Not everyone is familiar with gestational diabetes. This is a form of diabetes that develops during the course of a pregnancy. Not every pregnant woman will develop diabetes, but a significant number of women do deal with this situation, which can have a severely negative impact on the unborn child. While there are not always many signs of gestational diabetes, there are a few indicators that sometimes manifest themselves.
One of the more common signs of gestational diabetes is an increased desire for something to drink. The woman may find that she is constantly sipping on water or some other beverage, but her thirst is never quite sated. While it is common for pregnant women to crave more solids and liquids at different stages of the pregnancy, those episodes are usually followed with times when they feel satisfied. See your doctor if you notice that your desire for liquids never seems to end.
Along with the increased desire for liquids, many women who develop gestational diabetes also experience an increased need to urinate. This sign or symptom indicates that your body is not taking the time to process the liquids adequately, and you are not receiving the nutrients you should from the juices and other beverages you drink. When coupled with the ongoing desire for something to drink, there is a strong need to have your doctor check for signs of elevated blood sugar levels.
Some changes in your energy level are to be expected during the course of your pregnancy. However, if you are taking prenatal vitamins and the your energy seems to continue decreasing, gestational diabetes may be the underlying problem. Since glucose is one of the building blocks necessary for creating energy, inefficient processing of blood sugar can leave you feeling fatigued, even after a good night’s sleep.
While gestational diabetes is most likely to occur during the final trimester, there is the chance of the condition developing earlier in the pregnancy. For this reason, any unusual changes in energy levels, elimination habits, or your desire for liquids that take place at any point during the pregnancy should be reported to your physician immediately. The sooner that the condition is isolated, the sooner treatment can begin and the potential for damage to your child will be minimized.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to minimize the impact of gestational diabetes. Consuming a diet that minimizes simple carbohydrates and focuses on fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats will help a great deal to prevent blood sugar levels from spiking, and thus limit the stress on your unborn child. A regular exercise program, one approved by your physician, will also help your body use the glucose in your system to better effect. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to take oral medication for the remainder of the pregnancy in order to keep blood glucose levels within healthy limits.
Gestational diabetes normally disappear once the child is delivered. However, be prepared for your physician to recheck your blood sugar levels a month to six weeks after the delivery. This is a step that will help you know if you have developed an ongoing health issue, or if the diabetes was simply a temporary condition associated with the pregnancy.