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Gestational Diabetes - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

It takes place only during pregnancy. Having a healthy baby is possible despite having gestational diabetes. You would require assistance from your doctor and practicing simple things daily to manage blood sugar levels. You might not have diabetes after the baby has been delivered. Gestational diabetes increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, but it doesn’t necessarily have to happen.


The placenta during pregnancy, produces hormones that might lead to sugar build up in the blood. The pancreas generally makes enough insulin so as to counter this rise in sugar. If this fails to happen, the level of blood sugar will increase, which may lead to gestational diabetes.


Here are a few risk factors which increases the likelihood of having gestational diabetes:

  • If your BMI was higher than normal, before the pregnancy
  • The blood sugar level is high, but not enough for it to be diabetes
  • There are other family members who have diabetes
  • You’ve had the condition before as well.


Consult a doctor, for checking whether or not you have any chances of developing gestational diabetes. You have to consume sugary drinks for testing for gestational diabetes. This raises the blood sugar. After an hour you need to test your blood for seeing how your body responded to the intake of sugar. If the results show that the blood sugar level is above 140mg/dL, then you need to fast. After fasting for some hours, another blood test is necessary.

If the results turn out normal, then all is good. If you however have high chances of acquiring gestational diabetes, a follow up test may be required later to be sure that you haven’t developed gestational diabetes.


For treating gestational diabetes, your doctor may ask you:

  • To keep a check on your blood sugar four times or more in a day.
  • To check for ketones in your urine by doing tests.
  • To exercise regularly and make it into a habit.
  • To eat healthy and in accordance with what your doctor suggests.

Your doctor can best advice you if insulin or any other drugs may be required for you after tracking weight changes.

type diabetes
Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Fatigue is the major symptom, but there may not be any symptoms at all Increases urine output

Popular Health Tips

Diabetes In Women - Because It's Your Right To A Healthy Future!

Dr. Somnath 87% (10 ratings)
Diploma in Diabetology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS, DTM & H(1)
Diabetologist, Hyderabad
Diabetes In Women - Because It's Your Right To A Healthy Future!
The disease itself may not discriminate on the gender basis, but when it comes to healthcare for patients with diabetes, women find themselves at a disadvantage as compared to men. Studies indicate that diabetes, a disease that affects over 371 million people worldwide takes a greater toll on women than men. Though, hormones in women do account for some of the unique challenges they have to face, but there are other societal factors as well that bring in the differences. This World Diabetes Day is about promoting the significance of affordable care for diabetes and equitable access for all women at risk or living with diabetes to essential medicines, technological information and self-management education they require and achieve an optimal outcome to strengthen their adequacy to prevent type-2 diabetes. Because it's your right to a healthy and disease-free future! So, how will you know if you are suffering from this deadly disease Diabetes? Symptoms Women with diabetes experience many of the same symptoms as that of men. However, there are some that are specific to women. Symptoms experienced by both women and men: Frequent urination Increased thirst and hunger Unnecessary weight loss or gain Blurred vision Fatigue Wounds that heal slowly Skin infections Nausea Breath that has a sweet or fruity odor Irritability Reduced feeling in hands or feet Symptoms unique to women: Vaginal yeast infections Urinary infections Vaginal thrush Polycystic ovary syndrome Female sexual dysfunction Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year. Two out of every five women suffering from diabetes are of reproductive age. Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes. Diabetes and Pregnancy The affect of Diabetes, in a pregnancy, will not be great, if controlled properly. Women with diabetes should talk to their gynaecologists while planning to conceive so that they can control their blood sugar levels even before getting pregnant. Your gynaecologist will help you control and monitor your diabetes and blood sugar levels during pregnancy. And, if you fail to get your blood sugar levels under control during pregnancy, you may experience severe risks: Miscarriage Premature delivery Difficult delivery or cesarean section (C-section) Birth defects Having a large baby Preeclampsia (high blood pressure usually with protein in the urine) Low blood glucose in a newborn Breathing problems in the newborn Yellowing skin and eyes (jaundice) in a newborn Worsening diabetic eye problems and kidney problems for the mother Urinary or bladder infections What is Gestational Diabetes? When diabetes occurs in women during pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes. It is usually diagnosed at the first week of pregnancy. Like in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, blood sugar levels become too high. When a woman is pregnant, more glucose is required to nourish the baby developing inside her womb. During this time, the body needs additional insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. In some women, the body does not produce enough insulin to meet this need, and blood sugar levels rise, resulting in gestational diabetes. Fortunately, for most women, gestational diabetes will go away once the baby is delivered. However, women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Further, people suffering from PTSD are at higher risk and should consult their doctors immediately and those who are presently affected with Diabetes should consult for pre-conception consultation. Risk Factors for Diabetes in Women You are at risk for type-2 diabetes if you: are overweight or obese are older than 45 have a family history of diabetes (parent or sibling) have had gestational diabetes have had a baby with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds have high blood pressure have high cholesterol have other health conditions that are linked to problems using insulin, such as PCOS Diabetes Treatment Options Medications There are various medications you can take to control the symptoms of diabetes. These include: Insulin therapy Sulfonylureas like chlorpropamide, which increase pancreatic insulin secretion Metformin (Glucophage), which reduces blood sugar Lifestyle changes A change in your diet and lifestyle can also help women control their diabetes Exercise and maintain a healthy weight Monitor your blood sugar Eat a diet focused on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains Strictly avoid smoking cigarettes Alternative remedies Women with diabetes can try other alternative remedies to treat the symptoms, such as Eat more broccoli, buckwheat, sage, peas, and fenugreek seeds Take supplements like chromium or magnesium Take plant supplements But, always remember to consult with your doctor before trying any new treatment. Even if they are natural, they can intrude with your on-going treatment or medications. So, this World Diabetes Day, take a pledge towards healthy living... because your health is important to someone else! type diabetes
3898 people found this helpful

