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Diabetic Middle Eastern women face health challenges during pregnancy

Lifestyle challenges have always been an obstacle in maintaining health, especially in the Middle East and GCC region where it is said that a large number of the population are pre diabetic or have type 2 diabetes. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to pregnant women who have either gestational or ongoing diabetes prior to the pregnancy.

“Diabetes in Women: Advances and Challenges” is one of the trending topics at the Women’s Health conference taking place on the 31 March-2 April 2013 as part of this year’s Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress (OBS-GYNE 2013) at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, UAE.

Organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, this event will witness the largest gathering of obstetricians and gynaecologists in the Middle East with an expected 1,500 attendees. Alongside the Women’s Health Conference, OBS-GYNE 2013 also hosts programmes on Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Midwifery, and new for this year, Neonatology.

“The main challenges facing diabetic pregnant women in the Middle East, whether the diabetes is gestational or was ongoing prior to their pregnancy, is mainly related to noncompliance to dietary and health guidelines or just having a busy lifestyle. Patients fail to regularly check their glucose levels, or simply do not have the time to do so, in addition to not following specific dietary requirements. It is advisable for pregnant women who are diabetic to check their glucose levels approximately 6-7 times a day and take their prescribed insulin doses as needed,” says Dr. Jalal Nafach, Consultant, Endocrinologist, Dubai Diabetes Centre, Dr. Humeira Badsha Medical Center, and Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, UAE.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that some women get during pregnancy. Between 2 and 10% of expectant mothers develop this condition, making it one of the most common health problems of pregnancy.

It is extremely important for women who are pregnant to maintain an ideal body weight during their pregnancy. They may do so by doing light exercise and eating healthy meals in small portions throughout the day. Experts recommend that the optimum caloric requirement which is approximately is 30 kcal/kg each day; for women, who are overweight, the caloric requirement per kilogram/pound would be lower.

According to Dr. Jalal, “Patients with type 1 diabetes are at much higher risk of hypoglycemia, so typically their diabetes is more difficult to control, as it is extremely important to avoid hypoglycemia as much as possible. Additionally, type 1 diabetic patients need to avoid DKA (Diabetic ketoacidosis). This is a problem that occurs in people with diabetes and it occurs when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is no insulin or not enough insulin. Fat is used for fuel instead. Type 2 diabetics tend to be less likely to get hypoglycemic and are not as unpredictable, but may require higher dosage of insulin.”

Running alongside the conference is an exhibition with more than 35 exhibiting companies from 10 countries showcasing healthcare technology and innovation from across the obstetrics and gynaecological medical sectors.  Top exhibiting companies include industry giants such GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer Healthcare, Philips, GE Healthcare, STORZ, and the American Hospital Dubai.

For more information on Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress, please call +971 4 407 2743 or visit


Note to Editors

About Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions:
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About Dubai Health Authority:
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About Dr. Humeira Badsha Medical Center:
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For media enquiries please contact:
Inga Stevens
Senior Communications Manager
Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions
T: +971 4 407 2743