Gestational Diabetes Warning Signs

The symptoms of gestational diabetes can be so subtle that a pregnant woman may not even realize she has the condition.

According to the Mayo Clinic, this problem does not usually cause signs and symptoms but may occasionally cause excessive thirst or increased urination. One of the reasons why early prenatal care is so important is that an obstetrician can keep track of whether a pregnant woman has developed high blood sugar during the nine months of her pregnancy.

The Development of Gestational DIabetes

Although gestational diabetes usually develops during the last three months of pregnancy, it is possible during the earlier months. This condition should be controlled as soon as it is identified because it can affect a woman's pregnancy and her child.

Controlling Gestational Diabetes

Once gestational diabetes has been identified, it can be controlled so that complications from it are minimized. Eating a balanced, healthy diet is especially important, as is getting enough exercise. Medication can also be used if it cannot be controlled any other way. Most women find that their blood sugar returns to normal after their pregnancy, but they may develop type 2 diabetes later in their lifetime.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

Very few women suspect that they have gestational diabetes because the symptoms are so similar to those that are often experienced during pregnancy by all women: excessive thirst, exhaustion, and frequent urination.

It is important to get your blood sugar checked by your doctor because a condition called pre-eclampsia can develop in late pregnancy. This causes very high blood pressure that can be a risk to both the mother and baby. If it develops, labor may begin early and an emergency C-section is sometimes required. Your doctor may do a glucose tolerance test to see if you have gestational diabetes. This requires an overnight fasting before a blood sample is taken.

Gestational diabetes affects anywhere from 2 percent to 5 percent of pregnant women. Women who become pregnant after the age of 30 or 35 are usually tested early in their pregnancy since this disorder is more common in older women.

The reason why this type of diabetes occurs is because the placenta produces hormones that sometimes cause insulin resistance in the woman. When gestational diabetes is not present, this fluctuation in hormones ensures that the developing baby gets enough sugar.

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