Gestational Diabetes - 3 Ways To Manage It

Dr. Pooja Choudhary 94% (322 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Gestational Diabetes - 3 Ways To Manage It
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes where the blood sugar levels of the body increase during pregnancy. When you are expecting, your body is more repellent to insulin so that a larger amount of glucose is manufactured for the baby s nourishment. However, this excess blood glucose can build up within the body which causes gestational diabetes. This can lead to health problems for both the mother and the baby. At the end of the gestational period i.e. once the baby is delivered, blood sugar reduces to normal. When are you at a risk for gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes can also be hereditary. If a family member or a relative has diabetes, you are more likely to develop gestational diabetes. If you are overweight, you are more susceptible to developing gestational diabetes. What causes gestational diabetes? During pregnancy, the placenta connects your baby to the blood supply. This produces other hormones which reduce the levels of insulin. This increases the level of blood sugar in your blood. As your baby develops, your body manufactures more of such hormones which block your insulin levels leading to gestational diabetes. This usually occurs from the 20th week of your pregnancy. Complications: Increase in Birth Weight Extra glucose crosses through the placenta which instigates the baby s pancreas to manufacture more insulin. This can make your baby very large. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for the baby to pass through the birth canal during childbirth as a result. Premature Birth and Respiratory Diseases High blood sugar may increase the risk of an early labor. It may make the baby due before the 37th week of pregnancy. This also makes the baby more susceptible to respiratory disorders. High Blood Pressure Gestational diabetes also raises your risks for high blood pressure. This can be fatal for you as well as your baby s health. Treatment: Book an appointment with a dietitian and follow a healthy eating schedule. Limit the amount of carbohydrates and ensure you have a healthy and balanced meal. Do light exercises regularly during pregnancy. This helps you to control your blood sugar level. Physical activities which require low levels of energy utilization such as swimming and walking will control your blood sugar level without exerting you too much. Taking insulin shots and medicine for diabetes will also control your blood sugar levels if you have a pre-existing condition.
2 people found this helpful

Continuous Glucose Monitoring for Diabetes - Is It Worth It?

