Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes only occurring in some pregnant women, and it is gone when they give birth. Women who are pregnant and have never had any other type of diabetes but have a high blood sugar level during pregnancy, have gestational diabetes. It is fairly common, occurring in about 18% of pregnant women. While there is no specific cause for gestational diabetes, there are several risk factors of women who might be more likely of getting this condition during pregnancy.
Causes of Gestational Diabetes
The main cause of gestational diabetes is of course your pregnancy hormones which can block insulin and increase the glucose levels in your blood. However not all pregnant women end up with gestational diabetes. There are some women that are at a higher risk including those who are older than 25 when they get pregnant, having a family history of diabetes, giving birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds, having high blood pressure or too much amniotic fluid, having a miscarriage or stillbirth in the past or being overweight before you got pregnant.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Many people with gestational diabetes don’t know they have it until their next doctor’s appointment. However there are some symptoms associated with gestational diabetes, including fatigue, blurry vision, frequent infection of the bladder of vagina, increased thirst, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss even though you have an increased appetite and are eating more than usual.
Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes
Signs of gestational diabetes and the medical condition itself typically start about halfway through your pregnancy, somewhere between the 24th and 28th week. You may not notice symptoms but your doctor will examine you around this time and find signs of diabetes such as having high blood pressure. You will also receive your oral glucose tolerance test during this time which will screen you for gestational diabetes. This is a standard test for all pregnant women, regardless if you show signs for gestational diabetes or not.
Treating Gestational Diabetes
The main course of treatment for gestational diabetes is to keep your blood sugar levels within the normal standard level during the course of your pregnancy. Your doctor will also monitor your baby very closely during your pregnancy. You can expect gestational diabetes o disappear shortly after you have given birth. Your doctor will monitor the size and health of your baby throughout the pregnancy and do a non-stress which uses a machine to hear and display your baby’s heartbeat with the machine on your abdomen. You may also be told to follow a certain diet and exercise plan during pregnancy to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels at a normal pace.