What Is Gestational Diabetes
The risk of glucose intolerance and therefore gestational diabetes is greatly increased during pregnancy because the efficiency of insulin naturally declines during this period.
Less efficient insulin means sugar can become stuck in our bloodstream, which leads to many health issues. For this reason, added sugar is basically hazardous to health during and immediately after pregnancy.
Early Signs Of Diabetes
Both types of diabetes have some of the same telltale warning signs.
- Hunger and fatigue. Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to take in glucose. If your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can’t get into them and you have no energy. This can make you hungrier and more tired than usual.
- Peeing more often and being thirstier. The average person usually has to pee between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more. Why? Normally, your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your kidneys may not be able to bring it all back in. This causes the body to make more urine, and that takes fluids. The result: You’ll have to go more often. You might pee out more, too. Because you’re peeing so much, you can get very thirsty. When you drink more, you’ll also pee more.
- Dry mouth and itchy skin. Because your body is using fluids to make pee, there’s less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated, and your mouth may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy.
- Blurred vision. Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in your eyes swell up. They change shape and canÃ¢â¬â¢t focus.
Can Symptoms Appear Suddenly
In people with type 1 diabetes, the onset of symptoms can be very sudden, while in type 2 diabetes, they tend to come about more gradually, and sometimes there are no signs at all.
Symptoms sometimes occur after a viral illness. In some cases, a person may reach the point of diabetic ketoacidosis before a type 1 diagnosis is made. DKA occurs when blood glucose is dangerously high and the body can’t get nutrients into the cells because of the absence of insulin. The body then breaks down muscle and fat for energy, causing an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. Symptoms of DKA include a fruity odor on the breath, heavy, taxed breathing and vomiting. If left untreated, DKA can result in stupor, unconsciousness, and even death.
People who have symptomsof type 1 or of DKAshould contact their health care provider immediately for an accurate diagnosis. Keep in mind that these symptoms could signal other problems, too.
Some people with type 1 have a “honeymoon” period, a brief remission of symptoms while the pancreas is still secreting some insulin. The honeymoon phase usually occurs after someone has started taking insulin. A honeymoon can last as little as a week or even up to a year. But its important to know that the absence of symptoms doesn’t mean the diabetes is gone. The pancreas will eventually be unable to secrete insulin, and, if untreated, the symptoms will return.
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When Should I Call The Doctor
Your diabetes management plan will explain when you may need medical help and what to do. Here are some general reasons to :
- if you have no appetite or you can’t eat or drink
- if your blood sugar level is low because you haven’t been eating much but remember to take steps at home to bring your blood sugar back up
- if you keep vomiting or having diarrhea
- if your blood sugar levels are high for several checks or don’t decrease when you take extra insulin
- if you have moderate or large amounts of ketones in the urine
- if you think you might have ketoacidosis
- if you can’t eat or drink because you’re having a medical test like an X-ray, surgery, or a dental procedure
Any time you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor for advice.
Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes Onset In An Infant Or Child
The young child who is urinating frequently, drinking large quantities, losing weight, and becoming more and more tired and ill is the classic picture of a child with new-onset type 1 diabetes. If a child who is potty-trained and dry at night starts having accidents and wetting the bed again, diabetes might be the culprit.
Although it is easy to make the diagnosis diabetes in a child by checking blood sugar at the doctors office or emergency room, the tricky part is recognizing the symptoms and knowing to take the child to get checked. Raising the awareness that young children, including infants, can get type 1 diabetes can help parents know when to check for type 1 diabetes.
Sometimes children can be in diabetic ketoacidosis when they are diagnosed with diabetes. When there is a lack of insulin in the body, the body can build up high levels of an acid called ketones. DKA is a medical emergency that usually requires hospitalization and immediate care with insulin and IV fluids. After diagnosis and early in treatment, some children may go through a phase where they seem to be making enough insulin again. This is commonly called the honeymoon phase. It may seem like diabetes has been cured, but over time they will require appropriate doses of insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in the normal range.
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Digestive Ailments Are Common In Those With Diabetes
In a study published in 2018, researchers asked 706 individuals with type 1 diabetes, and 604 individuals without diabetes, a series of questions about their gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life.13 They found that lower gastrointestinal symptoms â including constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, intestinal gas, and floating stools â were much more common in the individuals with diabetes, especially diarrhea and constipation, which were twice as likely in those with diabetes. These symptoms were associated with lower quality of life and poor glycemic control. However, the researchers were able to identify, and treat accordingly, the cause of diarrhea in 72% of cases, leading to a better outcome for the patients. If you have diabetes and experience digestive symptoms, make sure to let your health care team know so that you can work together to manage these symptoms.
