Signs Of Gestational Diabetes: How Do I Know?

Signs Of Gestational Diabetes: How Do I Know?

What Are The Signs Of Gestational Diabetes?

During a normal pregnancy, after a woman eats, the food is broken down in the digestive tract and releases protein, fats and sugars.  Then, with the help of insulin your body produces, the glucose enters the blood stream and is used by the cells as fuel. Unfortunately, sometimes in pregnancy the hormonal changes make the cells less responsive to the insulin.  When the body can’t keep up with the increased amount of insulin, the glucose level in the blood gets too high resulting in you seeing signs of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that either starts during a pregnancy or is first diagnosed during pregnancy.

Signs Of Gestational Diabetes Are Sometimes Called Symptoms

Generally if a pregnant woman has symptoms, they are not life threatening. However, if a pregnant woman does have symptoms she should advise her doctor. Some symptoms include blurred vision, increased thirst and weight loss.

During pregnancy, it’s common for an expectant mom to feel fatigue because of her body is continuing changing to nourish the growing fetus. However, the fatigue could also be a sign that her body not metabolizing sugar properly. That is a major indicator of gestational diabetes. It’s also common for a pregnant women to get a skin, bladder or vaginal infection because of the changing hormones. However, constant reoccurring infections is a sign of gestational diabetes and should be discussed with a doctor.

The good news is that for most women, signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes disappear after giving birth.

Signs Of Gestational Diabetes Are Confirmed With A Test

As part of routine tests, pregnant women will receive an blood test between week 24 and week 28. Higher risk women are tested earlier. One hour before the blood is drawn, the mother is given a sweet drink.  If the blood has a high sugar content when it is drawn, it may indicate that your body is not processing sugar as it should. After a positive test, the doctor will order a glucose tolerance test to measure the baseline and over 3 hours of fasting blood glucose levels.   Once the condition is confirmed, in addition to the doctor’s office, expectant mothers can monitor their condition at home using a glucose monitoring machine.

Treatment For Gestational Diabetes

Diet and exercise are the best methods to treat this condition. Together they will help keep the blood sugar level within an acceptable range. It’s important to read food labels and eat a variety of healthy foods. The diet should be moderate in protein and moderate in fat. High-sugar foods, pastries, fruit juices and soft drink should be used sparingly.  Using a gestational diabetes meal plan is the best choice for your ease and your health.  Learn more about our meal planning solution on this page.

All carbohydrates should come through complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as rice, pasta, bread and cereal. In rare cases when diet and exercise is not enough to control the blood sugar level, the doctor will prescribe oral diabetes medicine or insulin therapy.

Gestational Diabetes Complications – Learn about the 5 Most Common Complications During Pregnancy [Are You at Risk?]

During your pregnancy, with every visit to your doctor you grow more excited about having a new baby.  You may have a few worries, but with gestational diabetes, you can have more complications than normal.  Being aware of what the complications are can help you recognize when they may be occurring and call your doctor if necessary.

One of the most common of the gestational diabetes complications is having a larger than normal baby.  This puts you as the mom more likely to gain too much weight.  When your blood sugar is continually high as is the case with uncontrolled gestational diabetes, your baby’s blood sugar is also high.  The baby grows larger than normal because it is getting excess calories and its body puts those extra calories into fat storage.

Another of the most common gestational diabetes complications is having to have a C-section.  At delivery, if the baby is too large, you may be unable to have a regular birth.  C-sections can cost more money because they are an actual operation.  They also increase the recovery time for mom to an average of 6 weeks.  With the new baby, recovering from a C-section can be difficult.

Thirdly, more important gestational diabetes complications can arise related to high blood pressure, which can also lead to preeclampsia.  Preeclampsia is usually shown by swelling in your hands and feet it will go away and excess protein in your urine tests which indicates kidney damage.  High blood pressure could eventually lead to seizures.  Women with gestational diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy tend to have high blood pressure more often.

Hypoglycemia is part of multifaceted group of gestational diabetes complications and can lead to a great number of problems.  Your obstetrician may place you on insulin or another medication to help you control your blood sugars to help reduce further complications.  If you happen to forget to eat but have taken your insulin for the day or the meal, your blood sugar might get dangerously low.  It’s important to check your blood sugar throughout the day as recommended by your doctor.

Finally, developing diabetes later in life is one of the most common gestational diabetes complications.  Women who have gestational diabetes during their pregnancy are at twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years.  A great way to reduce your risk is through controlling your gestational diabetes and periodically having checkups where your doctor monitors your blood sugar levels about every 3 years.

If you follow a healthy meal plan and eat on a regular basis throughout the day, you can avoid, or at least reduce the risk of many of the complications associated with gestational diabetes.  Learning more about the disease can help you control these gestational diabetes complications, read more in our email series.  Go there now and sign up for more information.