Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects around four percent of women during their pregnancy. In majority of the cases the woman does not have any signs of diabetes before the pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels in the pregnant woman and is caused by metabolic and hormonal changes in a woman’s body.
It can pose certain risks for the baby as well, primary among which is macrosomia, a condition that leads to excessive weight during birth. In certain cases diabetes during pregnancy can also lead to stillbirth and death of the baby. Some babies may have hypoglycemia after birth or may be at a risk of developing diabetes later in life. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes allows the pregnant woman to take certain steps for alleviating this problem.
Symptoms of Diabetes During Pregnancy
The hormones during pregnancy are vital for the growth of the child. However, these hormones can also block the insulin in the body and cause an insulin resistance. The result is that during pregnancy the body requirement of insulin falls short and the woman develops gestational diabetes. Although there are no noticeable signs but a woman can consult a doctor if she observes some of the following signs.
Increased Thirst and Frequent Urination
One of the most common signs of diabetes, excessive and unusual thirst in pregnant woman can be a sign of gestational diabetes. This is often accompanied by frequent urination as the high blood sugar levels can affect the kidneys as well. It is important to note that frequent urination is a common sign of pregnancy and as the uterus expands there is more pressure on the bladder which in turn causes regular urination.
Nausea and Vomiting
Although nausea and vomiting often referred to as morning sickness is quite common in pregnancy, in case of excessive nausea and vomiting you might need to consult a doctor and check for diabetes.
Bladder and Other Infections
The immune system of a pregnant woman can be impaired by gestational diabetes leading to frequent infections including bladder infections. Frequent bladder infections that can spread towards the kidneys can lead to problems like high blood pressure and premature birth of the baby. If you have regular infections that fail to go away even after treatment measures then consult a doctor immediately.
Vision Problems During Pregnancy
Diabetes can also lead to blurred vision. This is caused due to macular edema, a condition wherein there is accumulation of fluid in the retina. Pregnant women suffering from this complication can have vision problems during the gestation period. However, in majority of cases the problem resolves itself after the birth of the baby.
Most of the signs of gestational diabetes are quite similar to the normal signs of pregnancy. This can lead to the pregnant woman disregarding the signs. Routine checkups and blood tests during pregnancy can help in diagnosing gestational diabetes and providing proper treatment. Maintaining a proper diet and keeping your weight in check along with medications and other treatment options can help you manage the diabetes.