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Gestational Diabetes Mellitus- GDM

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is the increased levels of blood glucose of varying degrees with onset or first recognition during pregnancy.. This problem has become widespread - occuring in almost 13% pregnancies in Metros and big cities.

Who may be affected:

  • Strong family history of Diabetes
  • Age above 25 years
  • Obesity- Overweight BMI more than 25 kg/m2
  • History of miscarriage, sponatneous abortion, birth deformity in previous issues
  • History of GDM in earlier pregnancy
  • Polycystic ovarian disease ( PCOD) or Polyhydramnios

How does it affect the mother and baby:

  • The babies who are exposed to high levels of insulin, grow bigger in size (medically called macrosomia), on average weighing more than 4 Kgs. This may complicate their their normal  delivery and even require Caesarian delivery. Such mothers are prone to infections, they may also develop other complications like High Blood Pressure, Pre-eclampsia, and run the risk of a premature delivery. 
  • After birth, babies of mothers who develop Diabetes during pregnancy may develop hypoglycemia- low blood glucose ( symptoms- irritation, weakness, abnormal crying, bluish coloration). Treatment of this may require admission to Neonatal ICU ( Intensive care Unit) 
  • Such babies may also develop Hypocalcaemia- deficiency of calcium in blood and other electrolyte disturbance, Respiratory Distress Syndrome (difficulty in breathing), Hyperbilirubinemia- Jaundice. Treatment of this may require admission to Neonatal ICU ( Intensive care Unit) 
  • Such babies are themselves prone to develop Diabetes, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure and Heart Diseases during their adulthood. The chances are 3-4 times more than as compared to otherwise normal babies. 
  • Mothers who develop GDM have much more likelihood of developing Diabetes than other women, They should have their Blood Glucose checked 3 months after the delivery , and if normal check every 6 months after that to rule out development of Diabetes. 

How to treat this condition:

This is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly, please immediately consult a Diabetologist or a Diabetes specialist who would explain the right dietary precautions exercise and medications which may be required during this crucial period for both the mother and the baby.

If the doctor advises you to take Insulin - do not hesitate as there are no side effects and at times this may be the only treatment possible even though not all expecting mothers with GDM may require insulin treatment, most of them may be controlled by diet and medications only.

Lifestyle modification:

Diet control

Physical exercise

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