Woman’s Hospital is launching a study focused on preventing the onset of diabetes in post-pregnancy, overweight women who have a history of gestational diabetes.

“This study is another step in Woman’s efforts to help women control metabolic problems discovered during pregnancy and stop the process from accelerating to diabetes,” said Dr. Karen Elkind-Hirsch, the hospital’s scientific director of research, in a news release.

A diagnosis of gestational diabetes usually disappears after pregnancy, but does increase a woman’s later risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Other studies have shown that 35 percent to 75 percent of women with gestational diabetes will progress to Type 2 diabetes in two to 10 years, according to the hospital.

For the next two years, Woman’s will monitor 150 women to determine the effectiveness of certain medicines in stabilizing sugar and insulin levels and promoting weight loss.

The medicines are Metformin, which decreases the amount of glucose both absorbed from food and made by the liver, and Liraglutide, which stabilizes blood sugar levels.

The study will be a double-blind study, meaning that neither the participants nor the researchers will know which medicines the participants will receive.

All participants will receive Metformin. Only half of the patients, however, will receive Liraglutide, while the other half will receive a second placebo medicine, according to the hospital.

Woman’s said the study will focus on overweight women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes in their last pregnancy, have not returned to normal metabolic function and remain overweight with diagnosed insulin problems.

Woman’s Hospital is seeking women, ages 18 to 45, who delivered their infants at Woman’s Hospital and also had gestational diabetes within the past year. There are also additional study requirements.

Participants will be compensated for their time, in addition to receiving free medication, clinic visits with the physician and testing. For more information, call Woman’s Health Resources, at (225) 231-5275.

Food allergies focus of support group

A new support group for families of children with food allergies formed this year, the Food Allergy Support Team of Baton Rouge (F.A.S.T. — B.R.).

Founder Stardust Gorsch said in a news release that the mission of the group is to “provide emotional and educational support for the families of children with food allergies.”

“Together, we will offer encouragement to the children, while providing a safe, fun learning environment,” she said.

The group meets the first Sunday of every month at 3 p.m., at the East Baton Rouge Parish Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd.

Its next meeting will be on July 3, when parents may also bring their children to take part in food-allergy related activities and fellowship.

The children’s activities are held every other first Sunday of the month.

For more information, contact Gorsch, at (225) 243-7064 or (225) 315-2711.