Thyroid dysfunction during the first half of pregnancy may indicate an increased risk for gestational diabetes — a form of diabetes that is typically diagnosed during the second trimester.
High thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy is also tied to increased the risk of premature delivery.
The researchers also warned that after birth, it may also cause the baby to develop conditions like hypoglycemia — low blood sugar — which can be dangerous if not treated correctly.
“Our study found that women with thyroid abnormalities in the first half of pregnancy are at an increased risk for gestational diabetes, a common pregnancy complication that can cause short and long-term health problems for women and their children,” said senior study author Cuilin Zhang of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Rockville, part of the US National Institutes of Health.
In the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the team examined medical records of 107 women with gestational diabetes and 214 other pregnant women.
“These findings, in combination with previous evidence of thyroid-related adverse pregnancy outcomes, support the benefits of thyroid screening among pregnant women in early to mid-pregnancy,” Zhang explained. (IANS)
The body’s immune system plays a vital role in safe-guarding us from most infections, but as we age, our immune system also ages and gradually loses its ability to fight against infections. Among older people, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and liver ailments put pressure on their weakened immune system, which makes it more difficult for them to deal with threats like the Coronavirus.
Dr Karthik Anantharaman, Director e-pharmacy, Medlife talks about the various chronic ailments that affect immunity and how one can protect themselves with the right diet, exercise and medicines. These exercise workouts can go a long way.
Diabetes is a major cause for concern among the older generation, and if not kept in control, may make them susceptible to other high-risk infections. High amounts of sugar in the body tends to release free-radicals, which can damage blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis, a condition that restricts free blood flow in the body.
This may cause a stroke, or damage the smaller blood vessels present in the entire body – the eyes, leading to diabetic retinopathy, the kidneys – diabetic nephropathy, the nerves – diabetic neuropathy, where the patient loses all his sense of pain.
Uncontrolled blood sugar and diabetes also has a negative impact on the body’s immune system. It suppresses the immunity providing white blood cells (WBCs). When faced with an external infection, the immune system produces a protein called eantibody’, which is tested as eantibody test’, as a part of the eCOVID-19 tests’ to check whether the body has produced enough eantibodies’ to attack the virus from inside. This is done mainly because once the body produces enough antibodies to fight an infection the first time, there is little to no chance of the same infection returning again, which is the basis for any vaccine.
People who suffer from low thyroxine hormone levels are also at huge risk when dealing with infections due to reduced immune function. The thyroid gland is very important when it comes to managing several important body functions. The gland has an impact on pancreas, blood vessels, brain functions, digestive system, breathing functions, kidney, liver and the heart, thus making it important for immunity as well. Maintaining a normal level of thyroxine in the blood is extremely critical to the functioning of multiple organ systems, aside from the actual production of blood cells in the body.
Liver and Kidney
Liver and kidney-related ailments also negatively impact the immune system. In cases of liver or kidney failure, a patient can have a significantly weakened immune system due to reduced production of blood cells from bone marrow and some of the medicines used to treat liver/kidney diseases directly reduce immunity as well. Such patients need to take extreme care to keep infections at bay and not skip routine tests and medicines.
Heart patients are typically ones with high blood pressure & high cholesterol. High BP patients need to control their salt and fluid intake & their daily intake needs to be monitored the most. Heart patients also need to ensure they take their medications on time, at the exact prescribed hour because the intervals at which the medicines are taken at, inform their doctor on how the patient’s heart is performing. Based on this data, they may increase/decrease dosage or change the medicine.
Stress is a major factor in today’s lifestyle that needs to be watched out for, especially for heart patients.
Dos and Don’ts
For all the above listed ailments, a combination of healthy food, timely exercises, and combining it with medicines and tests is more than enough to ensure a healthy body, and a healthy immune system. For instance, someone with kidney complications needs to watch out for total salt intake, which has to be bare minimum, and fluid intake, which has to be in proportion with the food eaten. Someone with liver complications has to stay away from alcohol. Intake of foods rich in Vitamin B and Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and Zinc are the most effective ways to increase the production of WBCs and antibodies. A healthy amount of sunlight also needs to be absorbed by the body to ensure a good amount of Vitamin D.
Increase in medication sales during COVID-19
Chronic ailments such as diabetes or high blood pressure don’t just disappear; they need to be monitored every single day. With the rise of COVID-19 cases day by day, people are becoming more aware, have more fear and are thus taking steps to ensure their safety, by keeping themselves equipped. They are becoming more compliant with their medication and ensuring they take it regularly and on time, which is why there is an increase in the sales of these medications. “Over the last couple for months, we have seen a sharp increase in the sales of blood pressure and diabetes medicines, more specifically, a 20% increase in blood pressure and heart medicines and a 10% increase in diabetes medicine”, says Dr Karthik.
How important is it for chronic patients to not skip/delay lab tests?
For most chronic diseases, like diabetes & high cholesterol, tests are prescribed at specific intervals. For instance, a random blood sugar test is to be done at least twice a week, fasting sugar is to be done at least 5 times a week, but that seldom happens in practicality. Hence, we recommend patients to do a fasting blood sugar test at least 2 times in a week and keep their records. For a hypertensive patient, maintaining a record of their pressure at least once a day is crucial. This kind of sequential data is very critical for a doctor to take decisions pertaining to their patients. (IANS)
The decision to choose IVF can be a difficult one for many couples. After unsuccessfully trying to have a baby, many couples may feel saddened by the number of negative results on pregnancy tests.
First off, it’s perfectly normal to feel a bit downtrodden when you may see that negative sign over and over again. But you shouldn’t feel defeated, as there are plenty of other options out there to have a baby (or babies!).
