Category Archives: Type 2 Diabetes

Cardiovascular Disease – Leading Cause of Death related to Childbirth

Heart Disease in Young Women

 Statistics from the state of California confirmed the leading cause of death related to childbirth is cardiovascular disease:

                ♥1/4 of women who died had some form of cardiovascular disease

                ♥2/3 of the deaths were related to cardiomyopathy (heart muscle weakness)

ct-x-heart-pregnancy-0220-em.jpg-20130218Only 6% of these women had been diagnosed with a heart problem prior to pregnancy. (American Heart Association Scientific Session report)

We think of pregnant women as healthy vibrant individuals who do well and have healthy babies. But, pregnancy is a high risk condition for many reasons. Pregnancy places a large cardiovascular load on a woman’s body.

Young women without underlying heart disease are better prepared to tolerate the stress of pregnancy than older women. However many women are now delaying planned pregnancies until an older age when the potential for heart disease has increased.

Lifestyle, including food choices, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use all impact health during pregnancy. Obesity and Type 2 diabetes also increase risk to mother and infant. Cigarette smoking increases risk for sudden infant death and women who smoke are also more likely to suffer sudden death.

Two conditions often seen with pregnancy are: high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia) and diabetes (gestational diabetes). Both require careful monitoring and treatment Women with these problems during pregnancy are more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life.

Being overweight and pregnant places both mother and child at risk for cardiovascular disease and complications during delivery, including C-sections and anesthesia-related problems. Overweight pregnant women are more likely to have stillbirths, deliver prematurely and may have large infants making delivery difficult. Large babies are more likely to become obese in childhood.

Additional statistics: (From The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)

  • Over one-third of women living in the US are obese
  • More than one-half of pregnant women are overweight or obese
  • 8% of reproductive-age women are extremely obese & at high risk for pregnancy complications

Guidelines for pregnancy weight gain are calculated based on the woman’s pre-pregnant BMI (Body Mass Index). Details are available on the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website: www.acog.org  Search “Weight Gain During Pregnancy.”

 General guideline:

·         1.1 – 4.4 pounds in the first three months

·         1 pound/week during the last six months

·         The average total weight gain over all BMI ranges =  30 pounds

·         Low weight women: over 30 pounds may be acceptable

·         Obese women: gain only 11-20 pounds during the entire pregnancy

Nutrition counseling at all weights is very important to assure proper food choices and nutrition during pregnancy.

Before becoming pregnant, healthy choices, an active lifestyle (including daily exercise) and weight control are all important. Seek a full medical evaluation including laboratory studies before becoming pregnant. An exercise program and nutrition counseling will benefit mother and infant.

 

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LINKS TO LIVING LONGER

DON’T WAIT–DROP THE WEIGHT

Coronary artery disease (CAD) kills more men and women than any other disease including cancer. Being overweight increases your chance of heart attack. With 68% of adults in the US now being overweight or obese, weight loss is key in reducing heart disease and sudden death risks. Reduce your risk for dying from this silently progressive disease by taking control of your life. The most important step to reduce your risks for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease is to obtain a normal weight. Weight loss is difficult, possibly more difficult than quitting smoking, but if you do smoke, it is killing you. You need to stop. Smoking is the number one risk for heart disease. To reduce your weight, you can’t  just stop eating. Instead, you must make choices, change your eating habits and begin following a path to health.

This is the first LINK TO LIVING LONGER blog. Regular postings will follow. Many will be excerpts from our book Your Heart that will be available this month. Your Heart is a handbook for heart health and the road to longevity. All of the information is science-based. No gimmicks. All the facts are there, from normal heart function to what happens at the cellular level when cholesterol starts clogging your arteries.

We won’t try to turn you into doctors, but all the facts will be there to help you make informed decisions related to your health and the health of your family. You will be able to understand cholesterol, dietary fats, sugar, high fructose sugar and how obesity is killing us. The book is not a diet book but does provide factual information on food choices.

You may want to try the “5:2” diet popularized by Dr. Michael J. Mosley. See the link below. In the 5:2 diet, you eat normally for five days, then you eat only 500 calories for 2 days.  Many people are finding this “intermittent fasting” diet a way to jump-start their weight loss program. You might call it a gimmick, but it is a way for you to begin losing weight while  learning to change what you eat. If you are diabetic, you should do this only under the care of your physician. However, as a Type 2 diabetic, weight loss does reduce insulin resistance and may actually get you off your medications. Weight loss also lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and stroke.

On the days your calorie intake is down, your body will thank you. Soon, you will be patting yourself on the back. Feeling better and lowering heart risks is your present to yourself. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5:2_diet

Betty Kuffel, MD