The Dl On Diabetes And Hypoglycemia
Having type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes increases your chances of hypoglycemia, compared to someone who is pregnant but not diabetic. This is because your already fluctuating insulin levels have a new factor to deal with: pregnancy hormones.
Even if you arent taking medication for your diabetes, you may still experience hypoglycemic episodes. For this reason, you should eat a balanced diet and carefully monitor your blood sugar throughout your pregnancy.
Signs of hypoglycemia during pregnancy are similar to what a non-pregnant person with low blood sugar may experience . Symptoms may include:
- tingling around the mouth
Once your blood sugar rises, these conditions typically disappear. The symptoms of severe hypoglycemia can be even more serious if left untreated. It can cause seizures, convulsions, or even loss of consciousness.
What Is Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It usually develops when you are 24 to 32 weeks pregnant and disappears after delivery. But its possible to develop gestational diabetes before or after this time frame.
Insulins job is to keep our blood sugar levels on target. But during pregnancy, your placenta makes hormones that prevent insulin from working as well as it should, explains Asterino-McGeean. High blood sugar levels can be dangerous. There are possible risks and complications for you and your baby if sugar isnt controlled.
Having gestational diabetes also increases your risk of having it again during future pregnancies.
Your Bffs During Pregnancy
Want to grow the healthiest baby possible while staying within your prescribed weight gain? Then build a prenatal meal plan around fresh, lean food choices, says Dr. Meredith Watson-Locklear, an OB-GYN with Orlando Health Physician Associates.
Start off right by shunning pregnancys biggest food fallacy that you can consume twice as much because you are eating for two.
No, no, no, says Dr. Watson-Locklear. Yes, its true youre eating for yourself and a growing baby, but that baby is the size of a pea in the first trimester. If you were REALLY eating for two, you would weigh what two adults weigh. But youre eating for someone who, at birth, will weigh about eight pounds. Dont use pregnancy as an excuse to eat everything you want.
Instead, create a nine-month meal plan designed with your babys needs in mind. Opt for fresh, whole foods while bypassing those packed with empty calories or ingredients with possible parasites, food-borne illnesses or toxins.
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Gestational Diabetes And Low Blood Sugar During Pregnancy
As well we know, gestational diabetes is a term used to call diabetes that only develops and occurs during pregnancy. In other words, this kind of diabetes will go away on its own after childbirth .
While some women with gestational diabetes dont need to take insulin replacement to help their blood glucose control, others do.
The decision of whether or not you should take insulin during pregnancy is closely dependent on how well you can control your blood glucose level. If it increases significantly , you may be asked to take insulin therapy. For more guidance about this issue, ask your doctor!
Placenta tends to produce more pregnancy hormones as the pregnancy progresses. And this can bring a greater effect for the performance of insulin produced by placenta in regulating the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.
In some pregnant women, the insulin sensitivity or the quantity of insulin produced by pancreas is not enough to control their blood sugar level as their pregnancy progresses. As a result, they may develop gestational diabetes!
To respond this situation, doctor may prescribe some glucose-lowering drugs or insulin replacement to help cope with the problem. The prescribed insulin dosage is usually based on the blood glucose log of each patient.
Here are some checklists to remember when youre going with your insulin therapy:
When To Call A Healthcare Provider
- You are sick and can’t get your blood sugar under control
- Vomiting or diarrhea for more than six hours
- High blood sugar level that stays higher than the level your practitioner has set for you
- Low blood sugar level that stays lower than the level your healthcare provider has set for you
Symptoms of low blood sugar, including:
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Eat A Healthy Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy diet is an important part of a treatment plan for gestational diabetes. A healthy diet includes a balance of foods from all the food groups, giving you the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need for a healthy pregnancy. For women with gestational diabetes, eating a balanced diet also helps to keep blood sugar levels in the healthy target range. Following a meal plan and eating a healthy diet is a key part of managing gestational diabetes. It is essential that you work with your health care provider to create a plan for your healthy diet. The information in this booklet is for women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. These guidelines are not appropriate for all pregnant women.
Balancing your diet
- All foods contain some combination of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Fat and protein affect your blood glucose over many hours, but carbohydrate affects it much faster. For this reason, you will need to regulate your intake of foods that are rich in carbohydrate . Your healthcare provider will show you how and your meal plan will help you stay on track.
- It is important to make healthy food choices. Nutritious foods support your babys growth and development, help control your gestational diabetes, and keep you feeling well.
- Controlling your gestational diabetes requires controlling the pattern of your eating. Your meal plan gives you targets for when to eat and how much to eat.
