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Gestational diabetes usually does not cause symptoms distinguishable from those that commonly occur in pregnancy. If symptoms do occur, they may be similar to those in nongestational diabetes. These may include:

  • Increased urination (polyuria)—When glucose accumulates in the blood, it pulls water out of the body’s tissues and into the blood. The kidneys turn this extra water into urine and excrete it. This increases your urine output.
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia) —The increase in urine output causes your body to become dehydrated . This makes you thirsty.
  • Increased hunger—Your body’s cells are not getting enough glucose, which means your cells cannot get enough food. This causes you to feel hungry.
  • Recurring urinary tract infection or vaginal yeast infection —When glucose builds up in the blood, it can affect the functioning of your white blood cells. This may cause you to have urinary tract infections or vaginal yeast infections more often.
  • Weight loss —Despite the increase in appetite, you may lose weight. This is because the cells cannot get enough glucose to use for energy so they begin to break down the body’s stores of fat in order to produce energy.
  • Fatigue —Because your cells are not getting glucose, they cannot get enough energy. This can make you feel tired.

References:

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Diabetes and pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp051.cfm . Accessed July 2010.

American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/ .

Hod M, Jovanovic LG, Di Renzo GC, et al, eds. Textbook of Diabetes and Pregnancy. Independence, KY: Taylor and Francis; 2003.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website. Available at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/ .



Last reviewed September 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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