Gestational diabetes is one of the three types of diabetes, aside from type 1 and type 2. This afflicts non-diabetic pregnant women during the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy (weeks 24 and 28) and the symptoms are not usually specific and typically the same with that of other diabetes.

As the period of pregnancy progresses, the placenta which provides sustenance to the baby while inside the mother's womb produces more hormones. These hormones are blocking other hormones like prolactin, progesterone, cortisol, estrogen and lactogen resulting to insulin resistance.

The effect is gestational diabetes once the pancreas fails to produce the necessary insulin to transport the glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream to the muscle, fat and liver cells for body fuel. Gestational diabetes normally vanishes after giving birth but leaves the mother susceptible to type 2 diabetes.

Pregnant women may experience the common symptoms like:

• Frequent urination
• Abrupt weight gain
• Always feeling tired
• Dizziness especially when standing up
• Feeling hungry most of the time
• Blurred vision
• Urinary tract and vaginal infections

Quite a number of pregnant women are affected by gestational diabetes ranging from 3% to 5%. The women who have the most risk factors are those who are:

1. More than 30 years old at the time of pregnancy,
2. Suffering from overweight or obesity
3. With a family background of diabetes
4. With history of having given birth to a child over 9 pounds
5. With history of having given birth to a child with birth defect
6. Ascertained to have plenty of amniotic fluid,
7. With gestational diabetes in previous pregnancy
8. With high blood pressure

If the symptoms of gestational diabetes are already present, it can be diagnosed via glucose tolerance test starting on week 24 through week 28 or on the 13th week if the doctor sees that there is a risk that gestational diabetes will develop.

The glucose tolerance test requires the expectant mother to drink a solution of glucose (sugar). Blood will be taken from the arm's vein for checking of blood glucose level. It is assumed that no gestational diabetes exists if the blood glucose level is less than 140 mg/dl. On the other hand, if it is higher, a three-hour glucose tolerance test is needed.

The expectant mother will be allowed to eat 150 grams of carbohydrates, at the least, three days before the test. The objective is to get the fasting glucose level which will be compared with the normal blood sugar level to arrive at a conclusion whether there is gestational diabetes or not.

If any pregnant woman suspects that she has the symptoms of gestational diabetes, she should immediately go to her doctor for proper medical check-up. Gestational diabetes is not life-threatening and can be treated by having a planned diet, exercise, possible daily insulin injection, maintaining an ideal pregnancy weight and constant monitoring of glucose level.

Author's Bio: 

Alvin Hopkinson is a leading health researcher in the area of natural remedies and diabetes treatment. Discover how you can lower your blood sugar level for good using proven and effective home remedies for diabetes, all without using harmful medications or drugs. Visit his site now at