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Gestational Diabetes Low Readings

Diabetes-related High And Low Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes-related High And Low Blood Sugar Levels

Topic Overview When you have diabetes, you may have high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) from time to time. A cold, the flu, or other sudden illness can cause high blood sugar levels. You will learn to recognize the symptoms and distinguish between high and low blood sugar levels. Insulin and some types of diabetes medicines can cause low blood sugar levels. Learn how to recognize and manage high and low blood sugar levels to help you avoid levels that can lead to medical emergencies, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or dehydration from high blood sugar levels or loss of consciousness from severe low blood sugar levels. Most high or low blood sugar problems can be managed at home by following your doctor's instructions. You can help avoid blood sugar problems by following your doctor's instructions on the use of insulin or diabetes medicines, diet, and exercise. Home blood sugar testing will help you determine whether your blood sugar is within your target range. If you have had very low blood sugar, you may be tempted to let your sugar level run high so that you do not have another low blood sugar problem. But it is most important that you keep your blood sugar in your target range. You can do this by following your treatment plan and checking your blood sugar regularly. Sometimes a pregnant woman can get diabetes during her pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Blood sugar levels are checked regularly during the pregnancy to keep levels within a target range. Children who have diabetes need their parents' help to keep their blood sugar levels in a target range and to exercise safely. Be sure that children learn the symptoms of both high and low blood sugar so they can tell others when they need help. There are many su Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

What Is Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes sometimes develops when a woman is pregnant. It’s when the blood glucose level (blood sugar level) of the mother goes too high during pregnancy. Having an elevated blood glucose level during pregnancy can cause problems for your baby—if it’s left untreated. Fortunately, doctors are vigilant about checking for gestational diabetes so that it can be identified and effectively managed. A pro-active treatment plan helps you have a good pregnancy and protects the health of your baby. Gestational Diabetes Symptoms Gestational diabetes doesn’t often cause noticeable symptoms for the mother. Other types of diabetes (eg, type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes) do cause symptoms such as increased thirst, but that is hardly ever noticed in gestational diabetes. Because there aren’t often symptoms, it’s very important to be tested for a high blood glucose level when you’re pregnant. (Your doctor will most likely test you for gestational diabetes sometime between the 24th and 28th week. You can learn more about the diagnostic process here.) Then your doctor will know if you need to be treated for gestational diabetes. Gestational Diabetes Causes and Risk Factors Gestational diabetes develops when your body isn’t able to produce enough of the hormone insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose—what your body uses for energy—into the cells. Without enough insulin, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps gestational diabetes. The elevated blood glucose level in gestational diabetes is caused by hormones released by the placenta during pregnancy. The placenta produces a hormone called the human placental lactogen (HPL), also Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar

Gestational Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar

Introduction Women who take insulin shots or take the medicine glyburide are at risk for low blood sugar levels. Most women with gestational diabetes do not have problems with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If your blood sugar (glucose) drops very low, make sure to get treated immediately so that neither you nor your baby is harmed. Key points Low blood sugar occurs when the sugar level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. Women who take insulin may get low blood sugar if they don't eat enough food, skip meals, exercise more than usual, or take too much insulin. These steps can help you avoid a life-threatening emergency from low blood sugar: Test your blood sugar often so that you don't have to guess when your blood sugar is low. Know the signs of low blood sugar (sweating, shakiness, hunger, blurred vision, and dizziness). The best treatment for low blood sugar is to eat quick-sugar foods. Liquids will raise your blood sugar faster than solid foods. Keep the list of quick-sugar foods in a convenient place. Wait 10 to 15 minutes after eating the quick-sugar food, and, if possible, check your blood sugar again. Keep some hard candy, raisins, or other sugary foods with you at all times. Eat some at the first sign of low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar before getting in a car. And don't drive if your blood sugar level is less than 70 mg/dL. Teach your friends and coworkers what to do if your blood sugar is very low. More information about diabetes can be found in these topics: Return to topic: Continue reading >>

