Signs And Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes
Most pregnant women dont experience signs or symptoms of gestational diabetes. In fact, the only way to know is with a blood sugar test, typically given around 24 to 28 weeks gestation.
A few women may notice subtle signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes, including:
- Increased thirst. Drinking more than normal and feeling like youre always thirsty may be a sign of gestational diabetes.
- Fatigue. Pregnant women are tired, after all its a lot of work to grow and support a baby! However, gestational diabetes can make you feel even more tired than normal.
- Dry mouth. A parched mouth despite drinking a lot can be another sign of gestational diabetes.
Ask Your Doctor How Often You Should Be Checking Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar control is crucial when youre living with type 2 diabetes. Dips and spikes can not only make you feel cranky and sluggish, but they can also wreak havoc on your personal health.
For the record, the American Diabetes Association notes that you have diabetes if one of the following applies to you:
- Your blood glucose after fasting is 126 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
- Your blood glucose two hours after eating a meal is 200 mg/dl or higher.
- Your hemoglobin A1C is 6.5 or higher.
The tricky part is that with type 2 diabetes you may not feel it when blood sugar levels are too high, according to the ADA. It feels different for everyone. Not everyone will have the same symptoms, and some individuals will have no symptoms at all, says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, a Los Angelesbased former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Because blood sugar management is so important to your overall health with type 2 diabetes, you need to take action if you think your levels may be out of control, even if youre feeling totally fine.
What Is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Gestational diabetes mellitus is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. About 12-14% of pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes mellitus.
During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that help the baby grow and develop. These hormones also block the action of the womans insulin. This is called insulin resistance. When the body cannot cope with the extra demand for insulin production it results in high blood glucose levels and gestational diabetes.
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Solve It As Soon As Possible
It is important to resolve a hypo as soon as possible, not only to get rid of the unpleasant feeling, but also to prevent a serious hypo, which could leave you unconscious. Measurements taken in the blood vessels show that during severe hypo’s that can last longer than 30 minutes, all kinds of harmful substances are formed that are bad for the blood vessels, just as happens with high values. Blood becomes locally more viscous and the risk of small clots increases.
What Low Blood Sugar Feels Like
Have you seen the video going viral on Facebook right now where four amazing women with type 1 diabetes talk about what low blood sugar feels like?
I love this video, and it inspired me to think about what a low blood sugar feels like for me and to put it into words in this post. I think this is particularly useful for friends and family who may not know or understand what its like.
Please watch the video and consider sharing this post with your loved ones if you feel that it helps explain how you feel when your blood sugar is low.
What Happens Once Youre Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes
Its important that blood glucose levels are controlled during pregnancy to reduce long-term effects for mother and baby.
A monitor is used to check glucose levels, usually each morning and 1-2 hours after each main meal. Stephs GP taught her how to monitor her blood glucose levels using a finger prick test. I tested first thing every morning and then an hour after each main meal, says Steph. At first, I was told just to record what I ate and what my blood glucose levels were, and not worry too much about the numbers.
A team of health care providers will help manage GDM and an Accredited Practicing Dietitian will be able to provide information on what to eat and physical activity that will help keep blood glucose levels in the target range.
Steph had a group appointment at the hospital with a Diabetes Educator and a Dietitian where they talked a small group of expecting mums through more detailed recommendations. They talked in more detail about exactly what types of foods we should eat and when, and what should be avoided, says Steph.
A diabetes management plan is personalised for each pregnancy. Steph monitored and recorded her blood glucose levels and food intake for a week before meeting with a specialist who looked at the data and gave her personalised advice on what worked for her body.
Please Dont Tell Me What I Should And Shouldnt Eat
People try to tell me all the time what I can and cant eat, says Cecile. Ill be out or at work and someone will say, You cant eat that cupcake. They wouldnt dream of saying that to someone else, but because of my diabetes, they think they should tell me what to eat.
Ramage agrees: People often intervene on what would otherwise be a strangers decision-making, she says. It goes back to that stigma. People think youve made poor choices that have led to your condition, therefore, they should share what they know to help you make better choices.
