Sunday, October 16, 2011


The Type I and Type II diabetes that afflict millions of people across the Globe is a scourge on humanity which if not checked in time can create a society of "half sick" people. While reason for Type I diabetes is attributed to genetic inheritance, Type II diabetes is an "invited guest" unwittingly self inflicted due to wrong diets and improper life style. Now comes the news that the incidence of Gestational Diabetes that affects pregnant women is posing serious concern because of its likely impact on the mother as well as the child to develop Type II diabetes eventually. It is felt that this version of the metabolic aberration is due to over eating by the pregnant women at early stages of gestation under the wrong impression that the child born to them would be very healthy and robust. On the contrary development of such diabetic incidence needs to be avoided by strictly moderating the diet of those intending to deliver a healthy child. Here is a take on the subject which throws much clarity on the issue.

"Luo Ting is snacking on a salt-free cracker in a Beijing maternity ward, part of a regimen to curb the glucose in her blood that threatens to cause lifelong harm to the baby she's due to deliver this week. Luo, a 29-year-old sales clerk, says she din't know pregnancy could trigger gestational diabetes until a test in April. Now she's among 15 percent of expecting mothers in Beijing who develop the condition, which can spur excessive fetal growth and raises the diabetes risk for them both. As China's population of diabetes sufferers approaches 100 million, health officials are trying to arrest an obesity-driven explosion in cases that's stretching hospitals and striking down working age men and women. The disease afflicts 1 in 10 adults in China, making it almost as common as in the U.S., and costs about $26 billion a year in medical bills, according to the International Diabetes Federation. "Their health system in the big cities is completely overwhelmed now by diabetes," said Ann Keeling, chief executive officer of the Brussels-based federation, in an interview. "They can't deal with the numbers that they've got coming through." The global burden of diabetes and other so-called non- communicable diseases may hinder development, according to the United Nations, which will discuss the issue at a meeting in New York Sept. 19-20. The talks will address research showing how maternal nutrition influences the risk of obesity and heart disease for both the mother and child in later life".

It is shocking that in a country like China prevalence of gestational diabetes is causing serious concern among the planners. The fact that more than10% of the indigenous population is under the influence of the disease cannot be wished away easily, calling for coherent action on the part of the government to arrest the trend. According to warnings by Diabetes experts, countries like India and China where extra ordinary economic growth has enabled people to have higher income for spending on foods, the diabetes incidence is likely to be high because their metabolic system used to low levels of food intake for centuries can have tendency to store fat at a higher rate with devastating consequences. Interestingly the pregnant women are put on a diet considered very rich by the nutritionists as a part of the traditional practices and naturally this triggers the symptoms of diabetes in these sub-optimally fed women through their life time. Many believe that these two countries will become joint capital of diabetes within a short period of time because of economic factors. Just like the family planning programs taken up in these countries earlier, which were able to check the population growth reasonably well, same approach is needed for tackling diabetes scourge also through state policy orchestration.


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