What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is the development of diabetes during pregnancy. Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Similarly, gestational diabetes develops when the body does not provide enough insulin to handle the increase in glucose produced during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually develops during the middle or end of pregnancy. Therefore, the test to diagnose gestational diabetes, which is known as the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), is conducted at between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. It is a simple blood test that is taken about 60 minutes after the mother has consumed a sugar load (a drink with high sugar content).
What are the warning signs of gestational diabetes?
Most women with gestational diabetes do not experience any symptoms. Thus it is highly recommended that they undergo OGTT even though there are no symptoms of the disease.
However, if sugar levels are very high, some symptoms include:
• Being unusually thirsty all the time.
• Frequent urination.
• Feeling tired or nauseous (which can be similar to early pregnancy symptoms).
• Sugar detected in urine tests (conducted during each prenatal visit with the gynaecologist).
What factors will increase the risk of gestational diabetes?
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September - October 2019