Causes Of Low Sugar During Pregnancy
Mild fluctuations in sugar levels during the pregnancy is normal, but if there is a persistent decrease in sugar level known as hypoglycemia, then several precautions are required. The causes that result in hypoglycemia should be avoided in the first place.
There is an underlying cause of diabetes in pregnant women in case of hypoglycemia.Thus, women who are not diabetic before usually do not face this issue. However, women suffering from it find it difficult to concentrate or could faint also.
Random variation in blood sugar during pregnancy is often observed, as both pregnancy and diabetes cause the insulin fluctuation. It is recommended by health experts to avoid too much or too little sugar. It is mandatory for all ladies to go for blood sugar tests even if they are not in the high risk case.
Hypoglycemia in pregnancy without diabetes is rare. The following types of diabetes puts the pregnant lady under high hypoglycemia risk:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes- hypoglycemia after gestational diabetes
Consuming a nutrient-rich diet can prevent, cure and maintain normal blood sugar levels. It is very important to know what you are eating and how much you are eating, if you are planning, expecting or have just delivered a baby. To understand the quality and quantity of your diet, consulting a personal diet coach is recommended. Simple habit changes can help you reverse diabetes for life.
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Risk Factors For Developing Diabetes During Pregnancy
There is an increased risk of diabetes during pregnancy if:
- The woman is overweight
- There is a family history of diabetes
- The woman is from an ethnic minority
- There is previous history of the birth of a large baby
There is a routine antenatal test used to measure glucose levels in urine however it has been noted it is relatively unreliable for diagnosing diabetes.
Therefore blood sugar levels are checked between 26 and 30 weeks of gestation. This is done of two separate occasions using one of two tests, either the fasting glucose test or the random glucose test. In addition to this if there are any abnormal results of these tests or there is a family history of diabetes, or a woman is regarded as obese she will be offered a glucose tolerance test.
Often with gestational diabetes, the woman is advised to take a number of steps to change their diet and exercise habits to ensure the best possible pregnancy.
It is reportedly advisable to increase participation in low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates. In addition to this it is advisable to eat regular meals watching the amount of fat being eaten, remembering it is controlling the amount of fat not cutting it out of the diet completely.
Also reducing the amount of salt in the diet and ensuring that plenty of fruit and vegetables are included in the diet.
Low Blood Sugar During Pregnancy
Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question,, Are these unpleasant symptoms caused by low blood sugar? I am 28 weeks pregnant. For the past couple weeks I have been experiencing dizziness right around lunchtime. In fact, recently I was so dizzy a few times that my hands were shaking. A concerned coworker said it must be low blood sugar. Is this the case, and if so, what can I do to combat it? Answer This is one of the most common complaints I receive from patients. Pregnancy affects the way sugar is processed in our bodies, and low blood sugar is something that happens to many women. The symptoms include light-headedness and shaking in the extremities. I recommend frequent, light meals. You may benefit from a midmorning and midafternoon snack. Be sure to eat a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables and fruit. The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child’s condition.Continue reading > >
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Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors
Youâre more likely to get gestational diabetes if you:
- Were overweight before you got pregnant
- Are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Native American
- Have blood sugar levels that are higher than they should be but not high enough to be diabetes
- Have a family member with diabetes
- Have had gestational diabetes before
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome or another health condition linked to problems with insulin
Who Is More Prone To Hypoglycemia
Pregnant women who are most prone to hypoglycemia in the following conditions:
- A pregnant woman is more prone to hypoglycemia during the end of the first trimester, especially between 8 and 16 weeks of pregnancy.
- If you frequently fall sick during pregnancy, it can lead to hypoglycemia.
- A history of low blood sugar or hypoglycemic attacks can also lead to hypoglycemia.
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Management: Healthy Behaviour Interventions
Weight gain. The 2009 IOM guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy were developed for a healthy population and little is known regarding optimal weight gain in women with GDM. Retrospective cohort studies of GDM pregnancies show that only 31.7% to 42% had GWG within IOM guidelines. Those gaining more than the IOM recommendations had an increased risk of preeclampsia , caesarean deliveries , macrosomia , LGA and GDM requiring pharmacological agents . Modification of IOM criteria, including more restrictive targets of weight gain, did not improve perinatal outcomes of interest . A large population-based study including women with GDM, concluded that while pre-pregnancy BMI, GDM and excessive GWG are all associated with LGA, preventing excessive GWG has the greatest potential of reducing LGA risk . These researchers suggest that, in contrast to obesity and GDM prevention, preventing excessive GWG may be a more viable option as women are closely followed in pregnancy.