Dr. Anil Dhall 86% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Delhi
Continuous Glucose Monitoring for Diabetes - Is It Worth It?
With the increasing prevalence of diabetes, it is being considered as the next big epidemic completely related to lifestyle. India has become the diabetes capital of the world with increasing prevalence. The age of onset of diabetes is reducing, with children having diabetes and requiring insulin. The complications arising out of diabetes are also more there is no bodily system which is not affected by diabetes. For someone who is diabetic, keeping blood sugars under check is the constant challenge. Uncontrolled blood sugars can lead to transient complications including loss of consciousness and fatigue and long-term complications including neuropathy and retinopathy. What is CGMS: Continuous glucose monitoring system is an FDA approved device. This device has a sensor that is placed either in the belly area or on the arm. These sensors identify the sugar levels in the body fluid and send it to a wireless which is worn by the monitor patient as a belt. Readings can be obtained at regular intervals, ranging from every 5 to 15 minutes. CGMS measures blood sugar levels every 15 mins, that is 96 times a day The data can be downloaded into a persona device smartphone, tablet, or laptop and used for further analysis. It does not replace the need for routine monitoring, but helps improve vigilance with a constant monitoring. It can help detect trends and patterns and helps the doctor identify periods of the day when the sugars are too high or too low. The amount of insulin or antidiabetic medication required can be adjusted based on sugar levels. The exercise regimen can be defined including the type, time, and duration of workout. Meal planning can be customized to suit body needs in a better manner. Night-time sugar lows which often go undetected can be monitored with the alarm Highs or low between meals (especially with snacking) can be tracked Determine treatment efficacy. The biggest advantage of CGM devices is that they provide information on what is happening to your blood glucose level every few minutes. CGMS measures blood sugar levels every 15 mins, that is 96 times a day. The newest devices display glucose readings on a screen so you can see in real time - whether glucose levels are rising or falling. Some systems also contain an alarm to let you know when your glucose reaches high or low levels. Some devices are able to display graphs revealing glucose levels collected over a certain number of hours on its display screen. The data collected on all devices can be uploaded to a computer for graphing and further important trend analysis. Whom is it for? If you think this is a great way to constantly watch your sugars, it is not required. The following people would benefit from this. People with insulin pump usage Those who have frequent fluctuations in sugar level, which is not clearly explained Those who are not aware of low sugars, and may have problems with fatigue or loss of consciousness Gestational diabetes. The Usage Continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS) may not make life with diabetes any easier. But they can definitely improve health, if you can deal with the hassle and expense. So how do you know if such a system is right for you? You can easily and discreetly view your current glucose values continuously throughout the day, without having to do a finger stick. It s easy and discreet. The monitors have trend arrows that show you if your level is rising or falling quickly, so you can prevent highs and lows. Continuous glucose monitoring can help identify fluctuations and trends that would otherwise go unnoticed with standard HbA1c tests and intermittent fingerstick measurements. The device can capture dangerously low overnight blood sugar levels which often go undetected, reveal high blood sugar levels between meals, show early morning spikes in blood sugar, evaluate how diet and exercise affect blood sugars, and provide up to a 72-hour complete review of the effects of changes made to your therapy by your health-care team. If you are a dedicated investigator, you can use CGMS to understand what s happening with your blood sugar levels.
3494 people found this helpful

