I am pregnant by 6 weeks and 4 days. This is my first pregnancy. My husband and my parents are having diabetes. I am worried, if their diabetes can affect my baby. Please explain me in detail as regards any blood tests, and any treatment or any other precautions, I need to carry out. Answer (by Dr. Neelam Dhamija): Congratulations for the good news that, you are pregnant. It is really good that you are aware for you and your baby’s health. Now I will explain you as to what can be done for you and for your growing baby. In addition to all other blood tests advised by your doctor, you need to get blood test called GTT for GDM ( glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes) done. For this blood test you must not eat for 8-10 hours. First blood sample will be taken as fasting sample, after this you will be asked to drink 75 gm of glucose, dissolved in a glass of water. Blood sample are taken 60 minutes and 120 minutes after drinking it.
- If all the blood glucose reports are within normal limits, you need not worry. This same blood test (GTT for GDM) must be again repeated, between 24- 28 weeks of pregnancy, to know if your blood glucose reports are still within normal range.
- If your blood glucose reports are little (marginally) abnormal, then your blood glucose level can be kept within normal range by, doing changes in your diet, and for that you must strictly follow the diet pattern advised by your doctor (by your dietician), such as frequent and small meals, by avoiding high carbohydrate food items, and by restricting intake of sugars in any form.
- If you have craving for sweets then you must prefer fruits over sweetened food items. Regular light exercises and walking will also help in regulating the blood glucose levels. Frequent checking of blood glucose levels as advised by your doctor will help your doctor to decide if there is any necessity for starting any other treatment.
- If the reports of GTT are abnormal, then your doctor may start with Insulin and its dose can be adjusted according to your blood glucose level, which you need to do frequently, during the pregnancy. You need to follow a diet chart as advised by your doctor. When your blood glucose level is such that your doctor has to start Insulin, he will also check your kidney and liver functions by blood tests, e.g., KFT ( kidney function test) and LFT (liver function test) respectively. Your eyes will be checked by an eye doctor to know if your blood glucose levels are affecting your eyes.
Please visit your doctor from time to time as per her advise, and get all the necessary blood tests done. If your blood glucose levels are maintained within the normal range then your health and the growth of your baby may not be affected.
* Dr. Neelam Dhamija Dr. Neelam Dhamija is a qualified Obstetrician and Gynaecologist [M.B.B.S., M.S. (Gynae. & Obst.)] and has about 25 years of experience in the medical profession.