Warning Signs of Gestational Diabetes

The stick turned blue. The test was positive. You’re pregnant. Suddenly, you’re trying to think of everything you need to do to make this a healthy and successful pregnancy for you and your baby. Among the most important things like diet, blood pressure, and stress levels, you might want to keep gestational diabetes on your radar.

Approximately 2-5 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that’s acquired during pregnancy. Elevated pregnancy hormones and changes in body weight and composition can cause insulin to be used less efficiently. In most cases, gestational diabetes is a temporary condition, but it can be tricky to diagnose in some women who show fewer symptoms. Signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes can include:

  • Sugar in the urine
  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Vaginal, bladder and skin infections

Pregnant women can develop diabetes temporarily. Gestational diabetes is normally treated with a special diet so as to avoid the risk of birth defects and maintain optimal blood glucose levels. Screening for gestational diabetes is generally done in the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.

There are certain risk factors that can encourage a doctor to screen for it sooner. For instance:

  • Women over age 30
  • Family history of diabetes
  • African American, Hispanic/Latino American or American Indian
  • Obese
  • Women who experienced a stillbirth or gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy will likely be screened earlier in their prenatal care

Check out BayCare HealthChat to learn more information on gestational diabetes. Click here to find an OB/GYN near you.

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