When To See Your Doctor
If you are having recurrent or consistent bouts of nausea or vomiting, then it is a good idea to go and see your doctor to get the issue sorted as soon as possible.
Keeping a diary of nausea or vomiting episodes and what you ate or were doing beforehand may help the doctor in determining the underlying cause of your nausea.
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How Can You Tell If You Have Diabetes
The early signs of diabetes depend on if one has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children, whereas type 2 diabetes is prevalent in adults. Usually, in type 2 diabetes, the signs may be unnoticeable unless some complications occur. With type 1 diabetes, the symptoms are severe and appear quickly. Routine blood sugar level check-up is an ideal way to detect diabetes at an early stage.
Gastrointestinal Complications Of Diabetes
AMER SHAKIL, MD, ROBERT J. CHURCH, MD, and SHOBHA S. RAO, MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
Am Fam Physician. 2008 Jun 15 77:1697-1702.
Patient information: See related handout on gastroparesis, written by the authors of this article.
Gastrointestinal complications of diabetes have become more common as the rate of diabetes has increased. These complications and their symptoms are often caused by abnormal GI motility, which is a consequence of diabetic autonomic neuropathy involving the GI tract. Although some studies have indicated that diabetic autonomic neuropathy is linked to the duration of diabetes, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial suggested that, at least in persons with type 1 diabetes, neuropathy and other GI complications are associated with poor blood glucose control and not necessarily the duration of diabetes.13 GI conditions caused by diabetes include gastroparesis, intestinal enteropathy , and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
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How Does Illness Affect Blood Sugar Levels
When you get sick whether it’s a minor illness like a cold or a bigger problem the body sees the illness as stress. To deal with the stress, it releases hormones that increase sugar in the blood.
In one way, this is good because it helps supply the extra fuel the body needs. But in a person with diabetes, it can lead to blood sugar levels that are too high. Some illnesses cause the opposite problem. If you don’t feel like eating or have nausea or vomiting, and you’re taking the same amount of insulin you normally do, your blood sugar levels can get too low.
Blood sugar levels can be very unpredictable when you’re sick. Because you can’t be sure how the illness will affect them, it’s important to check blood sugar levels often on sick days and change your insulin doses as needed.
Feeling Extreme Nausea After Eating
This is usually a symptom that occurs when you have had elevated blood sugar levels for a lengthy period of time. Eating a regular sized meal almost always makes you feel sick, even though you are feeling hungry.
Why does this happen? As the body is unable to use sugar for energy it breaks down fat to use as an energy source instead. The by-product of this process are compounds called ketones, which build up in the blood and urine. Its these ketones that may cause you to feel more nauseous than what is normal during pregnancy.
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What Causes Diabetic Ketoacidosis
The main cause of DKA is not enough insulin. A lack of insulin means sugar cant get into your cells. Your cells need sugar for energy. This lack of insulin causes your bodys glucose levels to rise. To get energy, your body starts to burn fat. This process causes ketones to build up. Ketones can poison the body.
High blood glucose levels can also cause you to urinate often. This leads to a lack of fluids in the body .
DKA can be caused by missing an insulin dose, eating poorly, or feeling stressed. An infection or other illness can also lead to DKA. If you have signs of infection , contact your doctor. You will want to make sure you are getting the right treatment. For some people, DKA may be the first sign they have diabetes.
Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes Onset In Adults
When an adult is diagnosed with diabetes, they are often mistakenly told that they have type 2 diabetes. This is because there may be a lack of understanding by some doctors that type 1 diabetes can start at any age, and in people of every race, shape and size. People with type 1 diabetes who have elevated blood glucose and classic risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as being overweight or physically inactive, are often misdiagnosed. It can also be tricky because some adults with new-onset type 1 diabetes are not sick at first. Their doctor finds an elevated blood sugar level at a routine visit and starts them on diet, exercise and an oral medication.
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When To See Your Doctor Or Midwife
While your doctor should check for gestational diabetes as part of your prenatal care, frequent check-ups usually only begin after week 28.
The time at which someone can develop gestational diabetes varies greatly between individuals, and can even happen during the first week.
If you experience any new symptoms between prenatal checks, use HealthEngine to make a booking with your regular GP or find a convenient appointment nearby, to get tested as soon as possible.
Its better to be safe if something doesnt feel right.
Extreme Fatigue And Lethargy
While not uncommon to feel tired during pregnancy, unmanaged diabetes will leave you feeling exceptionally weak and drowsy.