Steps to get started
About High And Low Blood Sugar
High blood sugar High blood sugar may result if there is too much sugar in your blood. To maintain a healthy pregnancy, blood sugars must be kept in a range between 60-120 mg/dl. Keeping your blood sugars within normal limits will help you prevent problems for you and your unborn baby.
How will I feel if my blood sugars are high?Signs and symptoms:
- Urinating often
If your blood sugar is not treated, you may get very sick with signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis. Signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis are similar to high blood sugar. These signs and symptoms are: feeling extremely thirsty, a need to empty your bladder often, dry skin, hunger, blurred vision, feeling drowsy and wounds that heal slowly. There is an increased risk of fetal loss with ketoacidosis and your baby end up with a lower IQ after birth.
Please notify your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
Low blood sugar Low blood sugar may result if you are taking medication to treat diabetes such as insulin if you forget to eat or exercise before eating or exercise more than usual.
How can I get low blood sugar?Causes:
- Not enough food or snack
- Skipping meals or snacks
How will I feel when I have low blood sugar?Signs and symptoms:
- Numbness or tingling around the mouth
What should I do if my blood sugar might be low?
The following foods have about 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates:
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How Is Gestational Diabetes Treated
Fortunately, you can ward off the potential risks associated with diabetes in pregnancy by monitoring your blood sugar levels.
If youre diagnosed with GDM, doctors and researchers recommend the following:
- Monitor your blood sugar level several times a day. Check first thing in the morning to get your fasting rate and then an hour after you eat each meal to make sure your blood sugar stays in a healthy range . Most doctors recommend buying a diabetes kit, which includes needles to prick your finger and a little machine that reads your blood sugar. Its the most accurate way to tell how your body is processing various foods.
- Meet with a registered dietitian. He or she can help you review healthy food options and make a meal plan. Many women stick to their gestational diabetes eating style long after birth because it’s rich in nutrients and designed to keep your blood sugar stable.
- Keep a food log. After each meal, write down what you ate along with your blood glucose number. This helps you to better understand which foods are spiking your glucose levels so you can make adjustments going forward.
- Get moving. Go for a walk or take the stairs after a meal to lower your glucose levels.
Diet and exercise are often enough to control gestational diabetes but if they dont, your doctor may suggest that you take supplementary insulin to control it.
Supplementary insulin can be given in shots or through the oral drug glyburide .
Understand The Glycaemic Index
The gylcaemic index is a measure of how quickly foods containing carbs affect your blood sugar levels after you eat them. Some foods affect sugars levels quickly and so have a high GI, and others take longer to affect blood sugar levels and so have a low GI. To help you manage your blood sugar levels, go for carbs with a lower GI. Youll still need to think about your portion sizes. Its the amount of carbs in the meal that will affect your blood sugar levels the most. And not all low GI foods are healthy, so make sure you read food labels and make a healthy choice.
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What Causes Hypoglycemia During Pregnancy
Hypoglycemia occurs when there is not enough food to balance insulins blood sugar lowering effect and having too much of the hormone insulin in the blood.
Hypoglycemia 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. It rarely occurs in pregnant women without diabetes
If you are diabetic: A low blood sugar condition can happen while pregnant especially if you have developed gestational diabetes or already have diabetes before pregnancy.
Now you may ask how diabetes, i.e., a high sugar level, can be a cause of low blood sugar level problems!!
The medications you use to control gestational diabetes is the culprit here. If you are taking medicines like Insulin or a type of diabetes pill such as Glyburide, the production of insulin in the body increases. More Insulin hormone means more consumption of blood sugar which can lead to depletion of sugar in our bloodstream causing hypoglycemia.
This is one reason why those with gestational diabetics are more likely to get hypoglycemia.
Non-diabetic hypoglycemia: Any pregnant women can experience low blood sugar levels during pregnancy irrespective of whether they have being diagnosed with gestational diabetes or not.
You can also have low blood sugar during pregnancy
- If you delay or skip a meal
- Eat too little
- Rapid heartbeat
- Clumsy or jerky movements
How can Hypoglycemia affect the growing fetus?
What Is Hypoglycemia In Newborns How To Treat
Babies can also develop hypoglycemia shortly after birth.
In the first few hours after birth, it may happen that the newborns blood sugar is low as the baby is separated from the supply of glucose which the baby was receiving from the placenta. However, few newborns whose mothers had diabetes during pregnancy may be unable to cope with low blood sugar. And so hypoglycemia can occur in newborns, which can be treated quickly in most cases.
A blood test will be done to find out the newborns sugar levels. Frequent feedings should be given to the newborn if the baby is hypoglycemic. Breastfeeding as soon as possible after delivery is the best way to treat hypoglycemia in newborns. Take your pediatricians help for further care and treatment of your newborn.