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What Causes Hyperglycemia In People With Diabetes
- The dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication that you are taking is not the most helpful dose for your needs.
- Your body isnt using your natural insulin effectively .
- The amount of carbohydrates you are eating or drinking is not balanced with the amount of insulin your body is able to make or the amount of insulin you inject.
- You are less active than usual.
- Physical stress is affecting you.
- Emotional stress is affecting you.
- You are taking steroids for another condition.
- The dawn phenomenon is affecting you.
Other possible causes
Outbreak Of Small Reddish
When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though.
These bumps appear suddenly and clear promptly when diabetes is well-controlled.
When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though. No matter where they form, they are usually tender and itchy. The medical name for this skin condition is eruptive xanthomatosis.
- Tell your doctor about the bumps because this skin condition appears when you have uncontrolled diabetes.
- Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes.
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What Happens After Your Baby Is Born And What Does It Mean For Future Pregnancies
After the baby is born most women no longer have diabetes, but some women will continue to have high blood glucose levels after delivery. Six weeks after delivery an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is performed to ensure that blood glucose levels have returned to normal and you no longer had diabetes.
Steph says that the follow up Oral Glucose Tolerance test was a different experience with Mali in tow. It was much harder because I had a little 6-week-old baby sitting with me in the waiting room for 2 hours, she says. But the test confirmed that I was diabetes free!
Women who have had GDM are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life and are more likely to develop GDM in future pregnancies. Steph says, I will now get tested for diabetes every few years.
For women with a history of GDM, eating well, staying active and healthy and keeping their weight under control can reduce the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes by 50%.
More information about gestational diabetes mellitus:
Extremely Dry Itchy Skin
Dry, itchy skin
If you have diabetes, youre more likely to have dry skin. High blood sugar can cause this. If you have a skin infection or poor circulation, these could also contribute to dry, itchy skin.
- Tell your doctor about your extremely dry skin. Gaining better control of diabetes can reduce dryness.
- If you continue to have dry skin after you gain better control of your diabetes, a dermatologist can help.
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You Never Stop Drinking Water
With all that peeing, dehydration is a very real possibility. And, to make matters worse, some patients who dont know they have diabetes quench their thirst with sugary drinks like soda or juice, which adds to their blood sugars, Goundan says. Signs of dehydration include dark-colored urine, a drop in weight, and extreme thirst.
Sound familiar? Talk to your doc about this potential symptom of diabetes, especially if it occurs in tandem with lots of bathroom breaks.
I Am My Own Toughest Critic
Even though type 1 diabetes isnt caused by unhealthy habits, there can still be a lot of self-judgment from managing it. Having type 1 is like being graded over and over again each day, says McKean. Every time I check my blood sugar, I’m finding out if I get a good or bad grade. There can be a lot of guilt and frustration if my blood sugar is too high or low. Why didn’t I give the right amount of insulin? How could I have gotten that wrong? What did I do yesterday that is making this happen? I must have eaten too much how stupid! Why didn’t I feel my blood sugar dropping before now?
Goals can seem very black and white, says Ramage, and when patients dont meet them, it can lead to shame and guilt. As healthcare providers, we have specific sugar goals that we share with patients in order to reduce risk, says Ramage, adding that the numbers are only one part of the bigger picture. Stress and micromanaging over hitting a number isnt healthy either. Working with patients as individuals to gain an understanding of his or her challenges and goals can lead to better outcomes.
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Recurring Infections And Sores
Elevated glucose levels may make it harder for your body to heal. Therefore, injuries like cuts and sores stay open longer. This makes them more susceptible to infection.
Sometimes, people dont notice that they have high blood sugar levels because they dont feel any symptoms. High blood sugar can lead to long-term problems, such as:
People with diabetes are also at risk for serious bladder infections. In people without diabetes, bladder infections are usually painful. However, people with diabetes may not have that sensation of pain with urination. The infection may not be detected until it has spread to the kidneys.
