Can Wii help control gestational diabetes?

Oct 13, 2010

Many women have trouble finding time to exercise in their busy lifestyles. That's especially true for pregnant women who live in northern climates such as Canada, where the weather can limit outdoor activity during winter months every year.

But exercise is critical to managing , a growing problem that occurs in 2 to 9 per cent of pregnancies.

Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have proposed a novel solution. They want to offer women recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes a gaming console, a activity platform and two activity-promoting games, Wii Sport and Fit Plus. The goal is to see whether the women get more exercise and thereby lower their blood glucose levels and decrease the need for insulin.

"We all know how hard it is to maintain a proper exercise regimen in the best of times. It is obviously much harder while pregnant. We thought that by combining a fun, home-based activity with a clinical goal we will be able to achieve an important health benefit for our patients with gestational diabetes," said Dr. Howard Berger, head of the high-risk pregnancy unit at St. Michael's.

Women usually have a blood test for gestational diabetes when they are 24 to 28 weeks pregnant. The treatment is diet and exercise, such as 20-30 minutes of walking a day. If that doesn't control their , they have to take insulin, which happens in 15 to 66 per cent of women with gestational diabetes.

Women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of developing diabetes and obesity later in life. They are also at increased risk of developing complications during pregnancy and delivery, including heavier babies, pre-eclampsia, premature births, higher rates of Cesareans and post-partum hemorrhage. Newborns of a diabetic mother may also suffer from including hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and hyperinsulinemia, a condition also known as pre-diabetes.

Study participants will be patients at the hospital's diabetes in pregnancy clinic, part of the Women's Health Centre, which today moves back to 61 Queen St. E. following a $6.3 million renovation of their fourth- and fifth-floor offices and exam room and the building lobby.

"Our new ambulatory center for women strives to treat women as a whole, offering the most appropriate care for their individual situation and incorporating the most recent advances in health care practice and technology," said Dr. Guylaine Lefebvre, chief of obstetrics and gynecology.

The renovations include bigger examining rooms, where the patient will remain while various health care professionals come to her, and bigger ultrasound rooms, with space for partners and relatives to be present. The architect for the project was from Diamond + Schmitt Architects, who also designed the hospital's new Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

Provided by St. Michael's Hospital

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.