November 30, 2007, Newsletter Issue #130: Pre-Eclampsia and Diabetes

Tip of the Week

For the pregnant diabetic, there are concerns regarding blood glucose management, risk for kidney damage and elevated blood pressure, during the pregnancy, however the most serious concern in Pre-Eclampsia.

Pre-Eclampsia is a very serious condition chracterized by abnormally high blood pressure, and generally occurs later in pregnancy. Due to the high blood pressure, visual disturbances are common, as well as headache, seizures, and proteinuria - an effect of damage to the kidney from the elevated blood pressure. The body attempts to compensate by shunting fluid elsewhere, resulting in edema in the hands, feet and face.

The most significant risk factor is previous history, however diabetes and obesity quadruple the risk, making the number of diabetic women affected as high as 50%, according to the University of Glascow.

The cure for Pre-eclampsia is delivery of the baby and placenta. Since the condition can result in premature labor and delivery, there are risks to the baby, as well, including low birth weight, neurologic damage, birth trauma and low blood sugar.

The key to treatment is prevention of complications:

1. Closely monitoring blood pressure
2. Frequently check urine for protein
3. Blood tests to monitor liver and kidney
4. Watch for edema, headaches and abdominal
5. Learn the warning signs
6. Keep in close communication with your
obstetrician and endocrinologist

Early risk assessment and ongoing monitoring can help ensure a healthy pregnancy for both mother and baby, and decrease the risk for negative outcomes and complications.

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