Wear The Gown: Detecting and treating gestational diabetes

The condition can lead to serious health risks for women and their baby.

SAN ANTONIO — In tonight’s Wear The Gown we look at gestational diabetes. For many women it is a precursor to developing type-2.

Often there are no symptoms with gestational diabetes and it can lead to many other serious health problems. 

“One of them is elevated high blood pressure. And that high blood pressure can actually hurt your heart and also cause an emergency called preeclampsia,” said Dr. Carolina Solis Herrera, an endocrinologist with the Texas Diabetes Institute within University Health, and Chief of the Endocrinology Division at UT Health San Antonio Science Center. Dr. Solis added, “Eventually one out of two women develop type two diabetes in 5 to 10 years.” 

She says any symptoms usually don’t appear until your blood sugar is very high. Dr Solis-Herrera told us, “In some patients that can be increase urination or thirst. So this is why it’s very important to check yourself with your doctor.”  

Some of the risk factors include being overweight or obese, not being physically active, having had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, having polycystic ovary syndrome, and having an immediate family member with diabetes.

When it comes to the baby some of the risk factors are putting your baby at risk of being very large, being born prematurely with related risks like breathing difficulty, and having low blood sugar. Dr. Solis-Herrera added, “There is a risk of these babies developing type two diabetes when they’re adolescents or adults.” 

So how do you treat it? By approaching it like you would other forms of diabetes. Dr Solis-Herrera said, “You need to be at a healthy weight, exercise regularly.” 

Because high blood pressure is so common in patients with type-2 diabetes, it is important to be checked for diabetes with your doctor when pregnant to avoid hypertension, which can damage many organs in the body. 

For more health stories like this one go to our website.

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