Gestational Diabetes Symptoms – How Do I Know If I Am Going To Have GDM?

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms Are Hard To Spot!

Pregnant woman at a WIC clinic in Virginia (ve...

Pregnant woman at a WIC clinic in Virginia (vertically mirrored image). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may be wondering whether you can tell if you are going to get gestational diabetes, and you want to know so you can get started on trying to manage it.  That is important, and I completely understand why you want to know what the general gestational diabetes symptoms are so you can prepare.  Isn’t that how we are as moms, busy and yet prepared?  We know it may be a problem – anywhere from 5 – 15% of women develop gestational diabetes, and it’s something we want to avoid.  But even if we can’t avoid it, we are going to do what we can to get ready and understand what is coming.

But, you may not realize that gestational diabetes symptoms are very similar to what you normally feel during pregnancy.  The symptoms of diabetes are things like increased thirst and increased urination.  What pregnant woman is not a little more thirsty, and feeling like she needs to urinate a little more often?  As the baby grows larger, and sits on your bladder, increased urination becomes a fact of life, especially at night.  I sometimes think that the last 3 months of pregnancy when you can barely sleep the whole night through is just a preparation for the birth.  Another symptom of diabetes in general is that you may have increased hunger or weight loss.  I don’t suppose that accounts for cravings, but you typically do have increased hunger while you’re pregnant.  As you can see, gestational diabetes symptoms are a normal part of pregnancy.

Because there are no specific gestational diabetes symptoms, your Doctor will test you between weeks 24 and 28.

Because there are a large percentage of women, ( about one in 10) who develop gestational diabetes, it is fairly routine for your Dr. to check you during that time to make sure that you haven’t developed the disease.  Gestational diabetes is not necessarily a huge risk to a mom, but it does tend to cause a lot of problems for the baby if not controlled.  I know it may be disheartening to learn that you can’t really avoid gestational diabetes, and that there really are no gestational diabetes symptoms, but the thing that you can do is to control your intake and your blood sugars while you’re pregnant.

Aside from gestational diabetes symptoms, there are some risk factors that put you at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.  If you have a family history of diabetes or you have had a previous pregnancy with gestational diabetes, your risk is higher and your Dr. may check you earlier in your pregnancy to determine if you have developed the disease.  Some other risk factors include:

  • being over the age of 25 when you have your 1st pregnancy
  • family history of diabetes
  • having had a baby that was over 9 pounds at birth
  • having sugar in your urine at a doctor’s visit during pregnancy
  • high blood pressure
  • being overweight at the onset of pregnancy

So aside from the gestational diabetes symptoms, these risk factors mean your Dr. may check you earlier during pregnancy.  If a doctor is going to check you earlier, they usually do the glucose tolerance test around week 14.  While that’s not set in stone, that is the general guideline.

Now that you learned a little more about what gestational diabetes symptoms are, if you’re interested in learning more about gestational diabetes, please sign up for our e-mail list by filling in the form below.

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