Everything You Need To Know About Gestational Diabetes

If you develop high blood sugar levels while you are pregnant, this can lead to the development of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes, otherwise known as gestational diabetes mellitus, or GDM, is believed to affect between 2 to 14% of pregnancies in the United States and typically develops between the 24th and the 28th week.

Developing gestational diabetes does not need to mean you’ve suffered from the condition before, or that you will experience it after you are pregnant. However, without the right management, gestational diabetes does increase the chance of you and your child developing type 2 diabetes later down the line. Understanding what gestational diabetes is and how to manage it is essential for ensuring you are your child are able to stay safe.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes 

It is not particularly common for gestational diabetes to produce significant symptoms. Some of the more common, mild symptoms of gestational diabetes include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Yeast infections
  • Excessive need to urinate
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue

Are You at Risk Of Gestational Diabetes 

Research has found that you are at a higher risk of contracting gestational diabetes if you have a history of any of the following: 

  • High blood pressure 
  • A family history of diabetes 
  • You were overweight before becoming pregnant 
  • Are you expecting more than one baby 
  • You gained a large amount of weight while pregnant 
  • If you have had gestational diabetes in the past 
  • You have had an unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth 
  • If you have polycystic ovary syndrome 
  • If you have acanthosis 
  • If you have given birth to a baby that weighs more than 9 pounds

What Causes Gestational Diabetes 

The exact cause of gestational diabetes has not yet been established, but research suggests that it is likely due to the hormones that your body produces while you are pregnant. For example, your body produces larger amounts of hormones that increase insulin resistance to help you develop the placenta and sustain a pregnancy. In some people, these hormones can limit how your body is able to process glucose leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. 

Tips For Managing Gestational Diabetes 

Now that you understand more about what gestational diabetes is and what its possible causes are, it is useful to identify some of the ways you can manage the condition to limit its potential effects. 

Track Your Glucose Levels 

Tracking your glucose levels is an essential step for managing gestational diabetes. Using a glucometer with in-app diabetes support can be a great tool for helping you learn and keep in control of the condition. 

Eat Healthily 

Healthy eating habits can be hugely beneficial when it comes to managing and limiting the effects of gestational diabetes. When you are eating to benefit your condition, you should be looking to eat a balanced diet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. You should aim to be limiting your fat intake to less than 30% of your daily calories. 


Exercise is another vital tool when it comes to reducing the impact of gestational diabetes. The reason why exercise is so vital is that it allows your body to use glucose without the need for additional insulin. You should check with your doctor for more advice on exercising with gestational diabetes. 

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