New clinic helping women fight diabetes

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Fighting gestational diabetes is something Endocrinologist Dr. Anita Ramsetty knows all to well.
Dr. Ramsetty was diagnosed with it while carrying her twin daughters nearly 7 years ago.

"I had gained a lot of weight and had a strong family history for type 2 diabetes, so when I failed the glucose test I wasn't surprised," Dr. Ramsetty said.

Across the country, it's estimated that 18 percent of women battle gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. This type of diabetes can be related to higher complications during pregnancy, higher chances of pre term birth, and for women to be likely to need an emergency C-section.

To better serve women with diabetes, Roper Saint Francis recently opened a new clinic specific to their needs. The Roper Saint Francis Diabetes program allows the patient the ability to still go to their OBGYN, but still get specialized help to treat their diabetes.

"It's very aggressive nutritional guidance which can manage about 70 percent of gestational diabetes without medication," Dr. Ramsetty said.

Nutritionist Emily Funsick says lifestyle, weight gain, genetics and pregnant women over the age of 35 are at higher risk for gestational diabetes. Funsick says she gives specific nutritional advice and tips on foods to avoid.

"Sodas, cakes, cookies, pies we try to steer them away from because they can make blood sugar levels go up," Funcik said.

Dr. Ramsetty says staying on top of her diet while pregnant actually helped her lower her blood sugar levels to a normal range.

"I changed all my food," says Dr. Ramsetty. "What I was drinking, my starches, I was counting everything and by the end of the week all of my numbers were normal," Dr. Ramsetty said.

The goal says Dr. Ramsetty is to keep blood sugar numbers below 95 in a pregnant women.

"I encourage women not to panic, but it needs to be addressed very quickly and closely but given numbers, at least 70 percent of women can control this," Dr. Ramsetty said.

After giving birth you are not in the clear just yet from diabetes. If you have had gestational diabetes, Dr. Ramsetty says your chances of developing type 2 diabetes goes up 5 to ten years after giving birth.

Dr. Ramsetty says it's still important to check your blood sugar from time to time as a precaution.

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