Signs and Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes In Pregnancy

Signs and Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes In Pregnancy

14 Feb 2018 | 6 min Read


Author | 1369 Articles

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Dipti Verlekar

In this post, you will learn what causes gestational diabetes and the effects it can have on your newborn. 

Every mother-to-be, especially above 35 years of age, is screened for diabetes before and during her pregnancy. Though it can occur at any stage of pregnancy, gestational diabetes is more common in the later half of pregnancy. You will need to check for the signs of gestational diabetes in early pregnancy before it becomes a threat to your newborn. So, let’s get to know more about gestational diabetes symptoms, its signs, and ways to overcome it in detail.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. This condition usually occurs due to hormonal changes paired with weight gain during pregnancy and affects the blood insulin’s ability to control blood sugar levels. This condition is typically diagnosed between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy with the help of gestational diabetes symptoms.

What Causes Gestational Diabetes Mellitus During Pregnancy?

Gestational diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce  extra insulin required during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. It regulates the glucose levels in the body. During pregnancy, the body produces additional hormones and undergoes various changes, such as weight gain. Due to these inevitable changes, the body isn’t able to utilise insulin properly leading to a condition known as insulin resistance.


While all pregnant women exhibit some insulin resistance during the later part of pregnancy,  those unable to produce enough insulin are the ones who develop the signs of gestational diabetes

Moreover, overweight women may be more prone to insulin resistance, thus increasing the risk of gestational diabetes. Additionally, a strong family history of diabetes can also increase the risk of  gestational diabetes symptoms during pregnancy.

What are the Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy?


Signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes in pregnancy may include:

  • Excessive hunger and thirst as compared to other pregnant women
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urinary and vaginal infections
  • Presence of sugar in the urine
  • Blurring of vision
  • A sudden feeling of tiredness

Signs of Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy

Feeling Thirsty: The very first signs of gestational diabetes is that of feeling thirsty. You will want to drink a lot more water than usual. Even if you haven’t eaten anything salty around on a hot day,  you may feel thirsty.

Feeling Exhausted: Being pregnant, you might feel even more exhausted than usual. In that case, you should check with your doctor to see whether you’re at risk for gestational diabetes or not. 

Dry Mouth: You can experience dry mouth due to gestational diabetes. To get rid of the parched sensation, you must drink more water and keep yourself hydrated.

What are the risks of gestational diabetes for the mother and the baby?

High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can be harmful to the baby and can lead to the warning signs of gestational diabetes and problems such as:

  • Premature delivery where a baby is born before the due date
  • The baby is overweight which can make delivery difficult and lead to injury
  • Low blood glucose immediately after birth
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Risk of type 2 diabetes in the child later


Pregnant women with gestational diabetes symptoms are more likely to develop preeclampsia, high blood pressure with increased levels of proteins in urine during the second half of pregnancy. It also increases the chances of a C-section as the baby’s head might be large. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes also have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life along with its complications such as diabetic retinopathy, heart and kidney disease, and nerve damage. 

How to Treat Gestational Diabetes?


Gestational diabetes can be prevented by controlling blood sugar levels. This can be done by following a proper diet and exercise routine. Some women might need medications to control blood glucose levels if diet and exercise are not enough. Talk to your doctor if you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms.


How can gestational diabetes affect my baby? 

Your child may develop obesity or type 2 diabetes later in their life. Keep in mind that untreated gestational diabetes can also lead to the death of a baby before or soon after the delivery. 

Is gestational diabetes caused by diet? 

When your body doesn’t create enough insulin during pregnancy, gestational diabetes occurs. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that increases the blood sugar in your body’s cells for energy utilisation. So, in that case, you will need to figure out your diet and start taking well-balanced meals and exercise to overcome gestational diabetes on time. 

What triggers gestational diabetes?

Your placenta produces hormones that cause glucose to build up in your bloodstream during pregnancy. But your pancreas usually produces enough insulin to manage it. However, if your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use it properly, your blood sugar levels rise, and you undergo gestational diabetes.

At what stage of pregnancy can you get gestational diabetes? 

Gestational diabetes generally manifests itself in the third trimester of pregnancy. Doctors are most likely to screen for it between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.. Gestational diabetes can be managed by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. However, a woman with gestational diabetes may need to take insulin at times.

Is gestational diabetes my fault?

This is absolutely not your fault. The hormones secreted by the placenta are the main reason for it. Those who are not diabetic can enhance their insulin production to a suitable level. Gestational diabetes is a condition in which a woman’s insulin production is insufficient or her or the insulin is not used efficiently enough.


Diet and exercise can help most women control gestational diabetes. Some women may need proper medication. You’re more likely to get Type 2 diabetes later in life if you have gestational diabetes. Consult your doctor about methods to lower your gestational diabetes symptoms risk before, during, and after pregnancy. 

Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.

Also Read: Pregnancy Foods For Gestational Diabetes and Hypertension

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