Gestational Diabetes: The Third Kind
Year upon year, WHO (World Health Organisation) have set a date to raise awareness of various health issues from Food Safety, to Hypertension to Vector-Borne diseases. This year, WHO are setting their goals in raising awareness on Diabetes; those with family and friends affected and those diagnosed. The RX series take a closer look at a type of Diabetes we don’t often talk about to raise awareness for the #BeatDiabetes campaign by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Diabetes is a life-long condition, featuring in the top 10 causes of death globally, responsible for approximately 1,497,371 deaths worldwide and 6,088 in the UK alone yearly. As a major non-communicable disease, diabetes claims on average around 8% of total health budgets in developed countries.
As many know, diabetes can come in 2 common forms: Types I Diabetes; where the pancreas does not produce insulin and Type II Diabetes; where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin/the body’s cells do not react to insulin. Not very often, however, do we hear the term Gestational Diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that affects pregnant women, usually in their third trimester. The good news is, the condition usually disappears soon after the baby is born, but what are the risks, how serious is it really and what are the chances you may find yourself dealing with the condition?
Pregnancy puts extra demands on the body, as it demands higher level of nutrition, and energy. Gestational Diabetes (GDM) occurs when the body can’t produce enough extra insulin to meet these demands.
The condition is surprisingly common, with 15% of all pregnancies resulting in the mother suffering from GDM. Whilst it only occurs in pregnancy; it is estimated that over 50% of women who have had gestational diabetes will go on to develop type II diabetes within 5-10 years of delivery which is a startling statistic.
A study carried out at JSS Medical College aimed to investigate the biochemical parameters that could be used to diagnose GDM. Levels of serum creatinine, uric acid and the albumin were studied in GDM patients and unaffected pregnant women to consider any correlation between these biochemical markers and certain clinical parameters. The RX daytona, a clinical chemistry analyser from Randox’s RX series range was used to analyse the samples. The conclusion was that biochemical parameters such as serum creatinine, uric acid and albumin, can help in predicting the early onset and progression of GDM.
The study also stated that early diagnosis was paramount as it could help in the proper treatment of gestational diabetes and its associated complications for mother and baby, thus helping to improve the quality of life of the GDM patients and their offspring.
There are measures women can take before and during pregnancy to prevent the likelihood of Gestational Diabetes occurring. One study shows that increasing fibre intake to 10g per day reduces the risk by 26%. Also, women who exercise before pregnancy have a lower risk of gestational diabetes, the more intense the exercise, the lower the risk. However, this doesn’t have to mean extremely strenuous exercise, anything as simple as walking at a brisk pace, rather than at a leisurely pace will reduce your risks.
This year on World Health Day, we urge you to share your stories and give support for those affected by diabetes and use the hashtag #BeatDiabetes to get involved with the conversation.
Randox offers high quality tests for the diagnosis of diabetes and the monitoring of its complications.
To find out more about the RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers and how we tackle Diabetes with accurate and early diagnosis, take a look at our brochures below.
Questions? Speak to the RX team: theRXseries@Randox.com