Gestational diabetes puts women at a higher risk of developing diabetes later in life. Because of this, early screening, counseling, appropriate diet and behavior changes, and postpartum follow-up visits were critical, the doctors said.
Because National Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) Day was celebrated on March 10th, although doctors recognized that awareness of GDM had increased significantly over the years, doctors recognized the need for early screening.
V. Seshiah, former professor of diabetology at Madras Medical College and founder of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group India, said awareness of GDM is definitely better now that obstetricians and gynecologists are concerned about it.
“My concept is that we should all screen pregnant women. We recommend screening in the first trimester, around six to seven weeks of pregnancy. If we diagnose GDM in the first trimester, we can take care of both mother and child, ”he said.
He added that GDM puts the woman at risk of developing diabetes in the future. “Within 10 years, 50% of them can develop diabetes. Children born to them can develop diabetes and obesity. In my experience, 90% of women who develop GDM can have their levels controlled with medical therapy and nutritional therapy, ”he added.
Usha Sriram, director of endocrinology and diabetes, Voluntary Health Services, said when it comes to GDM, care before, during and after pregnancy is important.
“The fact is, we are now looking for GDM early in pregnancy. Women could have abnormal glucose early in pregnancy. It is slowly becoming the standard of care and women are screened at the first antenatal exam. Women planning pregnancy or who are pregnant should be aware of GDM. There is a lot of work to be done here, especially among young people, ”she said.
In this day and age, pre-diabetes, obesity, a family history of diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and sedentary lifestyle could put women at risk for GDM. “For this reason, it is recommended that you check your blood sugar levels,” said Dr. Sriram. She added that once women are diagnosed with GDM, they should stay healthy during pregnancy and stay within the recommended weight gain range. “After pregnancy, follow-up care is critical. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, ”she said. Prevention is key, she said, adding that all young women planning to conceive in six months to a year should be healthy, use folic acid, and be active.
Anand Moses, former director of the Institute of Diabetology at Madras Medical College, said the spread of GDM was on the rise. “In pregnant women, it varies between 10% and 15%. For this reason, we recommend universal screening for pregnant women, as in many cases GDM can be treated with diet control. You have to split the meals and avoid simple sugars, ”he said.
There was no follow-up, he said, adding, “Lifestyle management is very important, as is the annual check-ups after delivery.
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