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How Much Blood Sugar Is Normal During Pregnancy

Understanding Gestational Diabetes

Understanding Gestational Diabetes

Introduction Approximately 3 to 5 percent of all pregnant women in the United States are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes. These women and their families have many questions about this disorder. Some of the most frequently asked questions are: What is gestational diabetes and how did I get it? How does it differ from other kinds of diabetes? Will it hurt my baby? Will my baby have diabetes? What can I do to control gestational diabetes? Will I need a special diet? Will gestational diabetes change the way or the time my baby is delivered? Will I have diabetes in the future? This brochure will address these and many other questions about diet, exercise, measurement of blood sugar levels, and general medical and obstetric care of women with gestational diabetes. It must be emphasized that these are general guidelines and only your health care professional(s) can tailor a program specific to your needs. You should feel free to discuss any concerns you have with your doctor or other health care provider, as no one knows more about you and the condition of your pregnancy. What is gestational diabetes and what causes it? Diabetes (actual name is diabetes mellitus) of any kind is a disorder that prevents the body from using food properly. Normally, the body gets its major source of energy from glucose, a simple sugar that comes from foods high in simple carbohydrates (e.g., table sugar or other sweeteners such as honey, molasses, jams, and jellies, soft drinks, and cookies), or from the breakdown of complex carbohydrates such as starches (e.g., bread, potatoes, and pasta). After sugars and starches are digested in the stomach, they enter the blood stream in the form of glucose. The glucose in the blood stream becomes a potential source of energy for the entire body, sim Continue reading >>

Mothers' High Normal Blood Sugar Levels Place Infants At Risk For Birth Problems

Mothers' High Normal Blood Sugar Levels Place Infants At Risk For Birth Problems

Pregnant women with blood sugar levels in the higher range of normal — but not high enough to be considered diabetes — are more likely than women with lower blood sugar levels to give birth to babies at risk for many of the same problems seen in babies born to women with diabetes during pregnancy, according to a study funded in large part by the National Institutes of Health. These problems included a greater likelihood for Caesarean delivery and an abnormally large body size at birth. Infants born to women with higher blood sugar levels were also at risk for shoulder dystocia, a condition occurring during birth, in which an infant’s shoulder becomes lodged inside the mother's body, effectively halting the birth process. The study authors declined to make recommendations for acceptable blood sugar levels for pregnant women. The researchers were unable to identify a precise level where an elevation in blood sugar increased the risk for any of the outcomes observed in the study. Rather, the chances for the outcomes were observed to increase gradually, corresponding with increases in the women’s blood sugar levels. It is well known that high blood sugar levels characteristic of the diabetes that occurs during pregnancy present risks for expectant mothers and the infants born to them. The current study is the first to document that higher blood sugar levels, not high enough to be considered diabetes, also convey these increased risks. Furthermore, when the researchers mathematically adjusted for other potential causes of these risks — such as older maternal age, obesity, and high blood pressure — the increased risks due to higher blood sugar levels were still present. "These important new findings highlight the risks of elevated blood sugar levels during pregnan Continue reading >>

Glucose Screening Tests During Pregnancy

Glucose Screening Tests During Pregnancy

TWO-STEP TESTING During the first step, you will have a glucose screening test: You DO NOT need to prepare or change your diet in any way. You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose. Your blood will be drawn 1 hour after you drink the glucose solution to check your blood glucose level. If your blood glucose from the first step is too high, you will need to come back for a 3-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test: DO NOT eat or drink anything (other than sips of water) for 8 to 14 hours before your test. (You also cannot eat during the test.) You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose, 100 grams (g) . You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 3 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked. Allow at least 3 hours for this test. ONE-STEP TESTING You need to go to the lab one time for a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test: DO NOT eat or drink anything (other than sips of water) for 8 to 14 hours before your test. (You also cannot eat during the test.) You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose (75 g). You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 2 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked. Allow at least 2 hours for this test. Continue reading >>

Check Your Knowledge: Diabetes And Pregnancy

Check Your Knowledge: Diabetes And Pregnancy

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. How much do you know about diabetes during pregnancy? Check your knowledge below! Diabetes can affect women during their childbearing years. Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. Having diabetes during pregnancy can impact the health of both the mother and her unborn baby. If a woman has poor control of her diabetes during pregnancy, which means that her blood sugar levels are often above normal, this increases the chances for problems for her baby, such as a baby growing too large, which may lead to complications during delivery. It also can cause serious complications for the woman. Working to keep blood sugar in control (in the normal range) before and during pregnancy can help prevent these problems. What are the 3 common types of diabetes? Type 1: The pancreas makes little or no insulin (a hormone in the body to help get glucose (sugar) into the cells of the body) so the body can't use blood sugar for energy. Type 2: The body either makes too little insulin or the insulin that is made is unable to help cells use blood sugar for energy. Gestational: This is a type of diabetes that is first seen or diagnosed in a pregnant woman. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is similar to type 2 but it is first seen or diagnosed when a woman is pregnant. What are possible problems for the baby from blood sugar that is not well controlled in a pre Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy, What's Normal?

Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy, What's Normal?

The form of diabetes which develops during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. This condition has become predominant in the recent pastaccording to the 2009 article in American Family Physician. For instance, in the United States alone, it affects around 5% to 9% of all the pregnant women. Pregnancy aggravates the preexisting type 2 and type 1 diabetes. During pregnancy the sugar level may tend to be high sometimes, posing problems to the mother and the infant as well. However, concerning the sugar level during pregnancy, what's normal? Blood sugar control is one of the most essential factors that should be undertaken during pregnancy. When measures are taken to control blood sugar level during pregnancy, it increases chances of a successful pregnancy. The average fasting glucose for pregnant women without any diabetes condition range from 69 to 75 and from 105 to 108 immediately one hour after consuming food. If you have preexisting diabetes or you have developedgestational diabetes, the best way to handle the blood sugar level is to ensure that it remains in between the normal range, not going too low or high. According to the recommendations of the 2007, Fifth International Workshop-Conference on Gestational Diabetes, which established blood glucose goals especially for diabetic women, during the period of pregnancy, the fasting blood sugar should not exceed 96. Blood sugar should remain below 140 just one hour after eating and below 120 two hours later. Why Is It Important to Keep Normal Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy? The most effective way to prevent complications related to diabetes is to control the amount or the level of blood sugar. This blood sugar control is very significant during pregnancy as it can: Minimize the risk of stillbirth as well as m Continue reading >>

Sharp Spike In Diabetes During Pregnancy

Sharp Spike In Diabetes During Pregnancy

For the past decade, the rate of gestational diabetes as previously measured has soared as much as 50 percent. “We shouldn’t be surprised,” Boyd Metzger says. “The fact that we have a lot of gestational diabetes to deal with is consistent with the major impact that diabetes and obesity are having in our population at large. How could we expect pregnancy to escape that?” NORTHWESTERN (US)—Two to three times more pregnant women may soon be diagnosed and treated for gestational diabetes due to new guidelines for assessing risky blood sugar levels. “As a result of this study, more than 16 percent of the entire population of pregnant women qualified as having gestational diabetes,” says lead author Boyd Metzger, the Tom D. Spies Professor of Metabolism and Nutrition at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “Before, between 5 to 8 percent of pregnant women were diagnosed with this.” Blood sugar levels that were once considered in the normal range are now seen as causing a sharp increase in the occurrence of overweight babies with high insulin levels, early deliveries, cesarean section deliveries, and potentially life-threatening preeclampsia, a condition in which the mother has high blood pressure that affects her and the baby. Large babies, the result of fat accumulation, are defined as weighing in the upper 10 percent of babies in a particular ethnic group. Because large babies increase the risk of injury during vaginal delivery, many of the women in the study were more likely to have a cesarean section. Previous guidelines to diagnose gestational diabetes were based on blood sugar levels that identified women at high risk for developing diabetes in the future. The guidelines weren’t related to risks to the baby or other risks to the Continue reading >>

Managing Diabetes During Pregnancy

Managing Diabetes During Pregnancy

Almost two million women of reproductive age have diabetes, and these numbers continue to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is extremely important for women with diabetes to achieve normal blood glucose levels before they become pregnant, because if women have poorly controlled diabetes going into a pregnancy, they are at much higher risk for serious fetal complications. This improved control can be accomplished with education and medical management. Women with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes are also at higher risk for: Large birth weight babies, resulting in more Cesarean deliveries and increased complications during delivery Premature births or fetal death Pre-eclampsia: a dangerous surge in blood pressure associated with protein in the urine Diabetic retinopathy: damage to the retina caused by high glucose levels Diabetic kidney disease Severe hypoglycemia: episodes of low blood glucose levels that can result in confusion or unconsciousness Ensuring a healthy pregnancy The good news is that women with uncomplicated diabetes who keep their blood glucose levels in a normal range before and during pregnancy have about the same chance of having a successful pregnancy as women without diabetes. The Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess Pregnancy Program recommends the following blood glucose goals and medical assessments before pregnancy: Fasting and pre-meal blood glucose: 80-110 mg/dl Blood glucose one hour after meal: 100-155 mg/dl A1C, a blood test that measures average blood glucose over two to three months: less than 7 percent and as close to 6% as possible without hypoglycemia Review of diabetes and obstetrical history Eye evaluations to screen for and discuss risks of diabetic retinopathy Renal, thyroid, gynecological and sometimes c 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 >>