9 Gestational Diabetes Dos And Don’ts

9 Gestational Diabetes Dos And Don’ts

1 / 10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy With a Gestational Diabetes Diet Pregnancy already comes with a long list of things that you should and shouldn’t do to achieve the best outcomes for you and your baby. But if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), then you need to learn some more dos and don’ts to keep your blood sugar under control and make sure that diabetes doesn’t harm your pregnancy. You will need to learn about a gestational diabetes diet — foods and lifestyle habits that help stabilize your blood sugar — as well as, possibly, gestational diabetes treatment. This may include diabetes medications your doctor prescribes during pregnancy to keep your blood glucose under control. It is possible to have a healthy pregnancy with gestational diabetes, but you must take care of yourself to reduce your risk of the following: An overly large baby Cesarean delivery (C-section) Miscarriage Preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) Preterm delivery Stillbirth Other poor health outcomes for your baby Long-term health effects for you Controlling your blood glucose is important for everyone, young and old. But for pregnant women, good blood sugar control is important before, during, and after pregnancy to reduce the chance of diabetes complications. According to the Mayo Clinic, good blood sugar control during pregnancy can help prevent or reduce these risks: Prevent complications for the baby Prevent complications for the mother Reduce the risk of birth defects Reduce the risk of excess fetal growth Reduce the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth Reduce the risk of premature birth To keep blood glucose under control during pregnancy, it’s important to check your blood sugar level frequently. If you are Continue reading >>

Faqs About Gestational Diabetes

Faqs About Gestational Diabetes

This is the most comprehensive page on some of the most frequently asked questions about GD. Let us know if we missed something and we will add it in our list of questions. Note: GD means Gestational Diabetes. What is GD? What are the signs and symptoms? What kind of weight gain should I expect? Gestational vs type 2 diabetes. How does apple cider vinegar effect? What are the cut off values for GD? What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes? What are the screening tests available? What should the fasting blood glucose be when pregnant? What is the correlation between GD and jaundice with the newborn? What foods should I avoid? What is the correlation with gestational hypertension and GD? When do you get tested for this issue? What causes it? Who is at risk? What is the risk of getting diabetes after being diagnosed with GD? What is the risk of my child getting diabetes after I am diagnosed? What are some healthy breakfast ideas for someone with this issue? Is there a risk if taking Zantac? Does Zofran cause it? Are Zone bars okay to eat while pregnant? Is the Zone diet okay to do while pregnant? What is the prevalence of GD in New Zealand? Is yogurt okay to eat? Is it normal to have yeast infections? Is it okay to take Xylitol during pregnancy? Is it okay to have a vbac? Does vitamin D help? What are the considerations for vegetarians? What are the risks if you don’t treat? Am I at greater risk of GD since I am carrying twins? What are the risks for the baby when mom has GD? What should I do about this issue after I deliver the baby? Is there any way to prevent it? What is the pathophysiology? PCOS and GD. What is the prevalence? Does oatmeal help? When is the usual onset? Does obesity increase the chance of getting it? When do I have to take Metformin Continue reading >>

Low Levels With Gestational Diabetes - How Low Is Too Low?

Low Levels With Gestational Diabetes - How Low Is Too Low?

Many women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are not given much information or advice around low levels. A question that we get asked frequently in our Facebook support group, is "how low is too low?" Levels below 2.0mmol/L should be reported to a health care professional, but if they are just lower than normal then please continue reading... The answer to this question differs depending on how your gestational diabetes is controlled: If you take Insulin or Glibenclamide:- If you are taking Glibenclamide or Insulin to help control your blood sugar levels (at any point in the day) then levels below 4.0mmol/L are classed as 'too low', a good phrase to remember is "four is the floor" As Glibenclamide is a sulfonylureas medicine it can cause hypoglycaemia (or hypos), the same as insulin. Please note: some medical teams may advise that a hypo is a blood sugar level below 3.5mmol/L rather than 4.0mmol/L. To learn more about hypos and how to treat them, please read more here. If you do not take any medication OR if you use Metformin:- If you are controlling your blood sugar levels with dietary changes alone OR with Metformin then you cannot have a true 'life threatening' hypo and lower levels should not be a cause of concern. You may experience low levels (e.g. levels below 4.0mmol/L) and have 'hypo type symptoms', which can be unpleasant, but there is no need to treat the hypo symptoms with glucose to raise levels, in fact this can worsen the problem. Eating a normal, gestational diabetes suitable snack will raise levels enough and should make you feel better. This is known as a 'false hypo'. More information on false hypos can be found on our false hypo page. Low levels below my lower test target Ladies often get concerned when their levels are below or towards the lower e Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Pregnancy