It is very important to know about low blood sugar condition that can happen during pregnancy so as to take care of yourself as well as others who happen to have low blood sugar.
Know the symptoms to stop hypoglycemia from worsening by treating it at the right time.
Stick to proper diet and exercise to prevent hypoglycemia. If you are diabetic understand that your chances of getting hypoglycemia is high and so always carry sugary snacks or your doctor prescribed glucagon kit with you.
Low blood sugar during pregnancy is nothing to worry about if treated properly.
Hope you find this article useful. Please share in your comments.
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Causes And Risk Factors
When a person notices symptoms of hypoglycemia during pregnancy, they should talk to their doctor to find out the exact cause. Two types of hypoglycemia can occur during pregnancy:
- Reactive hypoglycemia. This form of hypoglycemia happens when blood sugar levels drop within a few hours of a meal. This is common in people with diabetes but can also occur in those without the condition.
- Fasting hypoglycemia. This occurs when the blood sugar drops dangerously low between meals. This form is more likely in a person with a medical condition other than diabetes.
The causes of low blood sugar during pregnancy include:
What Is Considered Low Blood Sugar During Pregnancy
Either hyperglycemia too high or hypoglycemia too low blood sugar during pregnancy is dangerous both for mother and her baby. If left untreated, both conditions can be harmful and increase the risk of some pregnancy complications.
Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are more likely to occur in pregnant women with gestational diabetes or women who already have diabetes before pregnancy. Even sometimes both conditions also can occur in pregnant women without diabetes or gestational diabetes.
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Testing For Gestational Diabetes
Its important to be tested for gestational diabetes so you can begin treatment to protect your health and your babys health.
Gestational diabetes usually develops around the 24th week of pregnancy, so youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks.
If youre at higher risk for gestational diabetes, your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia During Pregnancy
Low blood glucose levels in the body manifest themselves through several symptoms such as :
- Extreme Weakness
- Shakiness experienced in different body parts
- Blurred visions
- A persistent feeling of tiredness and extreme exhaustion at times
- Frequent mood swings and flushes of anger
- Confusion while thinking
- Frequent feeling of nausea and vomiting
In case of a drastic fall in blood sugar levels, many women also suffer from convulsions and seizures and become unconscious or faint.
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Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels While Pregnant
It is important to monitor your blood glucose levels at home to check that management of gestational diabetes is keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range. Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator can show you how to check your blood glucose levels and help you understand your blood glucose patterns. This is to ensure appropriate treatment can be administered and changed as necessary.
Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator will advise you on recommended blood glucose target levels and testing times.
If your blood glucose levels cannot be managed by healthy eating and physical activity alone, your doctor may suggest medication. Most diabetes tablets are not suitable for use during pregnancy, but insulin injections and/or a medication called metformin may be required to help manage your gestational diabetes.
Learn more about Blood Glucose Monitoring.
Gestational Diabetes And Your Diet
Making changes to your diet will help you manage your glucose levels and your weight, which will reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. You should be referred to a diabetes specialist dietitian who can give you advice about your diet and how to plan healthy meals.
Theres a lot of information out there about eating well. Try not to get overwhelmed because making a few simple changes can go a long way. The most important thing is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
When you start making changes, its important to remember what foods to avoid during pregnancy, including some types of fish and cheese.
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Apple Cider Vinegar For Gestational Diabetes
During this time, I listened to another moms story where she mentioned that for whatever reason taking 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar before bed helped to lower her morning fasting blood sugar.
Through additional research, I learned that apple cider did help some women with gestational diabetes. It is acetic acid that helps to lower fasting blood sugar.
This information got me thinking about my gallbladder, as apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy to support the gallbladder and may help dissolve gallstones.
At the 29 week mark, I also noticed tenderness under my right rib, where the liver and gallbladder are located. At first, I thought that the baby had its foot wedged up under my ribcage as that is what it felt like.
Then I thought maybe my gallbladder was struggling and a bit inflamed, which is common during pregnancy. Thick sludgy bile can cause low bile flow, a fatty liver, and insulin resistance, which may be an underlying cause of my gestational diabetes and slightly elevated fasting blood sugar.
Apple cider vinegar is amazing for fatty liver, and fatty liver is an underlying cause of insulin resistance. This beet and apple salad with apple cider vinegar is one of the best insulin resistance recipes for the liver and gallbladder.
Beets are a phenomenal superfood to support a sluggish gallbladder, so I decided to make this beet and apple salad with apple cider vinegar to cleanse the gallbladder with foods.