above).

Why is breast milk so nutritious for a baby, and how is it connected to diabetes?

After a baby is born, the mother’s breast milk becomes extremely important for the baby’s nutrition. The milk has an amazingly consistent composition, and in most mothers, it is almost a “perfect food” for the child (although it is usually low in vitamin D and fluoride). Certain studies indicate that breastfeeding a baby decreases the risk of respiratory infections, high blood pressure, asthma, and a tendency to develop certain allergies. In some studies, it has been found that when a baby is breastfed, he or she will have a lower incidence of diabetes in later years. But realistically, such benefits also depend on the mother’s lifestyle habits. In other words, the nutrition of the breast milk is directly related to the nutrition of the mother. And if a nursing mother has poor nutrition, then it is often the amount of milk more than the quality that suffers.

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