Diabetes In Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes does not increase the risk of birth defects or the risk that the baby will be diabetic at birth. Also called gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), this type of diabetes affects between 3% and 20% of pregnant women. It presents with a rise in blood glucose (sugar) levels toward the end of the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. In 90% if cases, it disappears after the birth, but the mother is at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Cause It occurs when cells become resistant to the action of insulin, which is naturally caused during pregnancy by the hormones of the placenta. In some women, the pancreas is not able to secrete enough insulin to counterbalance the effect of these hormones, causing hyperglycemia, then diabetes. Symptoms Pregnant women generally have no apparent diabetes symptoms. Sometimes, these symptoms occur: Unusual fatigue Excessive thirst Increase in the volume and frequency of urination Headaches Importance of screening These symptoms can go undetected because they are very common in pregnant women. Women at risk Several factors increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes: Being over 35 years of age Being overweight Family members with type 2 diabetes Having previously given birth to a baby weighing more than 4 kg (9 lb) Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy Belonging to a high-risk ethnic group (Aboriginal, Latin American, Asian or African) Having had abnormally high blood glucose (sugar) levels in the past, whether a diagnosis of glucose intolerance or prediabetes Regular use of a corticosteroid medication Suffering from ancanthosis nigricans, a discoloration of the skin, often darkened patches on the neck or under the arms Screening The Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Gui Continue reading >>

The Truth About Gestational Diabetes {and Why It’s Not Your Fault!}

The Truth About Gestational Diabetes {and Why It’s Not Your Fault!}

So you’ve had the Glucose Tolerance Test, or maybe you’ve been monitoring you’re blood sugar levels at home, and your blood sugar readings were high. You have been given a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes. If your experience was anything like mine, an Obstetrician or midwife gave you a pamphlet on ‘Diabetes and Pregnancy’, referred you to a dietician and endocrinologist for management, and then sent on your way. And now you’re at home, and all the questions you didn’t think to ask are flooding in… What the heck is it? And what does it mean? Will my baby be alright? Do I need a caesarean? Will I need to be on insulin? What can I eat? Do I have to stop eating CHOCOLATE?!?!?! There is some debate against the use of routine testing to diagnose Gestational Diabetes, and also questioning about giving the diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes as a label on pregnant women. Dr. Sarah Buckley recommends avoiding routine testing for Gestational Diabetes for most women. Henci Goer and Dr Michael Odent are among many pregnancy and childbirth professionals who argue against diagnosing women with gestational diabetes, citing unnecessary stress and interventions as one of the risks of the Gestational Diabetes diagnosis. Nevertheless, whether you want to call it Gestational Diabetes or Pregnancy-Induced Insulin Resistance, or just high blood sugar levels in pregnancy, some women do have elevated blood sugar levels and need some extra help. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM or GD) is described as a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, and usually goes away 4-6 weeks postpartum. In a pregnant woman without Gestational Diabetes, the body works ‘as usual’. You eat, your stomach breaks down your food, you start to digest it, and the glucose from the carbohydrate Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes: Q And A

Gestational Diabetes: Q And A

Q. What is gestational diabetes? A. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It is different from having known diabetes before pregnancy and then getting pregnant. Gestational diabetes is generally diagnosed in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, and usually goes away after the baby is born. Gestational diabetes can cause problems for the mother and baby, but treatment and regular check-ups mean most women have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Q. Am I at risk of gestational diabetes? A. Gestational diabetes affects between 10 and 15 per cent of pregnancies in Australia. Women of certain ethnic backgrounds — Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern, African, Maori and Pacific Islander — are more at risk of developing gestational diabetes than women of Anglo-Celtic backgrounds. Other factors can also increase your risk, including: being overweight; having a family history of diabetes; having had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy; being 40 years or older; having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); taking medicines that can affect blood sugar levels (such as corticosteroids and antipsychotic medicines); and previously having a very large baby (more than 4.5 kg). Q. How would I know if I had gestational diabetes? A. Gestational diabetes does not usually give rise to symptoms. For this reason it is important to be tested during pregnancy, usually between 24 and 28 weeks. Women with risk factors for diabetes may be offered testing earlier than this – sometimes at the first antenatal visit, which is often at around 10 weeks. Women who do develop symptoms may experience: extreme tiredness; being thirsty all the time; symptoms of recurrent infections (such as thrush); and needi Continue reading >>

