What to do when your blood sugar is low during pregnancy
If you have diabetes , you probably know the warning signs of low blood sugar , or hypoglycemia. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant.
It's the epinephrine that causes the jittery "fight-or-flight" symptoms associated with hypoglycemia. But frequent episodes of low blood sugar dampen epinephrine, so warning signs are blunted or diminished. Frequently, it's another person who is familiar with diabetes who spots hypoglycemia. They may notice that a spouse or coworker is confused and urge that individual to check his or her blood sugar. But the person with diabetes may shrug off the suggestion.
Experienced spouses or co-workers know to press and offer a glass of orange juice or soda to a person who appears hypoglycemic, Buse says. People with diabetes before their pregnancy will be advised to keep excellent control of their blood sugar before and throughout the pregnancy. The first eight weeks of the pregnancy are a critical period and so it is highly recommended that strong control is achieved prior to becoming pregnant wherever possible.
Mothers who develop gestational diabetes will be treated initially with diet and exercise but may be put onto oral hypoglycaemics tablets or insulin injections if blood sugar levels remain high. To help you to meet the challenging blood glucose targets, you will be expected to test your blood glucose before each meal and 1 hour after eating. People taking insulin for their diabetes will also need to test before bed each night.
You will have blood tests performed at various intervals during your pregnancy to check your diabetes is under good control. Diabetes can be present before pregnancy or may develop during pregnancy itself. If you develop diabetes during pregnancy, in most cases this will be a specific type of diabetes known as gestational diabetes.
Blood sugar levels are important for all mothers to be with diabetes —as well controlled blood glucose levels can significantly increase the likelihood of having a healthy baby. If you have diabetes prior to your pregnancy, the NHS advises achieving the target HbA1c before conceiving.
The target HbA1c target may require dedication to reach, but its important that you strive to achieve it. You might find that, Regular blood glucose testing, including before each meal and 1 hour after will help you to keep your blood glucose levels under control.Hypoglycemia: How Low Can You Go?
If blood glucose levels are higher than recommended, you may need to change your medication regime to help lower your sugar levels Your health team will provide you with advice for managing your blood glucose levels throughout your pregnancy. Sometimes, The emphasis on achieving tight blood glucose control may bring on hypoglycemia, particularly amongst those using insulin. Your health team should ensure you know how best to spot and treat hypoglycemia.
You should expect to receive a high standard of care from your health team throughout your pregnancy and should have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about achieving your health targets. There have been reports that diabetes during pregnancy brings increased chances of having a bigger babies and birth defects. In addition to this if a woman has diabetes before pregnancy, diabetes related complications can worsen; this includes things like hypertension, kidney disease, nerve damage and retinopathy which is a form of diabetic eye disease.
Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy
The baby of a woman with diabetes often produces excess insulin in response to high blood glucose levels within the body of the mother. In type 1 diabetes no significant extra insulin will be produced by your body so you may see your insulin requirements increased. Your health team should be able to advise with the best way to manage your diabetes.
At birth the baby's blood glucose levels may be hypoglycemic ; the blood glucose level is reduced as a result of the removal of the maternal glucose source.
This is detected by a heel stick blood test and can be restored to a normal level with either oral or intravenous glucose. 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.
Diabetes in Pregnancy: Low Blood Sugar
Often gestational diabetes can be controlled through eating healthy foods and regular exercise. Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must also take insulin.
Blood sugar that is not well controlled in a woman with gestational diabetes can lead to problems for the pregnant woman and the baby:. Pregnant women who are experiencing dizziness due to low blood pressure can take steps to minimize the symptoms and promote safety, such as the following:. Of course, it's important to see one's health care professional if dizziness worsens or is associated with other troubling symptoms.
A woman should access emergency care if she experiences dizziness or " fainting " with serious symptoms like bleeding, severe headachevision changes or blurring, chest painshortness of breathand weakness or numbness, particularly on one side of the body. Pregnant women who are experiencing dizziness due to low blood pressure can take steps to minimize the symptoms and promote safety, such as the following: Sitting or lying down if they feel faint, to avoid falls Avoiding standing up too fast from a seated or lying position Lying on the left side, to increase blood flow to the heart Of course, it's important to see one's health care professional if dizziness worsens or is associated with other troubling symptoms.
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Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
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