H Shares What A Typical Day Looked Like For Her During Her Pregnancy
Id wake up and immediately test my blood glucose levels they call that a fasted test. Then Id have breakfast, before getting ready for work. I had to test my blood glucose levels an hour after every main meal, , so I actually had to start waking up earlier to make sure I was still at home an hour after eating breakfast to test otherwise Id have to do it on my commute, which is a bit awkward.At work Id have morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. I had to test my blood glucose levels after lunch, and all my meals had to be at reasonably specific times to make sure my carb intake was spread out evenly throughout the day. At first it was a little difficult to make sure I always ate and did the finger prick test at the right time it can be hard when youre in meetings most of the day.
Id walk home and have dinner. I would then have to test my blood glucose levels an hour later. I would often have supper and then give myself insulin before bed.
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You Feel Really Itchy All The Time
Those with diabtetes often experience itching due to yeast infections , dry skin, or poor circulation, according to the American Diabetes Association. If poor circulation is to blame, your legs will be the itchiest area.
Per the ADA, you can try to treat the itching yourself by limiting how much you bathe , using soap with a built-in moisturizer, and remembering to apply lotion immediately after washing up.
Early Signs Of Diabetes
Both types of diabetes have some of the same telltale warning signs.
- Hunger and fatigue. Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to take in glucose. If your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can’t get into them and you have no energy. This can make you hungrier and more tired than usual.
- Peeing more often and being thirstier. The average person usually has to pee between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more. Why? Normally, your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your kidneys may not be able to bring it all back in. This causes the body to make more urine, and that takes fluids. The result: You’ll have to go more often. You might pee out more, too. Because you’re peeing so much, you can get very thirsty. When you drink more, you’ll also pee more.
- Dry mouth and itchy skin. Because your body is using fluids to make pee, there’s less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated, and your mouth may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy.
- Blurred vision. Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in your eyes swell up. They change shape and canÃ¢â¬â¢t focus.
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What Are Early Signs Of Diabetes
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can generate different physical symptoms. However, those afflicted with either type may experience these common occurrences:
Be on the lookout for any of these symptoms of type 1 or 2 diabetes and dont hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional. When left unattended, certain symptoms of diabetes can cause lifelong issues, even when type 1 or type 2 diabetes gets under control.
You Get Enough Sleep But You’re Still So Tired
Carbohydrates, which your body breaks down into glucose, are your bodys main source of energy. But your body cant effectively use that source of energy when you have diabetes, explains Goundan.
Of course, there are tons of other reasons you could be feeling exhausted, including your diet, stress levels, and how much youve been sleeping.
Still, if you can’t think of any other good reason for your extreme fatigue, and your low energy levels are accompanied by some of these other diabetes symptoms, its worth getting checked out.
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Monday 17 February 2020
If youre pregnant, the number of things to learn and remember might feel overwhelming! There are many things to be aware of: getting the right vaccinations during pregnancy, the dos and donts of what you should be eating while pregnant and the types of care that are available.
Hormones play a huge role in pregnancy, and can be attributed to a lot of weird things that may happen to the body. They also play a part in the diagnosis of gestation diabetes mellitus or GDM.
So, what is gestational diabetes mellitus and what is it like to have GDM? We asked Queenslander Steph what it was like to be diagnosed with GDM and how she managed it during and after her pregnancy.
Whats Going On Inside
Inside your body, its an acute situation and you cant use the energy from the food you eat. It floats in sugar molecules in your blood stream, and becomes rather sticky. That is why it can stick to the sides of your arteries and cause heart problems, or to the inside of your veins and cause circulation problems. Its like a syrup running through your system of veins and arteries.
Meanwhile, your poor body cells are starving to death. The cells in your brain, hands, feet, heart, and all over are not getting the blood sugar which is the energy that they need to live. So close, yet so far away! The blood sugar is floating nearby in the circulatory system, but there is either no insulin there or the insulin is not working like it should.
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