Gestational Diabetes (gd)

Gestational Diabetes (gd)

What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes (GD) happens when you have too much sugar (glucose) in your blood during pregnancy. Your blood sugar levels can go up when your body isn’t producing enough of a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps: the cells in your body to get energy from blood sugar your body to store any blood sugar that isn’t needed During pregnancy, hormones make it harder for your body to use insulin efficiently. So your body has to make extra insulin, especially from mid-pregnancy onwards. If your body can't make enough extra insulin, your blood sugar levels will rise and you may develop GD. Having too much sugar in your blood can cause problems for you and your baby, so you’ll have extra care during your pregnancy. On average, GD affects one mum-to-be in 20. GD goes away after your baby is born, because it's a condition that's only caused by pregnancy. The other types of diabetes, which are not caused by pregnancy, are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Some women have diabetes, without realising it, before they become pregnant. If this happens to you, it will be diagnosed as GD during your pregnancy. What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes? You probably won't notice any symptoms if you have GD. That's why you'll be monitored by your midwife, and offered a test if she thinks you're at risk. GD symptoms are like normal pregnancy symptoms, and easy to miss. By the time you have clear symptoms, your blood sugar levels may be worryingly high (hyperglycaemia) . Symptoms of hyperglycaemia include: feeling more thirsty needing to wee more often than usual having a dry mouth feeling more tired getting recurring infections, such as thrush, and UTIs having blurred vision If you have any of these symptoms, tell your midwife or doctor straig Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Pregnancy: Low Blood Sugar

Diabetes In Pregnancy: Low Blood Sugar

How Can I Get Low Blood Sugar? You can get a low blood sugar (blood glucose) if you... Delay a meal Skip a meal or snack Eat too little Take too much insulin Exercise more than usual Drink alcohol without eating (drinking is not advised during pregnancy How will I Feel if My Blood Sugar is Low? Symptoms of low blood glucose are... Headache Dizziness Drowsiness Cold sweat Difficulty concentrating Pounding heart Difficulty talking Tingling of mouth Irritability Extreme hunger What Should I Do if My Blood Glucose Might Be Low? Sit down - Get help if available. Test your blood sugar - If your blood glucose is less than 70, eat or drink 15gms of carbohydrate (see below) or take 3 glucose tabs. Retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes - If your blood glucose has not increased at least 20 points, consume another 15 grams of carbohydrate. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until blood sugar is 70 or more (x2). Continue to monitor how you feel and retest your blood sugar as indicated. The Following Foods Have About 15 Grams of Fast-Acting Carbohydrates: 3-4 glucose tablets (with water) 1 tube glucose gel 1/2 cup fruit juice 1/3 cup regular JELL-O® (not diet) 1 tablespoon honey or sugar 1 tablespoon jam or jelly (not diet) 1/2 cup regular soda (not diet) 6 Life Savers® 4 Starbursts® 1 cup fat-free milk 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 >>

Expecting The Best: Diabetes, Pregnancy, And Blood Glucose Control

Expecting The Best: Diabetes, Pregnancy, And Blood Glucose Control

by Laura Hieronymus, RN, MSEd, CDE and Patti Geil, MS, RD, LD, CDE Pregnancy can be a special and exciting time in a woman's life. The anticipation begins as soon as you hear the words: “You're expecting a baby.” Once you've gotten used to the amazing news, you may wonder about such things as whether the baby will be a boy or a girl, when the baby is due, and, perhaps most important, what you need to do in the meantime to make sure the baby stays healthy and develops normally. All women feel a certain amount of anxiety and sometimes even fear about how pregnancy will affect them, and whether their baby will be healthy and normal. Women with diabetes are no different, but they do have one more thing to be concerned about: maintaining control of blood glucose levels. This is true whether a woman has type 1 or type 2 diabetes before becoming pregnant, or whether she is diagnosed with a condition called gestational diabetes during pregnancy. The good news is that if a woman who has diabetes (of any type) learns as much as she can about managing her blood glucose, and puts that knowledge into practice, she can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Blood glucose control essential Optimal blood glucose control is important throughout pregnancy, both for the mother's health and the baby's. Glucose in a mother's blood crosses the placenta to her baby, affecting the baby's blood glucose level. (The placenta, a flat circular organ, links the unborn baby to the mother's uterus, to provide oxygen, nutrients, and the elimination of wastes.) The baby begins making its own insulin around 13 weeks gestation. If the baby is constantly exposed to high levels of glucose, it is as if the baby were overeating: The baby produces more insulin to absorb the excess glucose, resulting Continue reading >>

