A lot of pregnant women concern their selves with gestational diabetes as it is a complication that can have vast repercussions later. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that shows itself only on expecting moms. Also known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), this form of diabetes can present even on healthy moms who haven’t shown any sign of the disease before. Gestational diabetes cause the blood’s sugar levels to rise above normal. If untreated, gestational diabetes can cause severe complications to the mom and baby as well.
Fortunately, gestational diabetes can be managed by having a healthy diet that is minimal on sodas, chips or any other food high in sugar. Exercise and proper medication can also go a long way to minimize the effects of the condition. The problem, however, is that gestational diabetes can at times be left undiagnosed until the baby’s delivery. Early diagnosis of gestational diabetes is then very crucial for its proper treatment.
The researchers at Tokyo Women’s Medical University has recently found out a biomarker in pregnant women’s blood that can determine the likelihood of her having gestational diabetes. At present, pregnant women can take a glucose test on their 24-28 weeks to check whether they are at risk with GDM. This occurs at midpregnancy so there was an effort to make the detection even earlier for early intervention and medication.
Dr. Atsuhiro Ichihara, the author of the research study, has added the fact that glucose tests are usually done only on patients with obesity or with history of having gestational diabetes. Women who don’t present these risk factors are not encouraged to take the glucose test for GDM. This can lead on until the second trimester and the delay in diagnosis can lessen the effectiveness of the treatment. Untreated GDM can lead into jaundice, hypoglycaemia and breathing issues for the baby. Worse scenarios include premature delivery, preeclampsia and even death for both the mom and the baby.
In the research, Dr. Ichihara has found out that the protein renin receptor (P)RR has an important role in the function of vacuolar H+-ATPase (v-ATPase) enzyme. The study also found out that problems in the proper function of this enzyme usually leads to GDM. Researches infer that measuring the levels of soluble (P)RR in the blood can help the diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
The study was conducted by analysing the blood samples of 716 pregnant women during the first trimesters and taking note of their blood’s (P)RR level. Of all the participants, 44 women developed gestational diabetes. Confirming the findings of the research, they found out that women with high (P)RR levels in their blood are 2.9 times more probable to have gestational diabetes later on. Increased levels of (P)RR can also be attributed to slow metabolism which is a precursor for GDM.
The study aims to prove that there are still other risk factors that should be considered when determining who should take glucose tests among pregnant women. Just to be safe though, we at PregnancyDiabetesApp recommend that, if the budget or your health insurance permit, take as many diagnostic tests as possible.