Gestational diabetes usually causes no symptoms, or they are confusing. Being fatigued, very thirsty and having to urinate often can all be signs of gestational diabetes, but they are also common symptoms of pregnancy.
Since the symptoms are the same as pregnancy or do not manifest at all, the only way to find out for sure is to get tested. That is why all pregnant women are offered a screening test for diabetes when they are between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If a woman is prediabetic or has any risk factors, she may be offered to do the test earlier.
Besides routine urine samples at every office visit to check for sugar in the urine, the most common test for gestational diabetes is the oral glucose screening to measure how efficiently the body produces insulin. It involves drinking a sweet liquid followed by blood draw an hour later. If the test shows that the blood sugar is too high, you will have to take a longer glucose tolerance test.
For this test you’ll have to fast before drinking sugary liquid. Your blood will be tested at fasting and then again after one, two and three hours. If the results of two tests show elevated sugar levels, it means that you have gestational diabetes.
If not timely diagnosed, the condition may result in excessively high blood glucose (hyperglycemia), which can cause:
- Unusual thirst
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination in large amounts as distinguished from also frequent but light urination during early pregnancy
- Blurred vision
- Recurrent infections, such as thrush and UTIs
- Tingling or numbness in the limbs
- Sores that heal slowly.
All these symptoms should be immediately brought to your healthcare attention so that he could assign treatment and help you give birth to a healthy child.