Low Blood Sugar During Pregnancy
Low blood sugar also known as hypoglycemia is when the blood sugar level drops too low. This condition is more likely to occur if you treat diabetes with insulin rather from diet and metformin.
There can be some fluctuations in blood sugar during pregnancy despite our best efforts to maintain it. If you are having problems maintaining blood sugar during pregnancy, it is important to discuss this with your doctor.
What are the causes of blood sugar during pregnancy ?
Causes of blood sugar during pregnancy include the following :
- Taking too much insulin
- Delaying or missing a meal
- Taking part in an unplanned or strenuous exercise.
- Not eating enough carbohydrates for the insulin injected .
- Drinking too much alcohol or alcohol without food.
However sometimes there is no obvious reason for hypoglycemia.
What are the symptoms low blood sugar ?
Symptoms include the following :
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shaking or trembling
- Feeling anxious or irritable
- Pale skin
- Tingling around the mouth
If you do not take immediate actions to the warning signs, you may develop more serious symptoms such as :
- Slurred speech
- Fit, convulsion or seizures
- Seemed confused, disorderly or irrational
Who is at risk ?
Hypoglycemia can occur at anytime during pregnancy. However certain factors increase the risk.
- Having diabetes
- Being in the first trimester
- Having had hypoglycemic attack before pregnancy
- Being sick
- Being malnourished
Treating and preventing hypoglycemia during pregnancy
If you start feeling symptoms of low blood sugar :
- Find a safe place to lie or sleep. Pull over if you’re driving.
- Eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrates . Simple carb generally have higher sugar content.
- Make your doctor aware of any hypoglycemic episodes you may have.
The key is reducing your risk of hypogycemia in the first place.
- Eat small, frequent well-balanced meals to keep blood sugar level steady.
- You fast during sleep. It is therefore important to keep a snack by your bed so that you can eat when you wake up at night or first thing in the morning.
- Exercise unless your doctor has advised against it but do not exceed your normal level. The effects of excessive exercise on your blood sugar can last for up to 24 hours.
What complications are associated with hypoglycemia during pregnancy ?
An occasional low blood sugar episode is not a problem. However frequent episodes can cause problems. The brain needs glucose to receive messages from the body and interpret them.
In severe cases , in women with diabetes, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, coma or even death. Your baby may also experience the same complications if they’re born with hypoglycemia or develop it soon after birth.
Hypoglycemia and pregnancy. Tommy’s. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/pregnancy-complications/type-1-or-2-diabetes-and-pregnancy/treatment-type-1-or-2-diabetes-pregnancy/using-insulin-pregnancy-type-1/2-diabetes/hypoglycaemia-and-pregnancy. Accessed August 3rd, 2018
About Low Blood Sugar During Pregnancy. Livestrong. https://www.livestrong.com/article/234748-about-low-blood-sugar-during-pregnancy/. Accessed August 3rd, 2018