The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


Although the common effects of gestational diabetes on the fetus are known, the outcome of a diabetic gestation is ambiguous. There is concern for complications in the fetus at delivery due to enlarged size of the fetus, as well as concerns for birth defects, fetal distress, diabetes and obesity. Yet, although there is a correlation in the previous disorders and gestational diabetes, many of the mechanisms that cause these complications are unknown. By studying the pathology of gestational diabetes, researchers have learnt that the placenta controls fetal growth and provides a great deal of protection for the fetus. Therefore, many of the effects of diabetes are masked by the placenta. The problems that arise from gestational diabetes are often the result of a subtle disturbance of the fetuses’ metabolism or from some obstruction of the placenta’s ability to protect the fetus. Therefore, to properly understand the effects of gestational diabetes, it is necessary to know not only the effects of diabetes but also the mechanics of the placenta, the changes it undergoes during gestational diabetes and the effects of these changes on the fetus.



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