Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first diagnosed or starts during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (diabetes) that starts or is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes typically doesn’t cause any noticeable signs or symptoms. This is the reason why screening tests are so important. Rarely, an increase in thirst or increased urination might be noticed.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that some women develop when they’re pregnant. If you have gestational diabetes, your blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal. It can result in problems for you and your baby if the diabetes is uncontrolled. However, there are lots of treatment options that can help control the condition during your pregnancy and reduce the risks for you and your baby.

Hormonal Changes And Insulin

It is the hormonal changes (hormones produced by the placenta that resist insulin) within the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, combined with the growth demands of the foetus, that increase a pregnant woman’s insulin needs by 2 to 3 times that of normal. Insulin is required to take the sugar from your blood and move it into your cells for energy. If your body cannot make this amount of insulin, sugar in the foods you eat will stay in your blood stream and cause high blood sugars.

This is gestational diabetes.

Signs And Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes

It’s believed that the hormones released through the placenta ensure the growth of the fetus, but simultaneously they block the action of the woman’s insulin within the body cells. This leads to a condition called ‘insulin resistance’. Cells in the body of the pregnant woman find it difficult to use insulin. As a consequence of this, the body needs more insulin so it fails to produce. The body may need up to three times as much insulin. Because of the low amount of insulin in the bloodstream, functions like separation of glucose from blood and production of one’s are severely affected. Therefore gestational diabetes symptoms like high blood sugar level have emerged. The symptoms are almost similar to those experienced by a diabetic woman.

Symptoms of gestational diabetes are uncommon. This happens because the condition is usually diagnosed from screening tests before symptoms develop. However, if diabetes isn’t detected as well as treated, you may develop symptoms such as:

  • Sugar in urine (revealed in a test completed in your doctor’s office)
  • 0Unusual thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections of bladder, vagina and skin

Risk Factors For Gestational Diabetes

  • Women over the age of age 25
  • A parent or sibling diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
  • Women having prediabetes (slightly higher blood glucose levels)
  • Gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy
  • An unexplained stillbirth in the past pregnancy
  • Weight of your previous baby: more than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms)
  • Overweight or obese women (women with BMI 30 or more)
  • Being Black, Hispanic
Gestational Symptoms

Gestational Symptoms

Diagnosis & Tests

Tests for gestational diabetes are often done around 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy with the oral glucose tolerance test. This is the same test used to diagnose type 2 diabetes. In order to get ready for the test, the mother has to fast overnight before her doctor’s visit. Her blood is taken prior to the test, and again in 30- to 60-minute intervals over 2 to 3 hours after she drinks a high-glucose solution in order to measure how blood glucose and insulin level changes with time.

Glucose tolerance tests are usually conducted once again at around six to 3 months postpartum and then once every one to three years in order to identify any lingering glucose intolerance.