Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that some women develop when they're pregnant. Here are a few causes, symptoms and risk factors of gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes that develops while pregnant is a relatively common complication of being pregnant, affecting about 4% of all women that are pregnant. If you have gestational diabetes, your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. It can lead to problems for you and your baby when the diabetes is uncontrolled. Women are in greater risk of developing diabetes type 2 after experiencing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed utilizing an oral glucose tolerance test.

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that some women develop when they’re pregnant. Gestational diabetes is thought to arise since the many changes, hormonal and otherwise, that exist in the body during pregnancy lead some women being resistant to insulin. Insulin may be the hormone responsible for lowering blood sugar levels. Insulin transports glucose in the blood stream into cells from the body for energy. Here are a few causes, risk factors and symptoms of gestational diabetes :


Pregnancy hormones can block insulin from doing its job. When this happens, glucose levels may increase in a pregnant woman’s blood.

You are at and the higher chances for gestational diabetes if you:

  • Are over the age of 25 when you are pregnant
  • Possess a family history of diabetes
  • Delivered a baby that weighed greater than 9 pounds or were built with a birth defect
  • Have hypertension
  • Have too much amniotic fluid
  • Have experienced an unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Were overweight before your pregnancy


Because gestational diabetes doesn’t cause symptoms, you need to be tested for that condition. This is usually done between your 24th and 28th weeks of being pregnant. You may be surprised if your test shows a higher blood sugar level. It is important that you should be tested for gestational diabetes, because high sugar can cause problems for you and your baby.

Sometimes, a pregnant woman continues to be living with diabetes without knowing it. For those who have symptoms from diabetes, they might include:

  • Increased thirst.
  • Increased urination.
  • Increased hunger.
  • Blurred vision.

Pregnancy causes nearly all women to urinate more often and also to feel more hungry, so having these symptoms doesn’t always imply that a woman has diabetes. Engage with your doctor if you have these symptoms to be able to be tested for diabetes.

Risk Factors

Any woman can develop gestational diabetes, however, many women are at greater risk. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

Family or Personal Health History

Your chance of developing gestational diabetes increases for those who have prediabetes – slightly elevated blood sugar levels that may be a precursor to diabetes type 2 – or if a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, has diabetes type 2. You’re also more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you had it during a previous pregnancy, should you delivered a baby who weighed greater than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms), or you had an unexplained still birth.

Age More Than 25

Women older than age 25 are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Excess Weight

You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you are significantly overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.

Non White Race

For reasons that are not clear, women who are black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian may develop gestational diabetes.