Gestational Diabetes

Dr. Nutan Hegde 90% (141 ratings)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is also known as Gestational Diabetes Mellitus(GDM). It is a prevalent disorder which affects pregnant women and the main cause of this condition is the imbalance in the functioning of the insulin, which mainly happens due to the presence of human placental lactogen. Expecting mothers show a rise in their blood sugar level, especially during the last trimester of their pregnancy. Women who do not have a medical history of diabetes can also be affected with this condition. Prominent symptoms of gestational pregnancy include: Gestational diabetes does not have any prominent symptoms; it can only be diagnosed through proper and professional screening of blood sugar level. You should immediately consult a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms: Increased level of blood sugar Trouble to concentrate Recurrent headaches Increased thirst Blurry vision Sudden weight loss Anxiety Dizziness Pangs of hunger Pale skin and dry skin Excessive sweating Persistent weakness How can you manage gestational diabetes? Modification of lifestyle pattern, healthy food habits and moderate physical exercise can help minimize the risk of gestational diabetes in expecting mothers. In order to manage gestational diabetes, the following things should be followed: The treatment when accompanied with balanced diet and routine exercises, reduces the occurrence of health problems in both mother and child. A routine screening for type ii diabetes should be conducted throughout the pregnancy, to ensure early detection and treatment of the same. A diet rich in fiber and whole grains minimizes the risk of diabetes in pregnancy, fresh fruits and vegetables are also known to check the blood sugar level in expecting mother, minimizing the occurrence of the health problem in both mother and child. Giving up the use of cigarettes and other forms of tobacco may reduce the chances of gestational diabetes in female smokers. How Does Gestational Diabetes affect Pregnancy? Gestational diabetes is harmful to both the expecting mother and the child. It increases the risk of complications in pregnancy that can prove to be fatal. Potential risks of gestational diabetes in pregnancy include: Preterm birth Increased risk of needing a C-section Miscarriage Preeclampsia and high blood pressure
3967 people found this helpful

Gestational Diabetes

Dr. Tripti Raheja 88% (10 ratings)
M.R.C.O.G. (LONDON) Gold Medalist, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology , MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
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Hello, I am Dr. Tripti Raheja. I am working as senior consultant Gynaecology at Max Superspeciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi. Today we are going to discuss a very important topic that is Diabetes during Pregnancy. We call it Gestational Diabetes. Gestational Diabetes is a very common condition that develops when the body can not produce Insulin to meet extra requirement during pregnancy. So, this leads to high blood glucose level. It affects 15-20% women during pregnancy. Chances of developing diabetes during pregnancy are more if the patient is obese or if there is any past history of Diabetes or if any family member suffers from diabetes. Usually, it develops n the middle or later part of the pregnancy. So, to diagnose a Gestational Diabetes, we advise a test, which is called glucose tolerance test after 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. So, Gestational Diabetes is an easily treatable condition if it is diagnosed on time, if it is treated properly, if the sugar level is maintained in the body, so it leads to healthy pregnancy which is a healthy baby. But is it is not diagnosed and not treated, it will lead to various complications. Most important of these complications is a large sized baby. So, if the baby is excessively large then you likely to have caesarian section delivery. And if you have a normal delivery, there are more chances of tears or injuries to the birth canal and there are more chances of injury to the baby in the form of nerve injury or fractures. And the new born babies are likely to have fluctuation in the blood sugar level. Even in later stages, these babies are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. So, in order to avoid all these complications, it is advisable to diagnose this problem on time, take proper treatment and keep your sugar level in control. Most important treatment for GEstational Diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet plan and regular exercises. So, if you are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, you will be given a diabetic diet plan and advised for regular exercise for 30 minutes daily. In 80-85% women, these two measures work nicely and blood sugar levels are controlled in a week or 2 weeks. But if the blood sugar levels are still high after 2 weeks of healthy diet and a regular exercise, then you need additional treatment in the form of Insulin. The growth of the baby is continuously monitored during the pregnancy by repeated ultrasounds and scans. So, Gestational diabetes gets better immediately after the child birth.So, the child birth is planned around 38-40 weeks of pregnancy. It can be done by the mode of the Caesarian section or the normal delivery, depending on the individual circumstances. Immediately after the child birth, you are advised to stop all the medicines which you were taking for Diabetes or Insulin injections. Once you are discharged, it will be checked if you are sugar level has come to normal. THen again you will be advised to get your blood sugar test done after 6 weeks to 45 days after the delivery to check whether they have completely returned to normal. And if they are still abnormal, then you will have to refer a Diabetes specialist. You should also have glucose tolerance test 6 to 8 weeks after your delivery. It is important to do this test to check if your blood sugar level has come to normal. In some women, the blood sugar level is found abnormal even after child birth and they may require continuous treatment. It is also advised that you should check your blood sugar level every year. And the women who had suffered from Gestational Diabetes, they are advised to check their blood sugar level after every 5 years. In the end, I want to say that Gestational Diabetes is a very common problem but it can be diagnosed very easily and can be treated. If it is treated properly, it can lead to healthy pregnancy. If you need further informatio, you can contact me through Lybrate where you can have text consultation and you also fix up an appointment at my clinic. Thank you.
3 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My wife is 26 week pregnant. Her 75g glucose tolerant test result is 133. Dr. Said it's border line. It should be below 140. 5.5 kg weight increased in last 2 month (5th & 6th month of pregnancy ). Dr. Prescribed BGR-34 for precaution for Gestational diabetes Is BGR-34 safe in pregnancy? Can blood glucose level control through diet without taking medicine? 140-199 is prediabetes. Is level above 140 considered as a Gestational diabetes?

