The intra-uterine environment determines the chances of a child developing diabetes in later life. How then can a woman prevent passing on the condition to her baby in the womb?
Doctors say educating women on prevention methods is a challenge. Doctors part of the Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group India (DIPSI) held several rounds of discussions over the weekend in the city on these issues.
DIPSI 2019 was devoted to aspects such as the big baby syndrome; pre-term babies; treating lifestyle-induced conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity in women, and termination of pregnancy due to complications arising from diabetes.
Even those predisposed to diabetes genetically could be prevented from developing the condition if the intra-uterine environment during pregnancy is good, said diabetologist and honorary secretary general of DIPSI V. Balaji.
“The intra-uterine compartment is more important than the genetic component. The genetic component is only loading the gun; it is the environment that triggers it. Diabetes is epigenetic. With genetic predisposition and poor control of diabetes by the mother, a child could acquire diabetes at a later stage because of the intra-uterine environment,” he added.
That said, doctors say there are several stages where intervention can be made — primordial, primary, secondary, prevention and occurence.
Apart from educating the mother, it is also important for obstetricians to monitor the haemoglobin, blood pressure, weight gain of the pregnant woman, caution doctors.
However, the opportunity to educate a woman could arise when a woman walks into a clinic prior to marriage, said Bharathi Kalra.
Organisations such as DIPSI must work with government agencies to take forward the agenda of preventing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), Beela Rajesh, Health Secretary, said on Saturday, inaugurating the conference.
Senior diabetologist V. Seshiah, the founder-patron of DIPSI, had several years of work in combating gestational diabetes, and he must be a mentor for the State to prevent and control GDM, she added.
Article source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/can-diabetes-during-pregnancy-be-managed/article27958477.ece