Gestational diabetes symptoms are something that 6-8 percent of Mum-to-bes experience. Testing for gestational diabetes is very important because your health and that of your baby can be adversely affected if you have got high blood sugar levels. Sometimes these can develop into ongoing problems.
Screening tests are so important because gestational diabetes symptoms sometimes go by unnoticed by mothers. Many believe that some of the tell-tale signs of diabetes are just common effects of being pregnant. Please read the below points very closely and watch for them during your pregnancy.
Why does gestational diabetes occur?
The rate of gestational diabetes like all diabetes, is on the rise. Gestational diabetes occurs because of the changes in the way a woman’s body responds to insulin throughout her pregnancy. It is important to note that this kind of diabetes generally reverses at the end of the pregnancy and if you manage your blood sugar levels well then it should mean the arrival of a normal, healthy baby.
Lizzie’s gestational diabetes symptoms
Lizzy is a middle-aged woman who had been living with diabetes without knowing it. During pregnancy, she often experienced frequent urination and excessive hunger. As a medical professional, Lizzy suspected these were gestational diabetes symptoms but since these were also common features with pregnancy, she refuted the thought and considered them as mere suspicion.
However, when Lizzy began to experience blurred vision, increased thirst, hunger, and urination, she didn’t hesitate to make time to talk with her doctor who advised she be tested for diabetes. According to her doctor, she needed to be tested for the condition because sometimes gestational diabetes does not cause any symptoms at all.
So when Lizzy was between her 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, she went in for the test and to her greatest surprise, the test result showed that she had a very high blood sugar levels.
Who is most at risk?
- Any woman with a family history of diabetes. Family history puts anyone at risk of developing diabetes. Statistically it strikes most with a history in the immediate family such as parents or siblings.
- If you had gestational diabetes previously. The chances are you will get it again. You may be more at risk if your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. This means that you should be watching what you eat and also exercising frequently.
- If you are obese or have a body mass index (BMI) of 30+ you are a big risk.
- Have high blood pressure
- Being above the age of 30
- If you are of black, Indian, Asian or Hispanic race.
The dangers of gestational diabetes
If you suspect that you are showing gestational diabetes symptoms you need to act ASAP. Here are some of the main dangers of having diabetes during pregnancy –
- High blood pressure. As part of gestational diabetes symptoms, the mother may experience high blood pressure. This situation is known to be caused by pre-eclampsia – a form of high blood pressure that is commonly experienced during pregnancy. It affects the brain, kidneys, placenta, and liver, this can cause a newborn to die.
- The baby could be at risk of growing too large, if not larger than normal. When a foetus (i.e. developing baby) has excess sugar, there is a likelihood of the sugar turning into fat. This can cause the baby to grow bigger than expected. In most cases, C-section is required to successfully give birth to such a large baby. The baby can be injured if he or she has to pass through vaginal birth canal.
- Sometimes extra sugar needs to be provided for the baby after birth, as the baby’s blood sugar level may drastically drop.This is not the ideal start for a newborn and can cause brain damage to a person so young.
- Even after birth, affected babies can begin to develop all kinds of health problems such as excessive red blood cells or high bilirubin levels, and low blood calcium levels.
In most cases, gestational diabetes recedes after the birth of a baby. If you do suspect you have gestational diabetes symptoms then consult your healthcare professional ASAP as there are a multitude of complications that can develop if your blood sugar levels are left untreated. It is also wise to see your doctor and continue with every recommended treatment as there is a greater chance of experiencing it again in a future pregnancies. There is also a risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you have had gestational diabetes.
Please see with other blog post about tips for avoiding gestational diabetes.
Please also leave me a comment if you have experienced gestational diabetes symptoms previously.