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 >>
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 >>
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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 >>
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 >>
Hypoglycemia Or Low Blood Glucose
Hypoglycemia means that your blood glucose is low - generally below 60 to 80 mg/dL. Symptoms occur quickly and need to be treated as soon as possible. Causes Prevention Not enough food Eat all your meals and snacks on time. More physical activity than usual Eat extra food to match your increased activity. Too much diabetes medicine Take only the dose that has been prescribed. Symptoms You may have one or more of the following symptoms: sweating shaking feeling weak or tired feeling anxious or nervous racing heart feeling hungry having a mild headache tingling sensation around lips and tongue Treating hypoglycemia You are never harming yourself if you take glucose tablets or eat a simple sugar food because you suspect you have low blood glucose. If you are injecting insulin, always carry a simple sugar food with you. These include raisins, marshmallows, glucose tablets or a juice box. Test your blood glucose as soon as you feel symptoms. If your level is low, treat with 15 grams of carbohydrate. Examples include: 1/2 cup of fruit juice (you don't need to add sugar) 1/2 cup of regular pop 1 tablespoon of honey or sugar 2 tablespoons of raisins 3 large marshmallows 1 cup of skim milk 3 to 4 glucose tablets 15 grams of glucose gel After eating one of these foods, test your blood glucose every 10 to 15 minutes. If it is still low, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrate until your symptoms are gone or your blood glucose level is above 80. Follow-up treatment after hypoglycemia After you've experienced hypoglycemia, you may need more food. If your next meal or snack is less than one hour away, eat at your normal time. If your next meal or snack is one to two hours away, eat an extra snack that contains 15 grams of carbohydrate. If your next meal or snack is more than two hours a Continue reading >>
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Gestational Diabetes: What Constitutes Low Blood Sugar?
I received a great question about the problematic diagnosis of gestational diabetes due to a failed oral glucose tolerance test. Give this a read so we can dismantle pregnancy related nutrition. Hey Robb, My wife and I have been Paleo ever since I was “certified” in Portland last year:)My wife is 8 months pregnant and has been dx with gestational diabetes (I truly believe its total bs and that the OGTT is inaccurate in so many ways that it is ridiculous, but I digress) We are using a birthing center with a midwife so it was a sad requirement that we consult with an “expert” in nutrition, which had to be the most frustrating 2 hour visit of my life (the RN who we visited with was diabetic herself and came in drinking a large diet coke…I threw an apple core in her waste basket and found multiple fast food containers…Im not judging…she then began to tell us how we were eating to “low carb” and how bad it was).ANYWAY, my wife left with a glucometer (awesome) and she was told to check her sugars 4x a day for 2 weeks 1 hour after every meal and then send the results back in (BTW my wife does CFmoms and is 5?10 170…138 with out the baby, very lean and athletic).So for 2 weeks we BOTH checked sugars, to compete, and all of our sugars were great, below 88 after 1 hour and fasting in the am high 60’s low 70’s, she faxed her sugars in and was immediately called by above referenced nutritionist and told that her sugars were “to low” and asked to eat MORE carbs (complex of course) and check for another week, so we made up sugars that were slightly higher and faxed them in and have not received a call since. We eat fairly strict, always unlimited quantity and to satiety, we have never felt better. I’m a Fire/Medic and will occasionally check my sugars at Continue reading >>
Diabetes In Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes refers to diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs in about 7 percent of all pregnancies, usually in the second half of the pregnancy. It almost always goes away as soon as your baby is born. However, if gestational diabetes is not treated during your pregnancy, you may experience some complications. Causes Pregnancy hormones cause the body to be resistant to the action of insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas that helps your body use the fuels supplied by food. The carbohydrates you eat provide your body with a fuel called glucose, the sugar in the blood that nourishes your brain, heart, tissues and muscles. Glucose also is an important fuel for your developing baby. When gestational diabetes occurs, insulin fails to effectively move