Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It affects how the body processes glucose (sugar) and can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. While it typically resolves after childbirth, GDM can have significant implications for both the mother and the baby during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes arises when the body's insulin response is insufficient to effectively manage the increased demand for glucose during pregnancy. This condition can lead to higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, potentially affecting the health of both the mother and the developing fetus. GDM is typically diagnosed between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy, although it may occur earlier in some cases.
Common Conditions Treated By The Department
- Hyperglycemia in Pregnancy: Elevated blood sugar levels in the mother need to be controlled to prevent complications.
- Preeclampsia: A pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys. Women with GDM are at increased risk.
- Macrosomia: A condition where the baby is significantly larger than average, which can complicate delivery and increase the risk of birth injuries.
- Preterm Birth: GDM increases the risk of early labour and delivery.
- Cesarean Delivery (C-Section): The likelihood of needing a C-section is higher in pregnancies complicated by GDM.
- Neonatal Hypoglycemia: Babies born to mothers with GDM may have low blood sugar levels after birth, requiring close monitoring and treatment.
- Jaundice in Newborns: Babies of mothers with GDM are at a higher risk for jaundice.
- Development of Type 2 Diabetes: Women with GDM have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, and their children also have an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Obstetric Complications: Such as polyhydramnios (excessive amniotic fluid), which can lead to additional complications during pregnancy and delivery.
- Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Babies of mothers with GDM may be at higher risk for breathing difficulties after birth.
- Glucose Monitoring: Regular self-monitoring of blood glucose levels is crucial. Patients are often instructed on how to use a glucometer to keep track of their blood sugar levels at home.
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): This is a standard test used to diagnose GDM. It involves fasting overnight, drinking a sugary solution, and then having blood sugar levels checked at multiple intervals.
- Dietary Counseling: Nutritionists or dietitians provide guidance on eating a balanced diet that helps control blood sugar levels, focusing on the timing and composition of meals and snacks.
- Exercise Recommendations: Physical activity is an important part of managing GDM. Patients receive guidance on safe and effective exercise routines during pregnancy.
- Insulin Therapy: Some women with GDM may need insulin injections to control their blood glucose levels. They are instructed on how to administer insulin safely.
- Medication Management: If needed, oral hypoglycemic agents (like glyburide or metformin) may be prescribed and their use carefully monitored.
- Fetal Monitoring: This includes regular ultrasounds to monitor the baby's growth and development, as well as non-stress tests or biophysical profiles to assess the baby’s well-being, especially if GDM is not well controlled.
Advantages Of The Department
Having a dedicated Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) department or specialized care within a healthcare facility offers several significant advantages for managing this condition effectively:
- Specialized Care: A GDM-focused department provides specialized care tailored to the unique needs of pregnant women with diabetes, ensuring both maternal and fetal health.
- Early Detection and Intervention: Such departments are adept at early detection of GDM through routine screening, which is crucial for timely intervention to prevent complications.
- Nutritional Counseling: Dietitians in these departments offer specific advice on diet and nutrition, which is a cornerstone of GDM management.
- Blood Sugar Control: Regular monitoring and effective control of blood sugar levels reduce the risk of pregnancy complications like preeclampsia, preterm labour, and the need for cesarean delivery.
- Psychological Support: Offering support and resources to address the emotional and psychological impacts of managing diabetes during pregnancy.
- Risk Reduction for Newborns: Effective management of GDM reduces the risk of neonatal complications such as hypoglycemia, jaundice, and respiratory distress syndrome.
Call 011-42888888 to book an appointment with a specialist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute.