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'Diabetes test must for pregnant women'

DNA   |  Feb 17, 2013, 08:56AM IST
Ahmedabad: Gestational diabetes can cause complications in expectant mothers. But in Gujarat, which is tagged as one of the most progressive states in the country, test for this type of diabetes is yet to be made mandatory. 
 
Doctors, who attended the 8th National Conference of Diabetes in pregnancy study group, said that such a test should be made mandatory as gestational diabetes when left undiagnosed leads to many minor and major complications for both the infant as well as the mother. 
 
Dr V Seshiah, a diabetologist from Chennai who started a movement to spread awareness about the condition, said that several states like Tamil Nadu, Goa, Karnataka, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had introduced the mandatory testing for diabetes in pregnant mothers. “But several big states like Maharashtra and Gujarat are yet to introduce it. It is particularly important because several doctors and even pregnant women are unaware of the situation,” said Dr Seshiah.
 
He said that in India, as per the tradition an expectant mother is fed rich food. “This can prove to be harmful to a pregnant woman who is diabetic,” said Dr Seshiah. He said that women with family history of diabetes, obesity and other such factors need to be more careful. 
 
Dr Banshi Saboo, diabetes specialist from the city, pointed out that screening and detection of diabetes among pregnant women is extremely poor. “By the time it is detected, it is too late to manage the disease. It will be of tremendous help to both the mother and infant if gestational diabetes is detected early in the pregnancy,” said Dr Saboo. He said that there was ignorance among medical practitioners, particularly obstetricians and gynecologists. “This conference is to spread better awareness among doctors as well so that we learn to managed gestational diabetes in a better way,” said Dr Saboo. 
 
He said that diabetes test for expectant mothers is not mandatory in Gujarat at present although various international bodies, including that of diabetologists, recommend it.
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