Gestational diabetes symptoms are diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and lasts only before birth. This disorder can also occur during pregnancy but typically occurs in the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy.
Similar to normal diabetes, gestational diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy. The disorder will protect the mother and the infant.
What are the warning signs of gestational diabetes?
Symptoms of diabetes during pregnancy appear when blood sugar levels spike high (hyperglycemia). Between:
- Often feel thirsty
- The frequency of urinating increases
- Dry mouth
- The body gets tired easily
- Blurry vision
Please remember that not any of the aforementioned signs suggest gestational diabetes and it is focused on the needs of pregnant women. Therefore, if you notice the aforementioned symptoms, speak to the doctor.
At what stage of pregnancy can you get gestational diabetes?
It’s not clear what causes gestational diabetes. However, this disorder is believed to be due to hormone changes during birth.
During birth, the placenta releases more hormones, such as the hormone estrogen, HPL (human placental lactogen), and hormones that make the body immune to insulin, a hormone that reduces blood sugar levels. As a result, blood sugar levels climb and lead to gestational diabetes.
Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes
All pregnant women are at risk of developing gestational diabetes, but it is more at risk for pregnant women with the following factors:
- Excess body weight.
- History of high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.
- Have had a miscarriage.
- Have given birth to a child weighing 4.5 kg or more.
- Family history of diabetes.
- Have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) or nigrican acanthosis.
Doctors may believe that a woman with gestational diabetes has signs that are followed by a medical history that has already been identified. But to make sure that the doctors will carry out further exams, such as:
- Initial oral glucose tolerance test (TTGO). In the initial TTGO, the doctor will check the patient’s blood sugar level, one hour before and after being given sugar liquid. If the initial TTGO results show blood sugar levels above 130-140 mg / dL, the doctor will perform a further oral glucose tolerance test.
- Advanced oral glucose tolerance test (TTGO). In this test, the patient will be asked to fast overnight before undergoing a blood test in the morning. After the first blood is drawn, the doctor will give you sugar water with a higher sugar level than the initial TTGO. Then, the blood sugar level will check 3 times every hour. If 2 out of 3 tests show high blood sugar levels, the patient will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Physicians will prescribe routine blood checks in patients that have been diagnosing with gestational diabetes, particularly during the last 3 months of pregnancy. If pregnancy complications occur, the doctor will monitor the placental activity of the patient and guarantee that the baby gets sufficient oxygen and nutrients in the uterus.
Doctors will also resort to blood testing after the patient has given birth and after 6-12 weeks to guarantee that the blood sugar level of the patient has returned to normal. Patients still recommend conducting blood checks every 3 years, even after blood sugar levels return to normal.
Can you get rid of gestational diabetes during pregnancy?
Gestational diabetes treatment aims to control blood sugar levels and prevent complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Gestational diabetes treatment methods include:
- Routine blood sugar check. The doctor will recommend that patients have their blood checked 4-5 times a day, especially in the morning and after each meal. Patients can have their blood checked independently.
- Healthy diet. The doctor will advise patients to eat lots of high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Patients also advise limiting their consumption of sugary foods, as well as foods with high fat and calorie content.
Losing weight while pregnant is not recommend, because the body needs extra energy. Therefore, if you want to lose weight, do it before planning a pregnancy.
Diet patterns are also not the same in every patient. Therefore, consult with your doctor about the diet that is right for you.
- Sports. Exercise can stimulate the body to move sugar from the blood into cells to convert it into energy.
Another benefit of regular exercise is that it helps reduce discomfort during pregnancy, such as back pain, muscle cramps, swelling, constipation, and difficulty sleeping.
- Drugs. If a healthy diet and exercise have not been able to reduce blood sugar levels, the doctor will prescribe metformin. If metformin is ineffective or causes severe side effects, the doctor will give insulin injections. About 10-20 percent of gestational diabetes symptoms patients need medication to normalize blood sugar levels.
If the blood sugar levels in pregnant women remain uncontrolled or have not given birth at more than 40 weeks of gestation, the doctor may choose to perform a cesarean section or induction to speed up labor.
Gestational diabetes symptoms can increase the risk of a baby being born with complications. Therefore, it is important to carry out regular pregnancy consultations.
How does diabetes affect my pregnancy? Gestational Diabetes Complications
Pregnant women who suffer from gestational diabetes can still give birth to healthy babies. But if this condition does not treat properly, several complications can occur in the baby at birth, such as:
- Being overweight at birth cause high blood sugar levels (macrosomia).
- Premature birth results in the baby having difficulty breathing (respiratory distress syndrome). This condition can also occur in babies who are born on time.
- Born with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) due to high insulin production. This condition can cause seizures in the baby but treat by giving him sugar intake.
- Risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes as an adult.
Apart from babies, pregnant women also have the potential to experience complications, such as hypertension and preeclampsia, which can endanger the lives of both the mother and the baby. Pregnant women are also at risk of developing gestational diabetes in their next pregnancy or even developing type 2 diabetes.
What is the best treatment for a pregnant woman?
There are several ways you can do to reduce the risk of developing these gestational diabetes symptoms, namely:
- Increase the consumption of healthy foods with high fiber, such as vegetables and fruits. Also, avoid foods that contain high fat or calories.
- Exercise regularly to stay in shape before and during pregnancy. It is advisable to do moderate to moderate exercise, such as swimming, brisk walking, or cycling for at least 30 minutes per day. If this is not possible, do a short but periodic exercise, such as walking frequently or doing household chores.
- Lose weight when planning pregnancy by eating a healthy diet permanently. This step will also provide long-term benefits, such as having a healthy heart.