Preventing Diabetes during Pregnancy critical to India’s future

Diabetes during pregnancy is witnessing an upsurge globally. City-based doctors are also seeing two times increase in cases of gestational diabetes.

While addressing the Annual Conference of DIPSI (Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group of India), Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also a nationally renowned Diabetologist, founder member of DIPSI and also a member of the team which laid down the WHO-recognised guidelines for the treatment of diabetes in pregnancy said that prevention of diabetes in pregnancy is critical to the well-being of India’s future generation.

He said that Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus has already assumed epidemic proportions in India and has achieved the dubious distinction of being described as the diabetes capital of the world. In an alarming situation like this, he said, unless we can effectively prevent the occurrence of diabetes in pregnant women, it may not be possible to break the chain of Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus getting passed on from generation to generation and thus affecting future generations.

What is Gestational diabetes?

It is a well-known fact that a woman who gets Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is likely to pass on to her progeny a higher preponderance to develop Type-2 diabetes and that too at a relatively younger age, said Dr Jitendra Singh. Gestational diabetes (GD) is a type of diabetes that develops in pregnancy when blood sugar levels get too high. It usually appears during the middle of pregnancy, between 24 and 28 weeks. During pregnancy, hormones can interfere with the way insulin works. It may not regulate blood sugar levels like it’s supposed to. Other genes and having a BMI greater than 25 may also play a part.

Additionally, among women with any type of diabetes, high blood sugar throughout pregnancy increases women’s risk of having a cesarean delivery and further increases risk of developing obesity or type 2 diabetes in the future.

Dr V. Seasiah’s Spot Test

Half a century ago, Dr V. Seshiah and his team had come out with their recommendation of conducting “Spot Test” for blood sugar in every pregnant woman and today a “Single Procedure Test in Pregnancy” developed by the same team has been accepted worldwide as reliable and effective for future management. Hence, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh had a special word of appreciation for Dr V. Seasiah who has devoted his life to this cause.

Dr V. Seshiah has now moved on to primordial prevention of diabetes in pregnant women, said Dr Singh and added that the success of this will not only help in controlling the epidemic of diabetes in India but would also ensure the health and well-being of the youth whose energy and productivity is crucial for the next 25 years.

Today’s newborns are tomorrow’s youth and would determine the face and profile of India in the year 2047, therefore, all of us owe it not only to the medical fraternity but to the nation as a whole to support and supplement the crusade taken up by Dr V. Seshiah for primordial prevention of diabetes in pregnancy, concluded the Minister.

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