How Will Pregnancy Affect My Blood Sugar Levels
Now that you’re pregnant, it might seem that every part of your body is changing in some way. And you’re probably right. However, one change you might not notice is a fluctuating blood sugar level.
Throughout your pregnancy, your body changes how it produces and uses insulin, a hormone that helps the sugar in the foods you eat enter your cells so it can be used as fuel.1
Normal changes in this process will make your blood sugar level go up and down, while still ensuring that your baby gets the right nutrition to grow properly. But a blood sugar level going too high or too low can cause problems for both of you.
Changes start early and continue throughout pregnancy
In the first trimester, your body uses insulin more effectively, so blood sugar levels are lower than normal because both the placenta and the baby use glucose to grow.1
During the second and third trimesters, other important changes start to occur. Hormones produced by the placenta begin to cause insulin resistance, which means insulin isnt as effective at getting sugar into your cells.1
This makes your blood sugar level rise after a meal, and while that does provide your developing baby with a steady supply of fuel and nutrients, this change can sometimes cause an expecting mother to become diabetic called gestational diabetes.2
How does diabetes affect pregnancy?
If the results of this one-hour test are between 140 mg/dL and 190 mg/dL, then you will need to have a three-hour oral glucose tolerance test.
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.
Can You Drink Lemon Water While Fasting
Is lemon water safe to drink while fasting? In strict terms, consuming any number of calories will break a fast. That said, human metabolism is complex and doesnt operate like an on-and-off switch . In reality, drinking plain lemon water, which contains minimal calories, is unlikely to affect your fast.
Am I Predisposed To Develop Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is high blood pressure that occurs exclusively in pregnancy. Therefore, even if your chronic high blood pressure is under control before you are pregnant, you may later develop preeclampsia, as well. If you have chronic hypertension, you are more likely to develop preeclampsia, but it does not necessarily mean you will. Also, should you develop preeclampsia, your doctor may recommend inducing labor before your due date to prevent further pregnancy complications. If the preeclampsia is severe, your doctor may recommend a cesarean birth.
What Are The Risk Factors
Your doctor likely will talk to you about several risk factors during your early checkups. Dr. Chapa says you are more likely to get gestational diabetes if:
- You are overweight, with a body mass index over 30.
- You are over age 35.
- You had a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds.
- Your blood sugar levels are high in the urine or blood.
- Your family has a history of type 2 diabetes.
- You had gestational diabetes before.
- Women who have a few of these factors often get an early screening.
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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.
Urgent Advice: Contact Your Diabetes Team Straight Away If:
- you find out you’re pregnant
You’ll need to make an urgent appointment.
Keeping your blood glucose levels stable can be more difficult in early pregnancy as your hormones change, especially if you have morning sickness. Low blood sugars can happen more easily. It is important to check your blood glucose often. Carry hypo treatment with you in case your blood glucose goes too low.
You’ll have extra appointments with your maternity and diabetes teams when you’re pregnant. This usually means check-ups every 2 weeks, as well as extra tests and scans.
You can have a normal birth, but it’s recommended you have your baby in hospital. You might be advised to have your labour started early .
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Can Low Blood Sugar Be Fatal
While considered to be extremely rare, untreated low blood sugar can lead to fatality. Low blood sugar can cause dizziness, fatigue and even fainting spells.
This, in turn, can lead to an accidental fall or serious injury that can harm the mother and embryo or fetus she is carrying.
Seriously low blood sugar may also cause loss of consciousness completely and significant brain damage.
The only way to avoid these potential effects is to manage your blood sugar appropriately and seek help if you need it. Never ignore symptoms as they can lead to more serious complications later on.
How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed
Your doctor, most likely your obstetrician/gynecologist, but also your primary care practitioner, will likely review your risk level and discuss any risk factors you might have with you this is part of routine screening for gestational diabetes.
If the doctor feels you are at high risk of developing gestational diabetes, s/he will probably check your blood glucose level early in the pregnancysometimes as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. If you/’re blood sugar levels are in the normal range, you can expect the doctor to recheck your blood glucose levels again in the second trimesteraround 24 to 28 weeks.
To diagnose gestational diabetes, your doctor will have you do an oral glucose tolerance test , or glucose challenge. S/he will give you instructions on how to prepare for the test, but you wont be able to eat anything for 8 hours before the test youll be fasting. This test is often done in the morning after an overnight fast.