Lows & Highs: Blood Sugar Levels

Lows & Highs: Blood Sugar Levels

Keeping blood glucose (sugar) levels in a healthy range can be challenging. Knowing and understanding the symptoms of high and low blood sugar is very important for people living with diabetes, as well as their friends and family members. What is low blood glucose (sugar)? When the amount of blood glucose (sugar in your blood) has dropped below your target range (less than four mmol/L), it is called low blood glucose (sugar) or hypoglycemia. What are the signs of a low blood glucose (sugar) level? You may feel: Shaky, light-headed, nauseated Nervous, irritable, anxious Confused, unable to concentrate Hungry Your heart rate is faster Sweaty, headachy Weak, drowsy A numbness or tingling in your tongue or lips Very low blood glucose can make you: Confused and disoriented Lose consciousness Have a seizure Make sure you always wear your MedicAlert® identification, and talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about prevention and emergency treatment for severe low blood glucose (sugar). What causes a low blood glucose (sugar) level (hypoglycemia)? Low blood glucose (sugar) may be caused by: More physical activity than usual Not eating on time Eating less than you should have Taking too much medication The effects of drinking alcohol How do I treat low blood glucose (sugar)? If you are experiencing the signs of a low blood glucose (sugar) level, check your blood glucose (sugar) immediately. If you don’t have your meter with you, treat the symptoms anyway. It is better to be safe. Step one: Low blood glucose (sugar) can happen quickly, so it is important to treat it right away. If your blood glucose (sugar) drops very low, you may need help from another person. Eat or drink a fast-acting carbohydrate (15 grams): 15 grams of glucose in the form of glucose tablets (preferred c Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemic When Pregnant

Hypoglycemic When Pregnant

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar during pregnancy is a common problem in women with diabetes. This blood sugar complication can occur in pregnant women who have preexisting type 1 or type 2 diabetes or in women who have gestational diabetes -- which is usually diagnosed during the second trimester of pregnancy. Linked to the use of insulin or certain diabetes pills, hypoglycemia can cause symptoms such as shakiness, confusion and dizziness. Hypoglycemia rarely occurs in pregnant women without diabetes. Prevention and treatment are important as low blood sugar levels can have negative consequences for both the mom and baby. Video of the Day Hypoglycemia is traditionally defined as having a blood sugar below 70 mg/dl. However, because blood sugar levels run lower during pregnancy, the consensus of a work group of the American Diabetes Association and the Endocrine Society, in a report published in the May 2013 issue of "Diabetes Care," is that hypoglycemia in pregnancy can be defined as a level below 60 mg/dl. Low blood sugars have a sudden onset and can vary in intensity. Symptoms of mild hypoglycemia can resemble early pregnancy symptoms, including hunger, nausea, sleepiness, headache, weakness and dizziness. Other symptoms a woman may experience include shakiness, nervousness, sweating, chills, nightmares, fast heartbeat, blurry vision and numbness around the mouth. When blood sugars drop so low the woman is unable to treat it without assistance, this is termed severe hypoglycemia with symptoms of confusion, lack of coordination, seizures, loss of consciousness and even death. Some women with long-standing diabetes may no longer feel the early symptoms of low blood sugar levels and, as a result, are at greater risk of suffering these more serious side effects. Pregnant Continue reading >>

What Are The Ideal Levels Of Blood Sugar?

What Are The Ideal Levels Of Blood Sugar?

A blood sugar or blood glucose chart identifies ideal blood sugar levels throughout the day, including before and after meals. Doctors use blood sugar charts to set target goals and monitor diabetes treatment plans. Blood sugar charts also help those with diabetes assess and self-monitor blood sugar test results. What is a blood sugar chart? Blood sugar charts act as a reference guide for blood sugar test results. As such, blood sugar charts are important tools for diabetes management. Most diabetes treatment plans involve keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal or target goals as possible. This requires frequent at-home and doctor-ordered testing, along with an understanding of how results compare to target levels. To help interpret and assess blood sugar results, the charts outline normal and abnormal blood sugar levels for those with and without diabetes. In the United States, blood sugar charts typically report sugar levels in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). In the United Kingdom and many other countries, blood sugar is reported in millimoles per liter (mmol/L). A1C blood sugar recommendations are frequently included in blood sugar charts. A1C results are often described as both a percentage and an average blood sugar level in mg/dL. An A1C test measures the average sugar levels over a 3-month period, which gives a wider insight into a person's overall management of their blood sugar levels. Blood sugar chart guidelines Appropriate blood sugar levels vary throughout the day and from person to person. Blood sugars are often lowest before breakfast and in the lead up to meals. Blood sugars are often highest in the hours following meals. People with diabetes will often have higher blood sugar targets or acceptable ranges than those without the condition. These Continue reading >>

