Gestational diabetes (GD)
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes (GD) happens when you have too much sugar (glucose) in your blood during pregnancy.
Your blood sugar levels can go up when your body isn’t producing enough of a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps:
the cells in your body to get energy from blood sugar
your body to store any blood sugar that isn’t needed
During pregnancy, hormones make it harder for your body to use insulin efficiently. So your body has to make extra insulin, especially from mid-pregnancy onwards.
If your body can't make enough extra insulin, your blood sugar levels will rise and you may develop GD.
Having too much sugar in your blood can cause problems for you and your baby, so you’ll have extra care during your pregnancy. On average, GD affects one mum-to-be in 20.
GD goes away after your baby is born, because it's a condition that's only caused by pregnancy.
The other types of diabetes, which are not caused by pregnancy, are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Some women have diabetes, without realising it, before they become pregnant. If this happens to you, it will be diagnosed as GD during your pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?
You probably won't notice any symptoms if you have GD. That's why you'll be monitored by your midwife, and offered a test if she thinks you're at risk. GD symptoms are like normal pregnancy symptoms, and easy to miss.
By the time you have clear symptoms, your blood sugar levels may be worryingly high (hyperglycaemia) . Symptoms of hyperglycaemia include:
feeling more thirsty
needing to wee more o Continue reading