If you're pregnant, it's important to be familiar with potential complications you can suffer even before your baby is born. One of these complications is known as gestational diabetes. This complication mimics the symptoms of diabetes and is surprisingly common for many women. Here is what you need to know about the sign and symptoms of gestational diabetes, what kind of testing is required, and how you can help manage it if you're diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Understanding Gestational Diabetes
When you're pregnant, your body is undergoing a massive amount of strain. Your kidneys are working overtime, and your metabolic system is often going up and down on a daily basis. Due to these stressors, some women develop gestational diabetes during the course of their pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes basically mimics the symptoms of diabetes, including extreme thirst, the frequent need to urinate, and feelings of intense tiredness and fatigue.
Testing For Diabetes
All women should be tested for gestational diabetes, and in most countries, it is standard practice. If you haven't been tested, you should speak to your midwife about having the test done.
Women who have a past history of gestational diabetes, have a BMI of 35 or more, or had glucose found in your urine in the past, may have an increased risk of gestational diabetes. If you suffer from any of these risk factors, it's even more important that you're tested for this complication during your pregnancy.
The test is known as an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), and is usually performed between 24 and 28 weeks. However, those with higher risk factors should be tested earlier.
For the test, you'll provide a urine sample in the morning on an empty stomach. Your doctor will then take a base-line blood sample and have you drink a glucose (sugar) solution. You'll then have a second blood sample taken after one hour and then two hours and should have the results within a day or two. The test will help you understand how well your body metabolizes sugar.
What Happens If You Have Gestational Diabetes
If doctors determine you have gestational diabetes, you will need to follow a low-carb and low-sugar diet for the rest of your pregnancy. If this doesn't produce the desired results, you'll need to take medication to help you control high sugar levels and could even need routine insulin injections.
Most women stop suffering from gestational diabetes after they deliver their child, but you should be aware that this complication does increase your risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes later in life.
For more information, visit http://www.whallc.com or a similar website.