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The growing epidemic

The growing epidemic
Highlights

The World Health Organization reports diabetesto be a growing challenge in India with estimated 8.7% diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70...

The World Health Organization reports diabetesto be a growing challenge in India with estimated 8.7% diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years. While Diabetes Mellitus is a growing epidemic in India, it's subtype Gestational Diabetes is seldom highlighted but is not an exception to the epidemic.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a condition in which a woman without diabetes develops diabetes for the first time during pregnancy. In 2019, the prevalence of gestational diabetes has been reported from 3.8% to 17.9% in different parts of India. Despite these statistics- screening for Gestational Diabetes among pregnant women is not being done universally followed as a mandatory antenatal package.

Undiagnosed or inadequately treated GDM can lead to significant maternal and fetal complications. Additionally women with GDM and their offspring's are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life.

The occurrence of Gestational Diabetes is not just limited to hormonal imbalance. There are several other risk factors that make a woman more prone to developing this disease.

The American Diabetes Association states that apart from obese women, those with:

I. Family history of Diabetes

II. Sugar in the urine

III. Gestational Diabetes in a previous pregnancy are at an increased risk of developing Gestational Diabetes.

Lesser known risk factors associated with GDM include emotional stress, history of PCOS, Vit D3 deficiency and sedentary lifestyle to name a few.

Pregnancy is known to be an insulin resistant period. The mother's body tries to ensuresufficient glucose in the bloodstream for the baby's needs. This means that insulin no longer promoting the entry of glucose into cells like it normally would.

The placenta too is known to produce hormones that stimulate the pancreas to secrete more solutions but also prevent uptake of glucose in the mother's body.Gestational Diabetes occurs when maternal diet and lifestyle do not support healthy blood sugar levels, which can be problematic when paired with the occurrence of insulin resistance during pregnancy.

- Dr. Vanshika Gupta Adukia, Pregnancy,Childbirth, Lactation Specialist & Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. Founder for Therhappy

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