Is Gestational Diabetes Linked to Autism?

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Update Date 04/12/2019
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Gestational diabetes or maternal diabetes during pregnancy is a very common problem in pregnant women. It not only affects the health of the mother but more importantly, it could also make the baby born with autism.

Relationship between diabetic pregnant mothers and autism at children

In studies of the Johns Hopkins University (USA), there were 63% diabetic pregnant mothers who gave birth to a baby with autism, mental obstacles, and an autism spectrum disorders (ADS). The number is higher than mothers in good health. The study results suggest that although the risk of children born with autism as early maternal diabetes in pregnancy is not high. But it showed the relationship between the children with autism and the mother with diabetes.

According to Anny Xiang, head of research at Kaiser Permanente medical organization Southern California, high blood sugar can be the direct cause of the birth defects. Those defects may include the abnormal growth of baby’s brain , difficulties in communication, difficulties in behavioral control, academic decline, and health implications, etc. This conclusion is drawn from the study in 320,000 children. The exact reason for this phenomenon is still unknown, but according to experts, the early months of pregnancy is an important period for the development of the child’s brain.

Scientists have discovered that the maternal type 2 diabetes during pregnancy have the number of anti-fetal brain autoantibodies 3 times more than the healthy women. Previous studies of the MIND Institute also said that about 23% of mothers having children diagnosed with autism has the presence of auto-antibodies. These antibodies will attack the proteins in the brain of the fetus and cause congenital autism. The presence of these antibodies in the mother’s blood as the biomarker to diagnose autism in children.

Advice for diabetic pregnant mothers

With the findings, the researchers encourage future mothers to have good control of blood volume during pregnancy by eating a balanced scientific diet and maintain a positive life. During pregnancy, the mother should control their weight. When entering the middle stages of pregnancy, it is best for the mom to keep steadily the gaining weight not exceeding 500gr / week.

  • Do not eat too much;
  • Divide your diet into several meals;
  • Eat on time with right dose;
  • Balance coordination food;
  • Limit your intake of foods that contain sugar.

Getting pregnant does not mean you have to stop all activities unless the doctor asks you to rest in a place to protect the fetus. Let’s set some gentle exercises which are suitable for pregnant women. If you have a moderate diet and exercise but your body weight still increases, you need to meet promptly specialist doctors to be diagnosed and remedied.

Women should be screened for gestational diabetes while pregnant are 24-28 weeks old. People with high-risk factors such as overweight, obese, those over 25 years old with a history of diabetes, should consult early, if needed doctor can advise what to do to help protect the health themselves, limit the risk of increased disease in children.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Read also:


    Can Early Control of Gestational Diabetes Reduce Autism Risk?,, Accessed October 26th, 2016.

    Is Gestational Diabetes Linked to Autism?, Accessed October 26th, 2016.

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