Dr. Prabhakar Laxman Jathar 96% (11939 ratings)
MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology
Endocrinologist, Hubli-Dharwad
Mr. lybrate-user, Thanks for the query. To diagnose Gestational diabetes following criteria are considered: Fasting >92 mg, on 75 g glucose 1 hour level should be >180 mg & 2 hour glucose > 153 mg. The level mentioned 133 mg is at what time after taking 75 g of glucose? Plus the tablet mentioned is an ayurvedic preparation without any clinical studies. I would never give it in pregnancy. First of all whether she has GDM is itself a question mark. I hope you have followed all the details mentioned. Please take care. Thanks.
1 person found this helpful

Should I take metformin in my 35 weeks of pregnancy to treat gestational diabetes? Fasting sugar: 98 postprandial: 134.

Dr. Veronica Tiwari 86% (12 ratings)
Ms obg, Dnb obg
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Do a comprehensive monitoring of blood glucose 5 times a day which is called smbg self monitoring of blood glucose please email or call me for details.

I have done hba1c test. It shows 5.8.average sugar level considering hba1c is 120 Thyroid profile also normal. Shud I be worried about diabetes Age: 31 years old. Was diagnosed wit gestational diabetes 1 year ago.

Dr. Nikhil Prabhu 93% (525 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Diabetology
Endocrinologist, Mumbai
HbA1c is borderline prediabetes. Patients with gestational diabetes has increased chance of developing diabetes in future. Your weight is 64 and height is 5 ft. It suggests you are overweight. At present it is advisable to loose weight with diet and exercise. Please consult any dietitian for weight loss meal plan.
1 person found this helpful

Hello. My Age 23 my height 5'5 .I have interested join in air Force .But my height was getting problem. Feeling depress. 1 DOCTOR ANSWERED I am having gestational diabetes, sugar is high, please suggest diet plan for sugar control. I am having gestational diabetes, sugar is high, please suggest diet plan for sugar control. 1 DOCTOR ANSWERED I have acne problem from last 3-4 years. I take medicines which doctor prescribes me. But still I have acne. I did every. I have acne problem from last 3-4 years. I take medicines which doctor prescribes me. But still I have acne. I did every. 1 DOCTOR ANSWERED.

Dr. Prabhakar Laxman Jathar 96% (11939 ratings)
MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology
Endocrinologist, Hubli-Dharwad
Mr. lybrate-user, Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs when a lady is pregnant and high blood glucose is detected during weeks of pregnancy. This is not seen in males. It is possible you may be having diabetes itself or a prediabetic condition. If blood glucose levels are mentioned then I may be able to say what is the situation. As regards acne, some times that problem does continue for quite some time. Thanks.

Health Quizzes

Gestational Diabetes - What Are The Foods That You Must Avoid?

Dr. Sagar Bumb 86% (16 ratings)
Gynaecologist, Pune
Milk is very good food for gestational diabetes. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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Living with Diabetes

MS , Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
General Physician, Bangalore
Drinking lots of juice and soda can cause diabetes. True or False?
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