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September 13, 2003

Gestational Diabetes, Thyroid

Question from Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA:

I have had 11 miscarriages, and my last daughter, born at 36 weeks (by C-section), had low blood sugar at birth. During my first pregnancy, I had placenta previa and had a C-section at 37 weeks.

My father has type 2 diabetes. Pre-pregnancy, my normal weight is about 148 pounds, and I am 5 feet 6 inches tall. I am 16 weeks pregnant with my third child, and I have just come from an OB appointment where I had a positive glucose test (the pee on the strip kind) and have never had a positive one before. The doctor didn’t say much, but I am worried.

I have been watching my calorie intake, but am piling on weight. I gained about 13 pounds in five weeks (gained about seven pounds in the first trimester)! I have been having lots of constipation despite taking Colace, lots of water (8-10 glasses a day) and fiber drinks. I doubt that constipation can account for that much weight gain. Also, at 12 weeks, I had an ultrasound and the baby was already measuring four to five days ahead. I had fertility treatment, so I am positive about the conception date.

I have been extremely tired, even though I am out of that “tired phase” of the first trimester. My husband is telling me not to panic, but I am not sure what to think. Does this sound like I have gestational diabetes? My doctor won’t do anything unless she sees two or three more positive tests which will be 8-12 weeks from now. However, I am concerned that, if I have gestational diabetes, the baby will be harmed by then. Am I worrying for nothing or should I be concerned?


From: DTeam Staff

The presence of glucose in your urine does not make the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. This is a fairly common finding in pregnancy. It is necessary to have a blood test to confirm the diagnosis. If your doctor is suspicious, the glucose test could be done early. If it is normal, then it needs to be repeated at 24-28 weeks.


[Editor’s comment: Constipation, weight gain and fatigue might be due to hypothyroidism — be sure to ask your doctor about thyroid testing.