Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-related diabetes raises the risk of the mother developing high blood pressure (hypertension) during her pregnancy, which can lead to severe complications. Scientists at Ankara University in Turkey and St. George’s University in London, United Kingdom found in the aggregate, studies on the subject show the oral anti-diabetic medication, metformin, can be useful in preventing high blood pressure in Gestationally diabetic women. Their work was reported on in May of 2018 in the medical journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Researchers combined fifteen studies encompassing 1260 women and analyzed all the studies as if they were one massive work. Compared with those treated with insulin, the women with Gestational diabetes who had been prescribed metformin had about…
- half the risk of developing hypertension, and a
- slightly lower risk of developing preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication consisting partly of high blood pressure.
Metformin-treated patients were also less likely to develop hypertension than those who were given glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta), although this was not statistically significant. In the women who were given metformin…
- the probability of it preventing any kind of high blood pressure was 99.2 percent.
- the likelihood of metformin preventing pregnancy-induced hypertension was 92.8 percent, and
- the probability of its preventing preeclampsia was 92.7 percent.
From these results, the investigators concluded metformin treatment is highly promising for the prevention of hypertension and preeclampsia in Gestational diabetes.
Metformin is usually the first drug of choice for Type 2 diabetes. In many practices, it has replaced insulin as the first drug of choice for Gestational diabetes as well. It works by lowering the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract, lowering the amount of sugar released by the liver, and raising insulin sensitivity…
- about 10 percent of pregnant women suffer hypertension at some point during their pregnancy.
- approximately 2 percent have hypertension at conception, while
- 6 to 8 percent develop hypertension during pregnancy.
Gestational (pregnancy-related) hypertension is diagnosed after the first half of pregnancy. Preeclampsia-eclampsia has several other features along with high blood pressure. Pregnant women can suffer the following…
- severe headaches,
- black spots in the line of vision,
- overly active reflexes,
- abdominal pain,
- ankle swelling,
- kidney problems,
- blood abnormalities, and
- liver abnormalities.
Preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, or convulsions, if not treated promptly and aggressively. Blood pressure should be checked at every prenatal visit, along with a test for protein in the urine. The blood pressured reading should not exceed 140/90.