The Endocrinologist spoke with Medicine and Public Health about gestational diabetes, a common complication in women.
Dr. Luis Ruiz, endocrinologist and past President of the Puerto Rican Society of Endocrinology and Diabetology. Photo: Archive of the Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.
According to the specialist, it is a prevalent condition in the US and Puerto Rico. It is estimated that 10% of women of reproductive age may become diabetic. This can cause complications for the mother and the baby, during the pregnancy process and later in the postpartum period.
The Dr. Luis Ruiz, past president of the Puerto Rican Society of Endocrinology Y diabetologyreported that regarding the associated risk factors, it indicates that “they are almost the same characteristic factors of diabetes in general, which in themselves will affect young women who have not taken care of themselves, can generate diabetes in the pregnancy”
The most frequent are due to an inadequate diet, genetic patterns with a family history of diabetes and obesity. In addition, she points out that “the baby may be affected if the mother does not have prenatal care. For this reason, she should seek care with the gynecologist for the discernment of diabetes.”
According to Dr. Ruiz, there is no specific age for the development of gestational diabetes, on the contrary, he affirms that any woman of reproductive age between 14 and 40 years of age can present it, for which he recommends examining patients between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation, in addition to carrying out the respective tests, such as: sugar test, tolerance or hemoglobin A1c, which “must be less than 6.5%,” he added.
On the other hand, this condition can occur in diabetic and non-diabetic women, for diabetic women controls of blood glucose levels are essential and keeping glycosylated hemoglobin as close to 7 or less is crucial for a pregnancy. suitable.
In women who are not diabetic, they must follow a proper diet, exercise and control their sugar. On this, the specialist indicates that if the patient exceeds the permitted sugar standards, she would have to inject insulin.
In his extensive career, he has treated patients with gestational diabetes and therefore emphasizes prenatal check-ups. Dr. Ruiz affirms that the consequences of this condition can be, the delay in uterine growth; that the child is macrosomic and therefore dependent on insulin; with birth defects and there is even a risk of death.
In addition, it adds an important fact and supported by research. “50% of mothers who develop diabetes during pregnancy will be diabetic at 5 years or less if they do not take care of themselves or eat an adequate diet.” The diabetes that mothers could develop is type 2, characterized as a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose).
Treatments for women include a diet directed by a nutritionist, constant physical activity and, in cases where sugar levels are not regulated, the application of insulin.
In relation to the expressed insulin that exists today, there are multiple types of insulin approved for women with gestational diabetes. “Usually, divided insulins, which are several times a day, and/or insulin infusion pumps are preferred to keep a tight control of the condition.”