How moms can ensure that they and their kids receive proper type 2 diabetes diagnosis

Mother's Day is just around the corner and in light of this occasion, many healthcare agencies and providers are encouraging women to take measures to ensure that their families do not develop serious health problems due to undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Recently, the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) highlighted the fact that many women who experience gestational diabetes during pregnancy develop type 2 diabetes later in life. While gestational diabetes may only cause temporary glucose intolerance due to weight gain during pregnancy, the condition may signal that a woman has a high risk of becoming diabetic even after the baby weight has been shed.

The organization recommends that women who had gestational diabetes be screened regularly for type 2 diabetes.

"Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes can lead to serious consequences, including an increased chance of miscarriage, stillbirth or having a baby with a malformation in a future pregnancy. It also increases the long-term risk of heart attack and stroke, and damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves," said Jennifer Snyder of the CDA.

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, gestational diabetes occurs in as many as 10 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. annually.

As caregivers, mothers may be concerned that their children will suffer from type 2 diabetes if they are overweight or if there is a family history of the disease.

The findings of a recent study presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies indicate that parents should request that their pediatrician re-test the child for type 2 diabetes if they were previously screened using only the recommended hemoglobin A1C test.

The study's results showed that this method alone failed to identify 40 percent of children with type 2 diabetes and 67 percent of those at high risk for the condition. Therefore, the researchers suggested that all children be tested using the hemoglobin A1C in addition to an oral glucose tolerance exam to ensure that they are properly diagnosed.