glucose into the cells that need it. As a result, glucose accumulates in the blood, causing blood sugar levels rise. Diagnosis Gestational diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test. Your blood glucose level is measured after you drink a sweet beverage. If your blood sugar is too high, you have gestational diabetes. Sometimes one test is all that is needed to make a definitive diagnosis. More often, an initial screening test is given and, if needed, a longer evaluation is performed. Gestational diabetes usually does not occur until later in pregnancy, when the placenta is producing more of the hormones that interfere with the mother's insulin. Screening for gestational diabetes usually takes place between weeks 24 to 28. However, women at high risk are usually screened during the first trimester. Risk Factors There are a number of risk factors associated with gestational diabetes, including: Being overweight Giving birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds Having a parent or siblin Continue reading >>
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 >>
Infant Of Diabetic Mother
Diabetes in pregnancy There are two types of diabetes that occur in pregnancy: Gestational diabetes. This term refers to a mother who does not have diabetes before becoming pregnant but develops a resistance to insulin because of the hormones of pregnancy. Pregestational diabetes. This term describes women who already have insulin-dependent diabetes and become pregnant. With both types of diabetes, there can be complications for the baby. It is very important to keep tight control of blood sugar during pregnancy. What causes diabetes in pregnancy? The placenta supplies a growing fetus with nutrients and water. It also produces a variety of hormones to maintain the pregnancy. Some of these hormones (estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen) can block insulin. This usually begins about 20 to 24 weeks into the pregnancy. As the placenta grows, more of these hormones are produced, and insulin resistance becomes greater. Normally, the pancreas is able to make additional insulin to overcome insulin resistance, but when the production of insulin is not enough to overcome the effect of the placental hormones, gestational diabetes results. Pregnancy also may change the insulin needs of a woman with preexisting diabetes. Insulin-dependent mothers may require more insulin as pregnancy progresses. Who is affected by diabetes in pregnancy? About 5 percent of all pregnant women in the U.S. are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetics make up the vast majority of pregnancies with diabetes. Some pregnant women require insulin to treat their diabetes. Why is diabetes in pregnancy a concern? The mother's excess amounts of blood glucose are transferred to the fetus during pregnancy. This causes the baby's body to secrete increased amounts of insulin, which result Continue reading >>
Low Blood Pressure - When Blood Pressure Is Too Low
Within certain limits, the lower your blood pressure reading is, the better. There is also no specific number at which day-to-day blood pressure is considered too low, as long as none of the symptoms of trouble are present. Symptoms of low blood pressure Most doctors will only consider chronically low blood pressure as dangerous if it causes noticeable signs and symptoms, such as: Dizziness or lightheadedness Nausea Dehydration and unusual thirst Dehydration can sometimes cause blood pressure to drop. However, dehydration does not always cause low blood pressure. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration, a potentially serious condition in which your body loses more water than you take in. Even mild dehydration (a loss of as little as 1 percent to 2 percent of body weight) can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue. Lack of concentration Blurred vision Cold, clammy, pale skin Rapid, shallow breathing Fatigue Depression Underlying causes of low blood pressure Low blood pressure can occur with: Prolonged bed rest Pregnancy During the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, it’s common for blood pressure to drop. Decreases in blood volume A decrease in blood volume can also cause blood pressure to drop. A significant loss of blood from major trauma, dehydration or severe internal bleeding reduces blood volume, leading to a severe drop in blood pressure. Certain medications A number of drugs can cause low blood pressure, including diuretics and other drugs that treat hypertension; heart medications such as beta blockers; drugs for Parkinson’s disease; tricyclic antidepressants; erectile dysfunction drugs, particularly in combination with nitroglycerine; narcotics and alcohol. Other prescription and over-the-counter dru Continue reading >>
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What Is Diabetes In Pregnancy?
