33% of pregnant women in Qatar have gestational diabetes; Women’s Hospital urges women to get tested early
According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 33% of pregnant women in Qatar have gestational diabetes (GDM). To prevent complications, Women’s Hospital – a member of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) – is encouraging women in Qatar to get tested early.
Dr. Faten Al-Taher, Senior Consultant at Women’s Hospital stated: “Women may be at particular risk of having gestational diabetes if they are overweight and have a body mass index of 25 kg/m2 or greater. Women who are sedentary and have a family history of type 2 diabetes, or have high blood pressure and smoke are at an increased risk. In addition, those who suffer from high cholesterol, have a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome or have had a baby weighing four kilograms or more, are at an even greater risk.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) also concurs that GDM is a serious condition, resulting in birthing complications, an increase in Cesarean section births, large babies and a higher risk of obesity for the baby in later years.[boxify cols_use =”1″ cols =”2″ position =”right” order =”none” box_spacing =”10″ padding =”10″ background_color =”#3c3c3c” border_style =”solid” ]
- Women diagnosed with GDM will be referred to a dietician at Women’s Hospital who will work with them to control diet and regulate blood sugar levels. The dietician will suggest lifestyle changes such as adding more physical activity into their daily routine.
- Furthermore, all patients have access to a diabetic hotline: 4439-6980 to access diabetic counselling, five days a week (Sunday to Thursday) from 8am – 2pm.[/boxify]
Dr. Faten explained further: “If GDM is caught early, we can manage the treatment of our patients more effectively by putting them on a special diet. If their blood sugar is still not controlled they will be prescribed oral medication and then if this is not effective they will be administered insulin to manage their diabetic condition.”
She also added: “Women that are diabetic should consult their physician three months prior to pregnancy. Doctors will be able to provide valuable advice to control the patient’s diabetes such as taking 5ml of folic acid daily and adjusting their sugar beforehand. Doctors will also take proactive measures with the patient such as ensuring there are no issues with their eyes and kidneys before pregnancy. The reality is, if a woman has high blood sugar during her pregnancy, she is at high risk of having a miscarriage or having a baby with abnormalities.”