Gestational diabetes is a condition that pregnant women are susceptible to. Gestational diabetes symptoms can be difficult to recognize, because most pregnant women suffer from some level of these symptoms regardless of whether or not they have gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a condition that is typically tested for at about 24 week’s gestation. According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association) about 18% of pregnant women end up with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is not related to pre or post-pregnancy diabetes. At this time, the reason for gestational diabetes is unknown. However, according to the ADA, it is suspected that the hormones the placenta produces to help the baby develop also tend to block the mother’s ability to absorb and utilize insulin properly. This is known as insulin resistance. If the body is unable to properly utilize insulin then blood sugar is not metabolized properly, thus increasing blood sugar levels and putting both mother and child at risk.


What are the Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes?


According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association) symptoms of gestational diabetes during pregnancy can include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Trouble catching your breath
  • Fast/shallow breathing
  • Fast heart beat
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fruity smelling breath
  • Fruity smelling urine


Since many pregnant women tend to be thirstier than they were previously, this symptom can be considered normal with pregnancy. The same can be said for frequent urination, excessive sweating, shortness of breath and a faster pulse. These are all “symptoms” than pregnant women normally experience just due to being pregnant. With this in mind, it is imperative that pregnant women get the necessary gestational diabetes testing that the physician following the pregnancy recommends.


Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes


If you are having the symptoms listed above and are unsure if they are happening because you are pregnant or because there is something else going on, be sure to contact your physician and discuss your symptoms immediately. Considering that gestational diabetes can lead to severe pregnancy complications and can harm both mother and baby, it is essential to catch the condition early and treat it. If gestational diabetes is left untreated, it can harm mommy’s organs and can harm baby due to increased birth weight.

Increased birth weight occurs because the extra glucose and nutrients in the mother’s blood cross the placenta and the baby uses more than necessary for growth and development. This leads to a condition known as fat baby or macrosomia.


Treating the Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy


If you are suffering from the symptoms of gestational diabetes, the first thing you need to do is talk with your physician and get a diagnosis. If you are suffering from gestational diabetes your physician will put you on a treatment plan to benefit you and your baby.

Treatment will most likely include diet modifications, food journaling, activity modifications, frequent blood sugar monitoring, possible insulin injections and possible oral medications. Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s recommendations and to contact your physician immediately of you have any new or increasing symptoms.

Remember, gestational diabetes affects two people, you and your baby. Keeping your gestational diabetes symptoms in check is necessary for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy momma and a healthy baby.


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