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Signs and Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes (sometimes referred to as “pregnancy diabetes”) is a form of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. It differs from other forms of diabetes in that it disappears once the baby is born. It affects around 4 percent of all pregnancies.  We have listed the common signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes:

Many women notice no symptoms whatsoever, and are surprised to learn that they have gestational diabetes. You may be asymptomatic, or you may notice of the following signs:

  • constant thirst
  • increase in urination
  • nausea and vomiting
  • vision changes
  • yeast infections

Insulin allows the body’s cells to take in glucose (sugar), which the body turns into energy. When the cells in the pancreas are unable to utilize the insulin that the pancreas produces, it is called “insulin resistance”. Eventually the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to counteract the insulin resistance, and gestational diabetes develops.

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis

The screening test for gestational diabetes is typically not done until the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. This is also when the symptoms, if there are any, tend to kick in.

All forms of diabetes are diagnoses through a blood glucose test.  A random blood glucose test with a result over 200 can be considered indicative of diabetes.

The good news is that once the baby is born, gestational diabetes almost always disappears. No more monitoring glucose levels, no more insulin shots. The bad news is that if you’ve had gestational diabetes, it increases your risks of having it in future pregnancies. It also increases the chances that you will have blood sugar problems later in life. If you’ve had gestational diabetes, there is a 17 to 63 percent chance that you will develop type 2 diabetes within the next five to sixteen years.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

Managing Your Gestational Diabetes: A Guide for You and Your Baby’s Good Health
Lois Jovanovic-Peterson
Gestational Diabetes: What to Expect
American Diabetes Association

The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Gestational Diabetes
James N. Parker
Gestational Diabetes During and After Pregnancy
Catherine Kim

Gestational Diabetes Resources

General Patient Resources

  • American Diabetes Association

During pregnancy — usually around the 24th week — many women develop gestational diabetes. Read more…

  • National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC)

Defines gestational diabetes, explains its causes and diagnosis, and outlines treatments. Includes strategies for preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes later in life.

  • Baby Center

Learn about gestational diabetes from causes, treatments, and the potential risks it poses for your baby. Find information on the role of diet and exercise in managing gestational diabetes.

  • Diabetic Mommy

Site for information and support for gestational diabetes and pregnancy in diabetes. Diabetes birth stories, diabetes and pregnancy articles, and support via a forum.

  • Diabetes Forums

Below you will find a list of discussions in the Gestational Diabetes forums at the Diabetes Forums.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

  • Pub Med Health

Explains causes, symptoms, risk factors, treatment, prognosis and complications.

  • Web MD

Explains gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.