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Diabetic women should monitor glucose levels before pregnancy

diabetesWomen suffering from diabetes and wishing to start a family should monitor their blood glucose levels and take a daily high dose of folic acid before pregnancy to avoid risk to their baby's health, a new study said Wednesday.

The risk of stillbirth - when the foetus dies in the uterus or death during the first year of birth - was over four times greater in women with diabetes than in those without the disease.

The team from Newcastle studied the outcome of over 400,000 pregnancies delivered in north of England between 1996 and 2008. (Read: Diabetes Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and complications)

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'We found that 2.7 percent of births in women with diabetes resulted in stillbirth, six times than the rate for women without diabetes, while 0.7 percent died during the first year of life, nearly double the rate in women without diabetes,' said Ruth Bell, one of the researchers.

The research also said that nearly 40 percent of deaths might have been avoided if all of the women were able to achieve good control of their blood glucose before pregnancy.

'Stillbirths and infant deaths are thankfully not common, but they could be even less common if all women with diabetes can be helped to achieve the best possible control of their blood glucose levels before becoming pregnant,' added Bell. (Read: Gestational Diabetes: Causes, prevention and treatment)

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disease which is characterised by high blood sugar levels. It can be caused either due to the lack of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or because the body's cells fail to respond to the insulin produced (type 2 diabetes). There's another form of diabetes that afflicts pregnant women called gestational diabetes. (Read more..)

Symptoms

In diabetes, the body is unable to absorb glucose which leads to a host of problems. Here are some of the symptoms that could indicate diabetes:

1. Increase in appetite

2. Frequent urination

3. Feeling too thirsty

4. Loss of weight

5. Feeling fatigued all day long

6. Frequent infections

7. Poor wound healing

8. High irritability/Depression

9. Blurred vision (Read: Have you noticed these diabetes symptoms?)

With inputs from IANS

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