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Expert Talk: 7 Health Conditions That Are Likely A Result Of Your Gestational Diabetes


A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during her pregnancy term. Some of the hormonal changes in your body may lead to several diseases, putting you at risk.  Out of such conditions, one of the diseases can be Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), where insulin sensitivity is decreased. If the blood sugar levels in the body are not controlled, there are high chances of developing complications during pregnancy or childbirth.

The Channel 46 collaborated with Dr Farah Ingale, Director – Internal Medicine, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, who discusses 7 health conditions that are likely the result of your gestational diabetes.

What Is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus?

Before discussing the health conditions that are likely the fallout of your gestational diabetes, let’s take a look at what Gestational Diabetes Mellitus means.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is defined as the degree of high blood sugar that is recognised for the first time during pregnancy. Many times, it does not have clear symptoms and is often detected during routine blood tests.

GDM constitutes a greater impact on the Diabetes epidemic, as it carries a major risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus among the mother and the foetus later in life. It has also been linked with cardiometabolic diseases that are caused due to insulin resistance such as Diabetes, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, lipid abnormalities, Hypertensive Disorders, and Hyperinsulinemia. These might also result in the development of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Metabolic Syndrome later. 

7 Health Conditions That May Be The Result Of Your Gestational Diabetes

1. Hypertension

Expert Talk: 7 Health Conditions That Are Likely A Result Of Your Gestational Diabetes

Hypertension is linked to Glucose Intolerance, high blood glucose levels, and Obesity. A high level of blood glucose is known to increase the risk of high blood pressure (Hypertension) which affects between 3% to 5% of pregnancies worldwide and is characterised by high blood pressure. It may damage the endothelial cells, which regulate the exchange of blood between the bloodstream and the surrounding tissues. This can result in vascular dysfunction associated with Hypertension. Because of this, GDM increases the incidence of Hypertension during pregnancy as well as the postpartum period.

2. Dystocia

In some cases, GDM pregnancies result in macrosomic infants (infants of a much larger size than the average). This increases the risk of shoulder Dystocia (difficult labour) and birth trauma.

3. Pre-Eclampsia

In the antepartum period, patients with GDM are at increased risk of developing Preeclampsia by 25%. Preeclampsia is a health condition that is marked by high blood pressure and the presence of proteins in urine. Women with GDM are also at a higher risk of caesarean delivery. The risk is even higher among patients requiring blood sugar (glucose) agents compared to women with diet-controlled GDM. 

4. Maternal Distress

GDM can also increase maternal distress due to the combined effects of an oversized foetus and Polyhydramnios (excessive accumulation of amniotic fluid in the uterus among pregnant women). 

5. Infections

There are also chances of developing infections like Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and Vulvovaginitis.

6. Pre-Term Labour

The presence of GDM, coupled with other risk factors like Hypertension and Obesity during pregnancy, may also lead to preterm labour and birth. 

7. Diabetes

Additionally, women with GDM have a higher risk of developing Diabetes, primarily type II Diabetes, within decades following pregnancy along with an increased risk of Cardiovascular Disease.

4 Ways To Treat Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

  1. The control of blood sugar levels during pregnancy significantly relies on Insulin. This is one of the most effective and reliable treatments for Hyperglycaemia (high sugar levels) during pregnancy, keeping the baby safe. 
  2. Post being diagnosed with GDM, pregnant women should monitor their blood glucose levels throughout their pregnancy.
  3. With proper management and lifestyle changes, you can keep the sugar level in control and avoid significant complications, along with reducing the risk of pre-term delivery. 
  4. Having a balanced diet and being physically active will help in keeping blood sugar under control.
  5. It’s also important to undergo regular check-ups and strictly follow all the steps and advice given by your doctor.

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