It is best described as extreme fatigue or lethargy, where you even feel like resting in bed during the middle of the day.
Why does this happen? With diabetes, sugar remains in the blood instead of entering the cells to provide energy. As a result you literally have less energy.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Ive never been diagnosed with diabetes, but I have many of the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis. Do I have diabetes?
- Im having a hard time controlling my blood sugar levels. Am I at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis?
- Will diet and exercise help me to avoid diabetic ketoacidosis?
- If I notice Im having symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, what should I do first?
- Is it safe for me to exercise?
- How often should I check my blood sugar level if Im sick?
- What is the best way for me to check the ketone level in my body?
- I missed a dose of insulin. Should I start testing my blood sugar level and ketone level right away?
Low Blood Sugar And Nausea
Whether people have diabetes or not, when they have mild low blood sugar, they may feel extremely hungry, often also nauseated. This symptom combination is the first sign of low blood sugar and is caused by the release of the stress hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline.
When your blood sugar drops, it triggers the fight-or-flight response, causing a surge of adrenaline. This flood of adrenaline functions as a helper, moving stored glucose into the bloodstream quickly. However, this surge isnt without effects. Other symptoms like sweating, shakiness, and anxiousness can also be caused by this process.
That said, people with diabetes shouldnt assume their nausea is always related to low blood sugar. The only way to know for certain is to measure your blood sugar. If your levels are within the normal range, other factors may be contributing to your nausea.
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Extremely Dry Mouth And Constant Thirst
Having an alarmingly dry mouth during the day is a glaring symptom of gestational diabetes.
As a result you may be inclined to drink exorbitant amounts of water each day, upwards of 5 litres or more. This habit feeds back into the excessive urination cycle The more you drink, the more you pee.
Why does this happen? This is the bodys natural response to increased fluid loss. Excessive urination leaves us extremely dry and thirsty.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
Its especially important to know the early signs of hyperglycemia if you have type 1 diabetes. If hyperglycemia is left untreated in people with type 1 diabetes, it can develop into ketoacidosis, where ketones, which are toxic acids, build up in the blood. This condition is an emergency situation that can lead to coma or death.
Early symptoms of hyperglycemia include:
- High blood sugar.
- Unusual fruity smell on the breath.
- Deep labored breathing or hyperventilation.
- Rapid heartbeat.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes
Symptoms may occur gradually or suddenly. If you think you may have diabetes, you should seek urgent medical evaluation. Common symptoms include: Unexplained weight loss Excessive thirst or hunger Fatigue Frequent urination Blurred vision Nausea and/or vomiting The onset of these symptoms may be gradual or sudden. Generally over time, they persist to the point that the patient seeks medical advice. It is then that diabetes is diagnosed. Self-assessment Quiz Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned about Facts about Diabetes, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section. The quiz is multiple choice. Please choose the single best answer to each question. At the end of the quiz, your score will display. If your score is over 70% correct, you are doing very well. If your score is less than 70%, you can return to this section and review the information.Continue reading > >
What Are Symptoms Of Diabetes
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often escalate quickly, within in a matter of weeks, while symptoms of type 2 diabetes usually develop slowly over several years. People who have type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms or only mild symptoms.
The three most common symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes include:
- Increased thirst
- High blood sugar levels cause increased thirst
Because diabetes makes it more difficult for the body to convert the glucose from foods into energy, people with high blood sugar levels are often more hungry
Other symptoms of diabetes include:
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If Youre Taking Steroids
Some conditions, like Addison’s disease, severe asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and coronavirus are treated with steroids. If you have diabetes, taking high doses of steroids for periods of time can make your blood sugar levels rise. This is called steroid-induced hyperglycaemia. Your doctor or nurse will talk to you about this. They may ask you to make some changes to how you manage your diabetes, so that you can keep your blood sugar levels within your target range.
Some people with coronavirus are being treated with a type of steroid called dexamethasone. Not everyone with coronavirus will need this steroid its used in hospital or in virtual wards when someone is really unwell and needs help to breathe. Some people may be treated with dexamethasone at home. It works by reducing the inflammation that coronavirus can cause and supports your immune system to fight it.
While this works well for treating coronavirus, the side effects can affect blood sugar management. Dexamethasone makes your body more resistant to insulin, making your blood sugar levels go very high. If youre given dexamethasone, you may need insulin to help reduce your blood sugar levels. If you already take insulin, you are likely to need to take more or take a different one that does a better job of bringing your blood sugars down.