Gestational diabetes symptoms may begin in a pregnant woman as she nears her seventh month. Elevated blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels that first appear during pregnancy are diagnosed as gestational diabetes. There are several tests that may be administered when gestational diabetes symptoms appear. Maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels are important to the health of both the mother and her developing baby and can be attained through a healthy diet or medication.
Gestational Diabetes Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors
Gestational diabetes symptomsare not often noticeable. They are mild and do not threaten the life of
the woman, who will usually return to normal blood sugar levels after delivery. Some obvious signs may include blurred vision, frequent infections, increased thirst and urination, and weight loss regardless of an increased appetite.
Hormones that are active during pregnancy may limit the ability of insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This event may lead to gestational diabetes, which can be harmful to both mother and baby. Several risk factors may contribute to pregnancy-related high blood sugar levels.
Gestational diabetes symptoms are more frequently present in those who are older than 25 when they become pregnant. Those who have a family history of diabetes or were overweight before their pregnancy may also have an elevated risk. High blood pressure, too much amniotic fluid, and sugar in the urine are also gestational diabetes symptoms.
Exams and Tests Administered for Gestational Diabetes Symptoms
Most obstetricians include gestational diabetes testing for all of their patients. The American Diabetes Association recommends that all women receive an oral glucose tolerance test between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy, regardless of whether or not gestational diabetes symptoms are present. Those who present common risk factors should be tested earlier.
A pregnant woman who experiences gestational diabetes symptoms may test her blood glucose levels at home each day. A simple finger prick provides a drop of blood for a blood sugar reading produced by machine. An adjustment in diet or insulin shots may be needed in order to keep blood sugar levels under control. Gestational diabetes symptoms may be monitored as they relate to blood sugar levels.
Measurements taken by ultrasound can provide information that is pertinent to the treatment of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes symptoms often include a fetus that is larger than average at its gestational stage. Insulin injections may be administered in an effort to help control size, as a large baby will increase the likelihood of birth injury or c-section.
A nonstress test is an effective way to monitor fetal health in the presence of gestational diabetes symptoms. A machine is placed on the woman’s abdomen that displays the heartbeat, which should increase as the fetus moves. The pattern of a heartbeat as it relates to movement can be an effective aid in determining health. It is a useful tool used to find increases in heart rate, which should occur within a measured period of time.
Gestational diabetes symptoms generally disappear after a baby is born. The mother is still at risk for type 2 diabetes, and should continue to receive testing six weeks after delivery and then once per year. If blood glucose levels are elevated, more frequent testing should continue. Of those who experience gestational diabetes symptoms, more than half will be receive a future diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
Prevention and Treatment of Gestational Diabetes Symptoms
A healthy diet may be the best way to improve gestational diabetes symptoms and sustain safe blood sugar levels. Sugar should be restricted, as well as refined carbohydrates. Candy, soft drinks, and fruit juices are just a few examples of items that will increase blood sugar levels and could prove to be dangerous for those with gestational diabetes symptoms.
A pregnant woman should be mindful of her food intake. The term “eating for two” does not help to encourage a healthy diet. A developing fetus does not need the calories provided by cake and ice cream, but does benefit from the vitamins and minerals contained within wholesome foods. Vegetables and meats can make a positive impact on the health of a baby and reduce the risk of the development of gestational diabetes symptoms.
If gestational diabetes symptoms are not relieved through diet alone, medication may be prescribed. A health care provider may authorize the administration of oral medication or insulin therapy. It is important to monitor blood sugar levels while undergoing treatment, whether at home or through a health care provider.
For those who experience gestational diabetes symptoms, there are many options that offer solutions in the effort to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Testing is essential to those who are at high risk, and perhaps should be administered to all pregnant women. Those who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes tend to have larger babies at the time of birth, which may increase the likelihood of birth injury or c-section. Most women with gestational diabetes symptoms are able to control their blood sugar levels through diet or medication and experience a healthy outcome for both themselves and their babies.