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Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Oct;15(4):284-93. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.85580.

Gestational diabetes mellitus: Non-insulin management.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Air Force Hospital, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) complicates a substantial number of pregnancies. There is consensus that in patients of GDM, excellent blood glucose control, with diet and, when necessary, oral hypoglycemics and insulin results in improved perinatal outcomes, and appreciably reduces the probability of serious neonatal morbidity compared with routine prenatal care. Goals of metabolic management of a pregnancy complicated with GDM have to balance the needs of a healthy pregnancy with the requirements to control glucose level. Medical nutrition therapy is the cornerstone of therapy for women with GDM. Surveillance with daily self-monitoring of blood glucose has been found to help guide management in a much better way than blood glucose checking in labs and clinics, which tends to be less frequent. Historically, insulin has been the therapeutic agent of choice for controlling hyperglycemia in pregnant women. However, difficulty in medication administration with multiple daily injections, potential for hypoglycemia, and increase in appetite and weight make this therapeutic option cumbersome for many pregnant patients. Use of oral hypogycemic agents (OHAs) in pregnancy has opened new vistas for GDM management. At present, there is a growing acceptance of glyburide (glibenclamide) use as the primary therapy for GDM. Glyburide and metformin have been found to be safe, effective and economical for the treatment of gestational diabetes. Insulin, however, still has an important role to play in GDM. GDM is a window of opportunity, which needs to be seized, for prevention of diabetes in future life. Goal of our educational programs should be not only to improve pregnancy outcomes but also to promote healthy lifestyle changes for the mother that will last long after delivery. Team effort on part of obstetricians and endocrinologists is required to make "the diabetes capital of the world" into "the diabetes care capital of the world".


Gestational diabetes mellitus; glyburide; insulin; medical nutrition therapy; metformin; oral hypoglycemics

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