Aybüke Erkul1, Oytun Erbaş1

1ERBAS Institute of Experimental Medicine, Illinois, USA & Gebze, Türkiye

Keywords: Beta cell, gestational diabetes mellitus, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, postpartum management, pregnancy complications.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is characterized by glucose intolerance first identified during pregnancy. During pregnancy, various physiological changes occur to support the growing fetus, including alterations in insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance develops due to increased hormones antagonizing insulin action, facilitating glucose supply to the fetus. Gestational diabetes mellitus results from beta-cell (β-cell) dysfunction and insulin resistance, with β-cell dysfunction exacerbated by insulin resistance. Risk factors contributing to GDM include obesity, advanced maternal age, and dietary factors. Diagnosis involves glucose tolerance tests, with lifestyle modifications as the primary treatment. Pharmacological intervention, such as insulin or oral agents like metformin and glyburide, may be required if lifestyle changes are insufficient. Complications of GDM include adverse pregnancy outcomes increased risks of perinatal death and long-term metabolic issues in offspring. Postpartum management involves breastfeeding encouragement, glucose monitoring, and screening for diabetes. Awareness of GDM's lifelong implications and associated risks is essential for comprehensive postpartum care. This review provides an overview of the physiological changes, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and complications associated with GDM.

Cite this article as: Erkul A, Erbaş O. Complications of Gestational Diabetes: An Overview. JEB Med Sci 2024;5(2):170-179.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.