Pregnancy & Signs of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition that affects between three and eight women out of every 100 pregnant women, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The condition occurs when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than they should be. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports the condition typically sets in around week 28 in the gestation period. In most cases, gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that corrects itself after delivery.
High-Risk Factors of Gestational Diabetes
The first gestational diabetes sign may be the present of high-risk symptoms. The more you have, the higher the probability you will develop GDM. If you are over the age of 25, have an immediate-family relative with diabetes of any type, are overweight, have a diagnosis of pre-diabetes prior to pregnancy or developed GDM during a previous pregnancy, you are more likely to develop GDM, reports the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
One risk of GDM is having a large baby. If you have had a baby who weighed more than 9 lbs., it may indicate you are susceptible to the condition. Some ethnicities have a higher risk for developing the condition, including those of African-American, Asian-American, American-Indian, Pacific Islander or Hispanic/Latino descent.
No Signs of Gestational Diabetes
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is normal for a pregnant woman to have no noticeable signs of gestational diabetes. Most doctors have you take a standard test between week 24 and week 28 of your pregnancy to test your blood sugar levels. If you have high-risk symptoms, your doctor may test sooner and more frequently than if you did not. The test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. You may need to fast before taking the test. If your glucose level is higher than the normal range, your doctor may order additional tests to determine whether you have gestational diabetes. Your doctor may also first suspect you have gestational diabetes if glucose appears in your urine.
Rare Signs of Gestational Diabetes
While it is common to have no signs of the condition, the American Pregnancy Association (APA) website reports you may experience some signs of GDM. These include an increase in the number of times you urinate, unquenchable thirst or feeling thirsty more often, nausea, fatigue and blurred vision. If you are developing bladder infections or other infections affecting your vagina or your skin, the infections could be the result of an increase in glucose in your blood.