It’s totally normal to be tired during pregnancy due to hormonal changes—according to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 78 percent of women had more disturbed sleep during pregnancy, and up to 60 percent took naps. But excessive fatigue can also be one symptom of gestational diabetes. “When sugars are high, your cells and organs can’t get and use the oxygen and nutrients they need to produce energy,” Dr. Ward says. “Fatigue is the body’s way of trying to get us to rest.”
Feeling thirsty is typical in pregnancy—you need extra fluid to build up your blood volume and help your kidneys flush out excess waste. But according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, it’s also one of the main symptoms of diabetes—including gestational diabetes. “When blood sugar is high, the body pulls water from the cells to dilute the level of sugar in the blood,” Dr. Ward says. “High sugars also overwhelm the kidneys, preventing them from reabsorbing water.” Make sure you’re drinking enough water to avoid dehydration—the Institute of Medicine recommends about 10 eight-ounce glasses of fluid a day during pregnancy. Continued thirst beyond that warrants a call to your doctor. Check out these unexpected signs of dehydration.
Pregnant women are always peeing, in part because more blood flow means more urine is produced. (Not to mention the baby pressing on your bladder!) But women with gestational diabetes have even more reason to hit the bathroom. “When the kidneys are overwhelmed by excess sugar, they work harder and produce more urine,” Dr. Ward says. “As the sugar gets higher, more spills into the urine, which is a vicious cycle that causes more urination, and consequently, more dehydration.” Check out the things your bladder secretly wants to tell you.