One of those options is IVF, which stands for “in vitro fertilization” is a process of medicines and a procedure that implants a fertilized egg in your uterus. Many clinics have high success rates of helping couples.
If you’re thinking about IVF, what are some ways that you can increase your chances and have the best outcome possible? Below are five things you can start doing today.
Increasing Your Chances For IVF Pregnancy
Do Your Research
For starters, you want to become as much of an expert on IVF as possible. Research all the medicine, procedure options, steps, and more so you have a full idea of what is happening. This will not only help you while looking for clinics, but it will also help you understand what the medical professionals are talking about during your appointments.
Look at all the statistics, like success rate, challenges, policies, and doctors in your area. It’s important to find a clinic where you feel comfortable. This is a big procedure for you and your partner, so make sure you both find a place where you can give four thumbs up to.
Mind Your Health
Just like naturally conceiving, there are plenty of steps you can be taking outside of the doctor’s office to best prepare you for conceiving.
That means quitting smoking and heavy drinking (a glass of wine every now and then doesn’t hurt) and eating healthy. Take out the chips and start looking for healthy snacks, exercise regularly, and make sure you’re sleeping enough. Some people even turn to alternative treatments like acupuncture to boost pregnancy chances through IVF.
This is so much easier said than done, but it’s important to maintain your stress levels during this time. A stressful mind and body aren’t optimal for conception and could hurt your chances.
Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is brought to you by our closest star: the sun. The sun is roughly 50% of our source of vitamin D, with the other 50% being brought by a healthy diet consisting of plenty of fish and vegetables
Studies have shown that women with a low vitamin D count are much less likely to conceive than those who have a high count. You can either supplement your lack of vitamin D through vitamins or injections. You may already be used to needles, so why not throw a few more in the mix?
Continuing with more supplements, DHEA (which stands for dehydroepiandrosterone) are often administered by clinics around the globe and have found to greatly assist those trying to conceive through IVF.
At the moment, doctors do not know exactly why these supplements can help women conceive but they know that they present no long-term risk to either the mother or the baby. Speak with your clinic to see if this is an option for you.
Speak With a Male Fertility Specialist
Even though the majority of these tips have to do with the woman in this case, the man in the relationship can also be taking measures in order to give you your best chance at conceiving.
There are plenty of ways to improve sperm count and health, such as exercise, diet, no smoking, no heavy drinking and more. From time to time, following these guidelines can help the chances of conception. In addition, a specialist can help look at any abnormalities or low sperm amounts and recommend other changes or treatments.
The last thing you probably want to hear is “it will all work out… just be patient,” after being on a multi-year attempt of trying to conceive with no success. But the truth of the matter is that, that’s what you have to do… you have to be patient with the process.
Even though IVF often is successful, it may not work the first or even the second time you try. That means that you and your partner must exercise patience and try to maintain a positive attitude throughout the whole process.
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Becoming a mother is one of the most phenomenal events in a woman’s life. Nothing gives her more joy than holding her baby in her arms. But for some women it is a challenging time to become a mother during the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. Fear, anxiety and feeling of uncertainty have gripped them during this otherwise happy time.
Sanaa Firoz, who has recently attained motherhood, told IANS that delivering a child during coronavirus pandemic was very tough. I couldn’t visit the hospital as there was lockdown. I had some complications also.” Thanks to technology, she was constantly in touch with her gynecologist. “I was constantly in touch with my gynecologist through video calls. My doctor during this period acted as my best friend. She helped me to have a safe and happy pregnancy. Now, we both mother and child are healthy and safe.”
Another new mother Tulisha Sengupta told IANS that delivering a baby amid a pandemic was quite stressful. “It was quite stressful for me to give birth to my child during Covid-19. My husband and I were super worried and that also led my blood pressure to shoot up. My doctor helped me calm down by making me do breathing exercises. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl early this month and doctors suggested to us how to take care of the baby. They suggested a few guidelines — washing hands frequently, minimum meet and greet sessions for the baby with other family members, and keeping the house clean. We both are healthy and safe now.”
Speaking to IANS, doctor Sanchita Dube Ghonge, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Motherhood Hospital, said the ongoing pandemic of novel coronavirus and the lockdown measures have created a global crisis of unprecedented dimensions. Becoming parents during the ongoing crisis is even more challenging and likely to be distressful.
“The expecting couples are overwhelmed with the concerns related to the safety of their unborn or newly born child during the present circumstances. The parents are anxious about the repeated visits to their gynecologists, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy, as they have to convince the police personnel every time they cross the lockdown barricades.
The situation is even worse in the containment zones, as few hospitals also ask for additional tests, when the patients from such zones visit a hospital for the delivery.”
Ghonge also said that most couples are not able to look forward to supporting from their parents as most of them are not able to travel. “The unborn fetuses will certainly not wait for the unlocking orders from the government for their arrivals into this world. The fear of COVID-19 mixed with the uncertainties of the lockdown is likely to have an impact over the mother’s mental health,” she said.
“It is, however, important for couples to remain stable and unperturbed. They need to act with conviction without any fears. They should regularly contact their gynecologists on phone and follow the advice, accordingly,” the doctor suggested, adding “the expecting mother should find time to focus on lifestyle measures for better physical and mental health. Balanced diet with appropriate nutrition and hydration is important along with required physical activity.
“Yoga, Meditation and mindfulness are likely to enhance the immune system and will also take care of undue anxiety,” Ghonge said.
She hopes that the babies, born and surviving during this time, will be stronger and tougher in the future. “With high hopes that COVID-19 pandemic soon goes down the history as a triumph of human’s indomitable spirit and determination. The stories of such couples who become parents amidst COVID-19 pandemic will always provide strength to coming generations. The newborn babies during COVID-19 pandemic will certainly be stronger and tougher.” (IANS)