On the day of the test, the doctor will test your blood glucose level at the beginning of the appointment thats called your fasting blood glucose level.
Then, youll drink 75 g of a very sugary mixture. Every hour over the course of two hours, your blood glucose level will be measured.
The American Diabetes Association has set the following above-normal levels:¹
Fasting: at or above 92 mg/dL
1 Hour: at or above 180 mg/dL
2 Hour: at or above 153 mg/dL
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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:
- Nerve damage
- Organ damage, especially to the kidneys and liver
- Loss of vision
What Is Considered High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
A blood pressure that is greater than 130/90 mm Hg or that is 15 degrees higher on the top number from where you started before pregnancy may be cause for concern.
High blood pressure during pregnancy is defined as 140 mm Hg or higher systolic, with diastolic 90 mm Hg or higher.
Early in pregnancy, usually from 5 weeks to the middle of the second trimester, a pregnant womans blood pressure may actually decrease. This is because pregnancy hormones can stimulate blood vessels to widen. As a result, the resistance to blood flow isnt as high.
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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:
What Are Treatment Options For High Blood Pressure
Treating high blood pressure may include a combined approach of dietary changes, medication and exercise. The goal is to lower your blood pressure and thus lower your risk of developing health problems caused by high blood pressure.
If your blood pressure is between 120/80 mm Hg and 130/80 mm Hg, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like losing weight or quitting smoking to help bring blood pressure down to a normal range. Medication is rarely used at this stage.
Stage I hypertension
If your blood pressure is above 130/80 mmHg but below 140/90 mmHg, your doctor may prescribe a blood pressure medication in addition to recommending lifestyle changes.
Stage II hypertension
If your blood pressure is above 140/90 mmHg, your doctor may start you on more rigorous medications and recommend stricter lifestyle changes. Medications may include:
Possible side effects
When youre pregnant, its common to have high blood pressure. Up to 8% of pregnant women in the U.S. have high blood pressure, usually during their first pregnancies. If you first develop it when youre expecting, its called gestational hypertension or pregnancy-induced hypertension .
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Is Rice Good For Diabetes
People with diabetes can include rice as part of a healthful diet, but they should: Eat rice in moderation, and be mindful that 1 cup of rice contains 45 g of carbs. Spread their intake of rice and other carbs evenly throughout the day. Choose a variety of rice that is low in carbs and has a low GI score.
Importance Of Being Physically Active
Physical activity helps control diabetes during pregnancy and has numerous health benefits for pregnant women.
It is recommended that most pregnant women do a total of 150 minutes of physical activity per week, ideally in at least 3 to 5 sessions of 30 to 45 minutes each. If you werent active before your pregnancy, start gradually.
Safe cardiovascular activities during pregnancy include:
- cross-country skiing
Consult your doctor before starting these activities and avoid physical activities where you risk falling, losing your balance or have sudden changes in direction .
Stay well hydrated before, during and after exercise, in addition to having with you at all times your blood glucose meter and a source of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates in case of hypoglycemia.
Before engaging in physical activity, your insulin dosage may have to be reduced to limit the risk of hypoglycemia. Your medical team will help you adjust your dosage as required.
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Is It Safer To Deliver A Baby Immediately Or Wait If The Mother Has High Blood Pressure After 34 Weeks Of Pregnancy That Is Not Persistently Severe
What is the issue?
Women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy or who develop pre-eclampsia can develop serious complications. Potential complications for the mother are worsening of pre-eclampsia, development of seizures and eclampsia, HELLP syndrome , detachment of the placenta, liver failure, renal failure, and difficulty breathing because of fluid in the lungs.
Delivering the baby usually stops the mothers high blood pressure from getting worse, but a baby who is born prematurely may have other health problems, such as difficulty breathing, because the lungs are still immature. Induction of labour can lead to overstimulation of contractions and fetal distress. The alternative is waiting to deliver the baby while closely monitoring both the mother and her baby.
Why is this important?
As there are both benefits and risks to planned early delivery compared with waiting when the mother has high blood pressure toward the end of pregnancy, we wanted to know which is the safest option. We looked for clinical trials that compared planned early delivery, by induction of labour or by caesarean section, with a policy of delayed delivery of the baby.
What evidence did we find?
No studies attempted to blind the women or their clinicians to which group they were in. Women and staff were aware of the intervention and this may have affected aspects of care and decision-making. Most of the evidence was of moderate quality, so we can be moderately certain about the findings.
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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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