Having diabetes means that there is too much sugar (glucose) in your blood. Some women have diabetes before they get pregnant. Others start having it during pregnancy. Diabetes that starts during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. If you had diabetes before you became pregnant, it may get harder for you to control your sugar levels during pregnancy. Pregnancy can make both high and low blood sugar levels happen more often. It can make diabetic eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve problems worse. You may need to change your insulin dosage. If you were not using insulin before the pregnancy, you may need to use it while you are pregnant. If you develop diabetes during pregnancy, you may need to start a special diet. You may need to have insulin shots or take a pill to help control your blood sugar. If diabetes is not treated well before and during pregnancy, and your sugars are poorly controlled, these problems might occur: The high sugar levels in your blood might cause the baby to get too big before birth. Very large babies tend to have more problems. Babies who are very large or have other problems may need to be delivered by C section. If delivered vaginally, a big baby is slightly more likely to have an injury at the time of delivery. The baby might have birth defects, such as problems with the heart, kidney, spine, or brain. Some of these problems may be life threatening. You might have high blood pressure during the pregnancy, which can cause problems for both you and the baby. You may develop ketones in your blood and urine when you have very high blood sugar. This can cause a very serious, life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. You might go into labor early. The baby might need to be delivered early. After delivery the baby’s blo Continue reading >>
Gestational Diabetes And Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant. Some women have more than one pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually shows up in the middle of pregnancy. Doctors most often test for it between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Often gestational diabetes can be controlled through eating healthy foods and regular exercise. Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must also take insulin. Problems of Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy Blood sugar that is not well controlled in a woman with gestational diabetes can lead to problems for the pregnant woman and the baby: An Extra Large Baby Diabetes that is not well controlled causes the baby’s blood sugar to be high. The baby is “overfed” and grows extra large. Besides causing discomfort to the woman during the last few months of pregnancy, an extra large baby can lead to problems during delivery for both the mother and the baby. The mother might need a C-Section to deliver the baby. The baby can be born with nerve damage due to pressure on the shoulder during delivery. C-Section (Cesarean Section) A C-section is an operation to deliver the baby through the mother’s belly. A woman who has diabetes that is not well controlled has a higher chance of needing a C-section to deliver the baby. When the baby is delivered by a C-section, it takes longer for the woman to recover from childbirth. High Blood Pressure (Preeclampsia) When a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, protein in her urine, and often swelling in fingers and toes that doesn’t go away, she might have preeclampsia. It is a serious problem that needs to be watched closely and managed by her doctor. High blood pressure can cause harm to both Continue reading >>
Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes and plan to have a baby, you should try to get your blood glucose levels close to your target range before you get pregnant. Staying in your target range during pregnancy, which may be different than when you aren’t pregnant, is also important. High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can harm your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnant. If you have diabetes and are already pregnant, see your doctor as soon as possible to make a plan to manage your diabetes. Working with your health care team and following your diabetes management plan can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you develop diabetes for the first time while you are pregnant, you have gestational diabetes. How can diabetes affect my baby? A baby’s organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs, start forming during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. High blood glucose levels can be harmful during this early stage and can increase the chance that your baby will have birth defects, such as heart defects or defects of the brain or spine. High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can also increase the chance that your baby will be born too early, weigh too much, or have breathing problems or low blood glucose right after birth. High blood glucose also can increase the chance that you will have a miscarriage or a stillborn baby.1 Stillborn means the baby dies in the womb during the second half of pregnancy. How can my diabetes affect me during pregnancy? Hormonal and other changes in your body during pregnancy affect your blood glucose levels, so you might need to change how you manage your diabetes. Even if you’ve had diabetes for years, you may need to change your meal plan, physical activity routine, and medicines. Continue reading >>
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 >>
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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. 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, such as sweating, shakiness, hunger, blurred vision, and dizziness. The best treatment for low blood sugar is to eat glucose or sucrose tablets or solution. If glucose or sucrose are not available, eat something from the list of 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 15 minutes after eating the glucose or sucrose or quick-sugar food, and, if possible, check your blood sugar again. Keep some sucrose tablets or solution or quick-sugar foods with you at all times. Eat some at the first sign of low blood sugar. Take precautions when you are driving and do not drive if your blood sugar is low. Teach your friends and co-workers what to do if your blood sugar is very low. How to deal with low blood sugar emergencies Here are some ways you can prevent and manage low blood sugar emergencies. Be prepared Although most women with gestational diabetes do not have problems with low blood sugar, you s Continue reading >>