What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?
Most women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes don't have any symptoms. That's why your Doctor/Nurse should offer you a screening test for gestational diabetes when you're between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant.
If you have any risk factors for gestational diabetes, your Doctor may suggest doing the test earlier. Most women who have gestational diabetes find out that they have it after taking this test.
The most common test for gestational diabetes is the oral glucose screening test. This test measures how efficiently your body produces insulin. On the day of the test, your provider will give you a sweet liquid to drink. An hour later, you'll have a blood test to check your glucose levels.
If your test shows that your blood sugar is too high, you'll have to take a longer test called the oral glucose tolerance test. For this test, you'll need to fast before being given a sweet liquid to drink. Your blood will be tested at fasting, then again after one, two, and three hours. If the result of two tests shows your blood sugar is too high, you'll be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Both of these tests are safe for you and your baby and don't have any major side effects. But drinking the liquid may taste unpleasant and make you feel nauseated afterward.
What's the treatment for gestational diabetes?
Many women can manage their gestational diabetes by following an exercise plan and eating a balanced, healthy diet based on whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and other foods that release sugar slowly. However, about 15 percent of women with gestational diabetes need to take medication to balance their blood sugar.
Insulin injections are the most common medical treatment for gestational diabetes. If you need insulin, you may need up to three injections daily, and your provider will teach you to inject yourself.
Monitoring your own blood sugar is a vital part of your treatment plan. Your provider will show you how to test yourself with a special device. This involves pricking your finger with a small needle first thing in the morning and then again an hour or two after you've eaten a meal. Many women find this procedure to be the most uncomfortable and worst part of the treatment for gestational diabetes.
PS: The next Post will include details about How Gestational Diabetes affects pregnancy and also how to have a healthy pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes. However, in the mean time, if you wish to lower your blood sugars and wish to become fit for the pregnancy, please click here for details.