Getting Accurate Blood Glucose Test Results

Getting Accurate Blood Glucose Test Results

For the most part, blood glucose meters—devices that measure and display blood glucose levels—are simple to use and provide readings you can trust. But they aren't perfect and inaccurate readings are possible. Extremely high or low readings that are made in error can have serious consquences. Inaccurate readings happen for a variety of reasons, including human error. But the error can usually be corrected without much effort. Here are some common mistakes users make along with tips to help you improve the reliability of your device and your test results. But first, it's important to note that if you get a reading that seems way off—especially one that doesn't match your symptoms—always perform a re-test. When re-testing, take your time to ensure you are using the strips and the device correctly and repeat the procedure. If you get a similar reading again, call your healthcare professional or the phone number on the back of the meter as malfunctions can occur and product recalls happen periodically. The following factors can impact meter accuracy.If you find you are contributing unintentionally to the problem, take the necessary steps to get the right results: Be sure your meter and hands are clean. It seems like a no-brainer, but a dirty meter can alter your reading. Clean your meter regularly, and before you do a reading, wipe off any noticeable blood, dirt, or grease. It's also vital to perform your test on a clean fingertip. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before extracting a blood sample. Be aware of test strip issues. Make sure your test strips are compatible with your meter. Saving money by purchasing less expensive strips that are not designed to work with your meter is a bad idea. Be sure the strip is inserted correctly into the meter. Test stri Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Pregnancy

Diabetes And Pregnancy

One in twenty pregnant women in Australia is affected by diabetes. Although the disease can cause serious complications for mothers and babies, good planning and comprehensive antenatal care can keep you and your baby healthy. By Joanna Egan. Diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by the body's inability to control glucose levels in the blood. Glucose is a simple sugar found in foods such as breads, cereals, fruit, starchy vegetables, legumes, dairy products and sweets. A hormone produced by the pancreas, called insulin, converts this glucose into energy that is used to fuel the body. When a person has diabetes, they either don't produce enough insulin or are unable to use insulin effectively. This causes glucose to build up in their bloodstream. There are several types of diabetes: Type 1: People with type 1 diabetes don't produce insulin. As a result, they need to monitor their blood glucose levels carefully and require regular insulin injections (up to four times a day). Generally, type 1 diabetes arises in children and young adults, but it can occur at any age. Type 2: This is the most common form of diabetes. Some people have a genetic predisposition to developing the disease but often, it is caused by lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, insufficient exercise and poor diet. People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but either don't produce enough or are unable to use it effectively. Generally, it is initially managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity, but as the condition progresses, glucose-lowering tablets and/or insulin injections may be prescribed. Gestational diabetes: This form of diabetes develops, or is first diagnosed, during pregnancy. It usually appears late in the second trimester and resolves after childbir Continue reading >>

Just How Low Can A Normal Blood Sugar Go In Pregnancy?

Just How Low Can A Normal Blood Sugar Go In Pregnancy?

Recently in the clinic I was asked “Is 3.8 mmol/l (68 mgs/dl) two hours after my lunch too low? The blood sugar normally varies though out the day: lower before breakfast, peaking just over an hour after a meal and coming back down by two hours. Firstly, sugars at this level do not harm the baby but let us look at what normal sugars in people without GDM are and then we can look at the situation in gestational diabetes and for those with pre-existing diabetes, either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. During the night the baby is consuming glucose so the before breakfast or fasting sugar is lower. Based on studies in pregnant women who did not have diabetes (see GDM-Research 1st Sept. 2011) the usual sugar values found are shown in the Table with the range being the levels that more than 95% of women had sugar readings between: Fasting 1 Hour after meal 2 Hours after meal Units Average Range Average Range Average Range 4.5 3.7 – 5.2 6.1 4.6 – 7.5 5.5 4.4 – 6.7 mmol/l 81 67 – 94 109 83 – 135 99 79 – 120 mgs/dl These are the numbers are in pregnant women without diabetes. When dealing with women with GDM the important issue is what treatment are they on. If on diet alone then numbers falling below this typical range are likely not a concern. Their meter may be inaccurate and reading low (see GDM-Research 25th Mar 2011), this just may be “normal” for them, perhaps the release of insulin from their pancreas is a little sluggish and peaks later causing the lower numbers. If the low readings continue or the mom feels unwell with them then an earlier snack may help. However if she is taking treatment although the same explanations may apply, the most likely thing is the therapy is too strong so a reduction in insulin or oral hypoglycaemic medicines (metformin or glyb Continue reading >>

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