Further studies are needed to develop weight gain guidelines for GDM patients and to determine whether weight gain less than the IOM guidelines or weight loss in pregnancy is safe. Until this data are available, women with GDM should be encouraged to gain weight as per the IOM guidelines for the BMI category to reduce adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes and postpartum weight retention.
Treat Low Blood Sugar Early
Treat low blood sugar levels as soon as the symptoms are noticed, whether by you or by someone else.
- Check your blood sugar often.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions for dealing with low blood sugar when your blood sugar level is below 4.0 mmol/L.
- Keep track of your symptoms and how you treated them in a low blood sugar level record .
- Talk with your doctor if you have low blood sugar. If you are taking insulin, your dose may need to be adjusted.
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Monogenic Diabetes In Pregnancy
Since pregnancy may be the first time in their lives that women undergo glucose screening, monogenic diabetes may be picked up for the first time in pregnancy. Monogenic diabetes first diagnosed in pregnancy should be suspected in the women with GDM who lack risk factors for GDM and type 1 diabetes and have no autoantibodies . A detailed family history can be very helpful in determining the likely type of monogenic diabetes. This is important because the type of monogenic diabetes influences fetal risks and management considerations. The most common forms of monogenic diabetes in Canada are maturity onset diabetes of the young 2 or MODY 3 . A history of family members with longstanding isolated elevated FBG with mild A1C elevations that do not progress to frank diabetes over a long duration is suggestive of MODY 2. During pregnancy, the usual phenotype for MODY 2 of isolated elevated FBG is not always seen, even though this phenotype may be present outside of pregnancy in the same woman . Fetal carriers of GCK mutations do not usually have macrosomia. Fetuses without the GCK mutation of mothers with GCK mutation are at increased risk of macrosomia. The best way to manage women with GCK mutation during pregnancy has yet to be established, but regular fetal growth assessment can aid in the establishment of appropriate glucose targets during pregnancy for women with documented or strongly suspected GCK mutations.
What Are The Symptoms
As so much changes in a womans body during pregnancy, it can be hard to tell the difference between those that are a normal sign of growing a baby and those that should be of concern. You need to make sure you are taking good care of yourself from the start of your pregnancy right through to the third trimester, and whilst this might mean taking mid-afternoon naps or reducing strenuous activity, it also means taking care to notice any symptoms that could indicate hypoglycemia.
Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
There are a number of indications of hypoglycemia and whilst some can be similar to those normally experienced during pregnancy, there are others that can indicate you may need additional support and care throughout the rest of your pregnancy to reduce the risk of feeling unwell or further complications. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
Tingling around the mouth.
Trouble thinking clearly.
To avoid hypoglycemia and, therefore, the above ailments, you should try to keep your blood sugar level consistent. Eating little and often can help with this, as can making sure that your meals include a balance of protein, carbohydrate, dairy, and fats. If you experience any of the aforementioned signs, you should find they disappear once your glucose levels are raised. If after eating, you do not find that they ease, then contact your doctor for advice.
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Possible Complications For The Baby
Unlike type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes generally occurs too late to cause birth defects. Birth defects usually originate sometime during the first trimester of pregnancy. The insulin resistance from the contra-insulin hormones produced by the placenta does not usually occur until approximately the 24th week. Women with gestational diabetes mellitus generally have normal blood sugar levels during the critical first trimester.
The complications of GDM are usually manageable and preventable. The key to prevention is careful control of blood sugar levels just as soon as the diagnosis of diabetes is made.
Infants of mothers with gestational diabetes are vulnerable to several chemical imbalances, such as low serum calcium and low serum magnesium levels, but, in general, there are two major problems of gestational diabetes: macrosomia and hypoglycemia:
Blood glucose is monitored very closely during labor. Insulin may be given to keep the mother’s blood sugar in a normal range to prevent the baby’s blood sugar from dropping excessively after delivery.
Hypoglycemic Pregnancy: How To Spot The Symptoms
Pregnancy is an amazing thing but that doesnt mean that there arent plenty of changes to your body such as extra stretch marks, swollen feet, and backache, all of which take time to adjust to.
Whilst you are busy growing a baby and watching your tummy get larger, one thing that may not be so noticeable is changes in your blood sugar levels. Throughout pregnancy, the placenta produces extra glucose to support fetal growth but as a result, your body makes more insulin to help control blood glucose levels.
Simultaneously, hormone changes within the body can cause your body to reduce its response to insulin. This is a natural process known as insulin resistance and it ensures that adequate amounts of glucose are being passed to your baby from your bloodstream.
