Large number of pregnant women in the capital and elsewhere in the State are falling prey to Gestational Diabetes, a condition in which women with no history of diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.

According to Andhra Pradesh Diabetes Federation (APDF), one in six pregnant women in twin cities and elsewhere has gestational diabetes.

What is more disturbing, physicians maintain, is the fact that many times the condition goes unnoticed, putting a lot of risk on the lives of pregnant women and foetus.

Alarming

A study conducted by gynaecologists in Government Maternity Hospitals including Niloufer, Nayapul and NIMS, has some startling results on gestational diabetes.

Close to 15 per cent of pregnant women in twin cities have tested positive for diabetes after pregnancy.

The figure was also consistent when compared with pregnant women visiting private hospitals and clinics in other districts of the State.

If not properly managed, gestational diabetes could lead to babies born with congenital abnormalities and can also cause complications to pregnant women. Physicians point out that control of diabetes in the first 6 to 8 weeks after conception is vital to reduce the risk of congenital malformations among infants.

“There is a need to educate women and even doctors. Fortunately in Hyderabad and other bigger cities in our State, gynaecologists have so far made sure to test pregnant women for diabetes. However, pregnant women have to be made aware about the condition and precautions they have to take to keep themselves and foetus safe,” says Dr. P. V. Rao, eminent diabatologist and Secretary to APDF .

Induced hypertension

Gestational diabetes could lead to pregnancy induced hypertension that causes swelling of the body and in few cases damages to kidneys. Overweight foetus, more than three kilograms, can also suffer respiratory distress syndrome. “Careful management can avert complications,” physicians maintained.