Commentary - African Journal of Diabetes medicine (2023)

Understanding the risks and management of hyperglycemic emergencies in pregnancy
Department of Laboratory Science, Hormozgan University of Medical Science, Iran

*Corresponding Author:

Christina Saji, Department of Laboratory Science, Hormozgan University of Medical Science, Iran, Email:

Received: 01-Aug-2023, Manuscript No. ajdm-23-115945 ; Editor assigned: 03-Aug-2023, Pre QC No. ajdm-23-115945 (PQ) ; Reviewed: 17-Aug-2023, QC No. ajdm-23-115945 ; Revised: 22-Aug-2023, Manuscript No. ajdm-23-115945 (R) ; Published: 29-Aug-2023, DOI: 10.54931/AJDM-31.4.4.


Pregnancy is a transformative period in a woman’s life, marked by numerous physiological changes. For some expectant mothers, these changes can impact blood sugar levels, leading to hyperglycemic emergencies. Hyperglycemia, or elevated blood glucose levels, can pose serious risks to both the mother and the developing fetus. In this article, we will explore hyperglycemic emergencies in pregnancy, their causes, symptoms, complications, and management.

Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels that develop during pregnancy in women who previously had no history of diabetes. It typically arises in the second or third trimester and often resolves after childbirth. GDM increases the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery if not adequately managed. DKA is a severe complication of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy, especially in women with pre-existing diabetes. It results from a lack of insulin, leading to the production of ketones, acidic molecules that can be harmful to both mother and baby.

HHS is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, primarily affecting women with pre-existing type 2 diabetes. It occurs when blood sugar levels become extremely high, causing severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. The primary risk factor for hyperglycemic emergencies in pregnancy is diabetes. Women with pre-existing type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of experiencing hyperglycemic events during pregnancy. In the case of GDM, hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to insulin resistance, increasing blood sugar levels.

The symptoms of hyperglycemic emergencies in pregnancy can vary in severity but may include: Frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, confusion or altered mental status. Hyperglycemic emergencies pose significant risks to both the mother and the fetus. Potential complications include: High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of premature labor and delivery. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to birth defects in the developing fetus. Babies born to mothers with hyperglycemia may experience low blood sugar levels shortly after birth. Respiratory distress syndrome, babies born prematurely due to hyperglycemia are at an increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome, a condition where the baby’s lungs are not fully developed.

Women with pre-existing diabetes or GDM should monitor their blood glucose levels regularly as advised by their healthcare provider. Some pregnant women may require insulin or other medications to control blood sugar levels. A balanced diet, planned in consultation with a registered dietitian, is crucial for managing blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Regular, moderate exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity. However, it should be done under medical supervision to prevent complications.

Pregnant women with diabetes should receive regular prenatal care and follow-ups with their healthcare team. In severe cases, insulin therapy may be initiated to bring blood sugar levels under control. Hyperglycemic emergencies in pregnancy can be challenging to manage, but with proper medical supervision, lifestyle modifications, and adherence to treatment plans, women with diabetes can have successful pregnancies and healthy babies. Early detection and management of hyperglycemic emergencies are key to minimizing risks and ensuring a positive outcome for both mother and child. Pregnant women with diabetes should work closely with their healthcare providers to navigate this journey safely and effectively.



Conflict Of Interest

The author has nothing to disclose and also state no conflict of interest in the submission of this manuscript.

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