Diabetes Management

Understanding Gestational Diabetes: Recognising Symptoms and Identifying Causes

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 24 May 2024, Updated on - 27 May 2024

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Gestational diabetes is a health condition that occurs during pregnancy, affecting those who previously did not have diabetes. This form of diabetes generally surfaces during the second half of pregnancy and may present mild symptoms like increased thirst and urination. While it often goes unnoticed, it is important to understand the causes and symptoms for prompt recognition and appropriate management.

Understanding the Causes

The root cause of gestational diabetes lies in the body's inability to produce adequate insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone responsible for transporting glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells, where it can be converted into energy. 

Pregnancy leads to the production of hormones in the placenta, which can accumulate glucose in the blood. Normally, the pancreas produces sufficient insulin to deal with this; however, if it cannot keep up or if the body fails to use insulin effectively, blood sugar levels escalate, leading to gestational diabetes.

Recognising the Symptoms

The symptoms of this condition may include increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, nausea, and fatigue. Seeing only increased thirst and urination might not mean diabetes, it is always better to highlight it to your doctor for further tests. However, many women with gestational diabetes experience no noticeable signs at all. The subtlety of these symptoms underscores the need for regular screening as per doctor’s advice during pregnancy to facilitate early detection and effective management.

Identifying the Risk Factors

The risk factors associated with gestational diabetes include pre-pregnancy overweight or obese status, family history of diabetes, prior experience with gestational diabetes, belonging to certain ethnic groups such as Hispanic, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander, or having prediabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome. Noticing these risk factors early can aid in timely intervention and management.

Managing Gestational Diabetes

Although gestational diabetes typically resolves post-delivery, its presence during pregnancy can influence both the mother’s and the baby's health. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels through diet control, regular exercise, and medication when necessary is crucial for mitigating potential health risks.

Diabetes Management

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