Gestational diabetes is a common complication of pregnancy, and it’s important to know what the WHO criteria are for diagnosing it. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the global public health body, and it sets the standards for diagnosing and treating various conditions, including gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a condition in which a woman develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. It is caused by a combination of hormones, such as insulin resistance, and the body’s inability to produce enough insulin to keep up with the demands of pregnancy. This can lead to complications, such as pre-eclampsia and preterm labor.
The WHO criteria for diagnosing gestational diabetes consists of two main tests: the glucose challenge test and the oral glucose tolerance test. The glucose challenge test is a screening test that is usually done between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. The test requires the pregnant woman to drink a glucose solution, and then the doctor will measure the blood sugar level one hour later. If the blood sugar level is higher than a certain threshold, the woman will be referred for the oral glucose tolerance test.
The oral glucose tolerance test is a more in-depth test that is done between the 28th and 32nd week of pregnancy. The woman is required to drink a glucose solution and then her blood sugar level is monitored at regular intervals over a period of three hours. If the blood sugar level is higher than the WHO threshold at two or more of the intervals, then the woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
It’s important to note that the WHO criteria for diagnosing gestational diabetes are different from the criteria used in the United States. In the U.S., the American Diabetes Association (ADA) uses different criteria for diagnosing gestational diabetes. The ADA criteria are more stringent, and a woman must meet higher blood sugar thresholds to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
What are the Health Implications of Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes can have serious health implications for both the mother and the baby. Women who have gestational diabetes are at a higher risk for developing pre-eclampsia, a condition in which the mother develops high blood pressure and protein in her urine. This can lead to serious complications, such as seizures and premature labor.
Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are also at a higher risk of developing health problems. These can include being born large, having an increased risk of jaundice, and being at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. It’s important to note that not all babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes will develop these conditions, but it is important to be aware of the risks.
How is Gestational Diabetes Treated?
Gestational diabetes is typically treated with diet and exercise. It’s important for pregnant women to eat healthy, balanced meals and to get regular physical activity. Women who have gestational diabetes are also typically monitored more closely during their pregnancy to ensure that the baby is growing and developing properly.
In some cases, medication may also be necessary to help control blood sugar levels. Insulin is the most commonly used medication for gestational diabetes, and it can help the body use the glucose in the blood more efficiently. Insulin is typically administered through injections, but some women may be able to use a pump that delivers insulin through a catheter in the abdomen.
Gestational diabetes is a common complication of pregnancy, and it’s important to be aware of the WHO criteria for diagnosing it. The WHO criteria consist of two main tests: the glucose challenge test and the oral glucose tolerance test. It’s also important to be aware of the health implications of gestational diabetes, as it can have serious consequences for both the mother and the baby. Gestational diabetes is typically treated with diet and exercise, but in some cases medication may be necessary.