Pregnancy And Diabetes: When And Why Your Blood Sugar Levels Matter Most

Pregnancy And Diabetes: When And Why Your Blood Sugar Levels Matter Most

The following is an excerpt from the book Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes by Ginger Vieira and Jennifer Smith, CDE & RD There are two things you can definitely expect will be said to you by total strangers, friends, and several family members because you have diabetes: “Doesn’t that mean your baby will be huge?” “So, is your baby probably going to get diabetes, too?” Both questions are rather rude–sure–but both implications are also very far from accurate. Yes: persistent high blood sugars during pregnancy can lead to a larger baby…but people without diabetes have very large babies, too. And people with diabetes have good ol’ fashioned regularly sized babies, too. There is no way to assure the size of a baby at birth. Skinny women can have huge babies just like an overweight woman can give birth to a very small baby. Women who eat a lot during pregnancy can have small babies! Very little of this is in our control. In the end, you can manage your diabetes extremely tightly and still have a larger than average baby because blood sugar control is not the only thing that impacts the size of your baby at birth, and more importantly, a larger baby is not the only or even most important complication a baby can experience due to mom’s elevated blood sugar levels. No: just because you have diabetes definitely does not mean your baby will have diabetes! And guess what, there’s nothing you can do during pregnancy to prevent or reduce your baby’s risk of developing diabetes…at least not that science and research is aware of at this time. So take a very deep breath, mama, because that is not something you can control, and your baby’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes is actually only about 2 percent higher than the risk of a non-diabetic woman’s baby de Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Has your doctor diagnosed you with gestational diabetes (GD or GDM), a form of diabetes that appears only during pregnancy? While it might feel overwhelming at first, it turns out that this pregnancy complication is much more common than you might think. In fact, up to 9.2 percent of pregnant women have GD, according to a 2014 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Know that with careful monitoring and treatment, it can be managed, and you can have a safe and healthy pregnancy. READ MORE: What causes gestational diabetes? Who's most at risk? What are the symptoms? How is it diagnosed? What are the complications? How can you prevent gestational diabetes? How is it treated? What happens to mom and baby after birth? What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes usually starts between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy when hormones from the placenta block insulin — a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the body's metabolism of fats and carbs and helps the body turn sugar into energy — from doing its job and prevent the body from regulating the increased blood sugar of pregnancy effectively. This causes hyperglycemia (or high levels of sugar in the blood), which can damage the nerves, blood vessels and organs in your body. Who’s most at risk for gestational diabetes? While researchers aren't certain why some women get gestational diabetes while others don’t, they do know that you may be at an increased risk if: You are overweight. Having a BMI of 30 or more going into pregnancy is one of the most common risk factors for gestational diabetes because the extra weight affects insulin's ability to properly keep blood sugar levels in check. You have a higher level of abdominal fat. Recent research published in the American Di Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes causes blood sugar levels to become too high. When you eat, your digestive system breaks down most of the food into a sugar called glucose. Glucose enters your bloodstream so your cells can use it as fuel. With the help of insulin (a hormone made by your pancreas), muscle, fat, and other cells absorb glucose from your blood. But if your body doesn't produce enough insulin, or if the cells have a problem responding to it, too much glucose remains in your blood instead of moving into cells and getting converted to energy. When you're pregnant, your body naturally becomes more resistant to insulin so that more glucose is available to nourish your baby. For most moms-to-be, this isn't a problem: When your body needs additional insulin to process excess glucose in blood, the pancreas secretes more. But if the pancreas can't keep up with the increased demand for insulin during pregnancy, blood sugar levels rise too high because the cells aren't using the glucose. This results in gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes needs to be recognized and treated quickly because it can cause health problems for mother and baby. Unlike other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes isn't permanent. Once a baby is born, blood sugar will most likely return to normal quickly. However, having gestational diabetes does make developing diabetes in the future more likely. Am I at risk of developing gestational diabetes? Anyone can develop gestational diabetes, and not all women who develop the condition have known risk factors. About 5 to 10 percent of all pregnant women get gestational diabetes. You're more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you Continue reading >>

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