When there isnt enough insulin to move glucose out of your blood, it can cause your blood glucose levels to rise. This can lead to two different conditions, both of which are common during pregnancy: high blood sugar and gestational diabetes.
What isnt so common and so well known, however, is the opposite of high blood sugar and that is hypoglycemia. In this article, we explain what the condition is, how it is caused, the symptoms to be on the lookout for and how it can be treated.
For more parenting and pregnancy advice, why not take a look at how to get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy or our guide to working while pregnant?
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Risks And Possible Complications
There are numerous risks when gestational diabetes is not properly controlled and blood glucose levels remain high.
For the mother:
- Excess amniotic fluid, increases the risk of premature birth
- Risk of caesarean section or a more difficult vaginal birth
- Gestational hypertension or preeclampsia
- Higher risk of staying diabetic after the birth or of developing type 2 diabetes in the future .
For the baby:
- Bigger than normal at birth
- Hypoglycemia at birth
- Risk of the babys shoulders getting stuck in the birth canal during the birth
- Risk of obesity and glucose intolerance in early adulthood
Slight risk of:
- Jaundice, especially if the baby is premature
- Lack of calcium in the blood
- Breathing problems
Proper diabetes control considerably reduces the risks of complications.
Understanding The Connection Between Low Blood Sugar And Pregnancy
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If you are pregnant and experiencing frequent lightheadedness, dizziness or even fatigue, chances are that you have contemplated whether or not your blood sugar levels are healthy.
Pregnant women can experience low blood sugar levels during their pregnancy.
However, high blood sugar also referred to as hyperglycemia, is considered to be much more common.
According to WebMD, Low blood sugar during pregnancy is a common sign of a condition known as gestational diabetes and can result in an array of alarming symptoms.
Learn more about this condition as well as ways to reduce your symptoms below.
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Will Blood Sugar Levels Stabilize After Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes and general low blood sugar typically resolve itself shortly after giving birth.
Many women report healthy levels in as little as a few levels after delivering a baby.
However, you should be prepared to wait some time for your body to stabilize and hormone levels to go back to normal before worrying too much about it.
In some cases, a woman may continue to experience low blood sugar for several weeks following giving birth.
If this is the case for you, stay calm. During this time, continue your healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices to aid the process of stabilizing your blood sugar.
Long lasting low blood sugar after pregnancy can contribute to the development of type two diabetes.
If you feel like your blood sugar levels are abnormal or if they have persisted for more than a month following childbirth, you should make an appointment with your physician to get tested for this disease.
Untreated diabetes can take a toll on your health and lead to serious health complications such as the following:
- Organ damage, especially to the kidneys and liver
How Does The Screening Work
Your doctor will ask you to take a test called the oral glucose tolerance test. Heres what happens:
When youre screened early, if that screening is normal, you should get screened again around 24 to 28 weeks when insulin resistance from the placental hormones is at its peak, he says.
The placenta is the organ that connects you to your baby to nourish it as it grows. Some hormones that the placenta makes work against the action of the insulin your body makes. As the placenta grows, so does this insulin resistance. In some people, this change is enough to cause the blood sugar level to be increased as it is in people with diabetes.
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What Number Is Considered Low Blood Sugar During Pregnancy
If you have diabetes before pregnancy or develop gestational diabetes, check your blood glucose at certain times throughout the day! This is important to keep monitoring the fluctuation as your pregnancy progresses.
Monitoring your blood glucose is also very useful to make sure that you are on the right line with your appropriate eating and exercise patterns. This is also helpful for the signal of when you should call /see your doctor, especially true when you mistakenly take the medication in wrong way.
If you have gestational diabetes, your normal blood sugar targets should be:
Gestational Diabetes Tests And Diagnosis
Gestational diabetes usually happens in the second half of pregnancy. Your doctor will check for it between weeks 24 and 28, or sooner if you’re at high risk.
Your doctor will give you a glucose tolerance test: Youâll drink 50 grams of glucose in a sweet drink, which will raise your blood sugar. An hour later, youâll take a blood glucose test to see how your body handled all that sugar. If the results show that your blood sugar is higher than a certain level, youâll need a 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test, meaning youâll get a blood glucose test 3 hours after you drink a 100-gram glucose drink. Your doctor can also test you by having you fast for 12 hours, then giving you a 75-gram glucose drink and a 2-hour blood glucose test.
If youâre at high risk but your test results are normal, your doctor might test you again later in your pregnancy to make sure you still donât have it.
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