Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Effective monitoring and management of gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) poses a major burden to women during pregnancy. About 5 million women in India have diabetes, and the prevalence of GDM among pregnant women is greater in the age group of 30-39 years compared to the age group of 20 to 29 years.
Women with GDM are at high risk for miscarriages, and a rise in blood glucose levels may lead to large infants. Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a gynaecologist and infertility expert at Fortis La Femme, explained, "Gestational diabetes causes miscarriage, large/fat babies and many more problems like polyhydramnios, which causes an overly distended belly and may rarely cause harmful consequences, toxemia that increases blood pressure with the presence of protein in the urine, and swelling of hands/feet."
Consequently, it is imperative for women to undergo diabetic screening, especially if the body mass index is over 30, there is a positive history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, urine sugar is high, or there is a positive family history of diabetes. Dr. Archana Bajaj, a gynaecologist and obstetrician at Nurture IVF Centre, said, "The screening test for Gestational Diabetes is recommended at first prenatal visit and then repeat test at 24 to 28 weeks if the initial result is negative."
With proper management and timely treatment, the complications of GDM can be reduced, engendering a safe and healthy pregnancy. A regular exercise regime can help maintain blood sugar at normal levels. It is also advised to regularly monitor blood pressure and cholesterol levels to avoid associated complications. A healthy diet and regular medications will help reduce the complications of GDM.
Additionally, Dr. Bajaj said, "Diabetic pregnancy is very crucial. It is recommended that a woman with pre-existing diabetes (both type 1 & type 2), who becomes pregnant, should monitor her BG levels up to 8 times daily. Proper intake of food, exercise, lifestyle change, regular monitoring of glucose level, timely intake of medicines and control pressure-cholesterol is all a patient needs to do to prevent themselves and the baby from all the ills that can be caused by Diabetes."
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