Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh has advocated for mandatory blood sugar test for every pregnant woman, regardless of any symptoms for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). The call for an early detection for GDM in pregnant ladies is significant as in India alone, GDM complicates nearly four million pregnancies annually.
GDM is a medical condition and one must not panic as the condition improves after delivery. However, one should take utmost care for a healthy and happy pregnancy experience.
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is a medical condition in which a hormone produced by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Placenta is an organ that provides important nutrients and oxygen to the growing baby.
When the body is unable to use the insulin effectively, the condition is called as insulin resistance. Thus, the glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells, which can lead to high blood sugar level in the expecting mother.
Gestational diabetes is different from Type 1 diabetes. GDM is not caused by the lack of insulin, but by other hormones produced during pregnancy that can make insulin less effective. Gestational diabetic symptoms disappear following delivery.
The Union Minister called for an early detection of the disease with a “Single Test Procedure” to prevent the chances of diabetes in the younger generation.
Single Test Procedure
Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also a renowned Diabetologist, while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the two-day 15th Annual Conference of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group India (DIPSI 2021), said that diagnosis of diabetes is vital to prevent the disease in young generation.
For this, the Union Minister called for a Single Test procedure that should be simple, doable, economical and evidence based. The test is recommended by “Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group India (DIPSI)” and endorsed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,and meets the requirement of all strata of society.
The Test Procedure has been approved by World Health Organization (WHO), International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (FIGO) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
National guidelines for GDM
The Government of India has mandated to screen all pregnant women for GDM, however, its operationalization at primary health-care level is suboptimal. The national guidelines came into force in 2014 when the Government formulated local guidelines specific to Indian population pertaining to GDM diagnosis and its management.
In 2018, the Government further released a technical and operational guideline for GDM diagnosis and management. The goal of the guidelines and initiative is to improve maternal and foetal outcome by universal testing of pregnant women for early diagnosis and management of GDM.
Under the initiative, community awareness, sensitization for GDM, client mobilization is done. In addition to this, normal delivery, early breastfeeding and follow up on the pregnant lady is ensured.
Benefits of early detection
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a rapidly escalating global public health problem with rising prevalence among all age groups. Early detection and diagnosis of GDM will ensure a healthy and safe mother and baby. In addition to this, this also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in later stages of life. Also, an early detection would mean timely and proper diagnosis of the disease.
Furthermore, early detection would also help in preventing hyperglycemia due to GDM in pregnancy. An early diagnosis and management ensures less chances of developing the risk of diabetes in young generation, and every step in this direction shall be taken by taking care of the foetus and the mother during the course of and after pregnancy.