Target Blood Glucose Levels Before Pregnancy
When youre planning to become pregnant, your daily blood glucose targets may be different than your previous targets. Ask your health care team which targets are right for you.
You can keep track of your blood glucose levels using My Daily Blood Glucose Record. You can also use an electronic blood glucose tracking system on your computer or mobile device. Record the results every time you check your blood glucose. Your blood glucose records can help you and your health care team decide whether your diabetes care plan is working. You also can make notes about your insulin and ketones. Take your tracker with you when you visit your health care team.
Blood Sugar Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factors Log Sheet
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Target Blood Glucose Levels During Pregnancy
Recommended daily target blood glucose numbers for most pregnant women with diabetes are
- Before meals, at bedtime, and overnight: 90 or less
- 1 hour after eating: 130 to 140 or less
- 2 hours after eating: 120 or less3
Ask your doctor what targets are right for you. If you have type 1 diabetes, your targets may be higher so you dont develop low blood glucose, also called hypoglycemia.
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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 .
What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level For A Pregnant Woman
One common myth is that when you are pregnant, you should be eating for two people. The truth is that you should be eating a healthy amount of fruit, vegetables, and meat high is omega-3s. If you up your caloric intake by 300 a day, you will be eating plenty of food for both you and your baby. Along with taking prenatal vitamins, you should also continue you exercise and remain active during your pregnancy. Consult with your doctor for pregnancy approved exercising.Continue reading > >
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Levels After Youve Eaten
Many foods have types of carbohydrates called starches and sugars. When you eat foods with these types of carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is a type of simple sugar, and releases the glucose into your bloodstream. Aside from glucose produced by your liver, food is the main source of plasma glucose.
Two hours after eating, your blood sugar levels rise. They rise more when you eat more carbohydrates, when you do not eat fiber, fat, or protein with your carbs, and when you eat certain types of carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and starches.
These are target values from The Joslin Diabetes Center, which include levels for people with diabetes:
Tips To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
Well, being careful with what you eat is of utmost importance. Here are other tips.
- Eat less but eat right, have more proteins and fewer carbs.
- Eat frequently in little quantities, probably for every 2 hours.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Be physically active.
- Go for regular checkups.
- Keep an eye on your medicines, dont take any drug without prior approval of your doctor.
Follow these steps and you will have the ideal blood sugar level during pregnancy.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.
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High Blood Sugar: Hidden Dangers
In the short term, high blood sugar levels can zap your energy, cause excessive thirst and urination, and blur your vision. High blood sugar levels can also lead to dehydration, dry and itchy skin, and infections. Minimizing the time spent above your target blood sugar range can help you feel your best and will help prevent complications and injury to your body.
Over time, high blood sugar affects many parts of the body. Chronic high blood sugar can start to cause noticeable changes, including:
- Memory problems
- Vision problems like blurriness, diabetic retinopathy, and blindness
- Gum disease that leads to tooth loss, which can make eating healthy foods difficult due to problems chewing
- Heart attack and stroke due to increased plaque build-up in the vessels and other vascular issues
- Kidney disease, which can lead to the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant
- Nerve damage that can cause decreased sensation in the feet and legs which increases the risk for wounds to turn into serious infections and even amputation
Nerve damage from high blood sugar can also cause a variety of symptoms including:
- Pain and tingling in the feet and hands
- Difficulty emptying your bladder
- Problems during the digestion process after eating, which can cause food to sit in the stomach too long and lead to nausea, vomiting, and erratic blood sugar levels
Checking your blood sugar frequently and taking immediate action when it is above range can reduce your risk of complications.
Different Types Of Foods To Avoid With Diabetes Diabetes
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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
- Have given birth to a baby who was stillborn or had certain birth defects
- Are older than 25
Levels In The Morning
The best time to check blood sugar levels in the morning is right when you wake up and before you eat anything. This gives you a glimpse of what may be happening overnight, and it gives you a baseline for the day.
These are goal levels, according to The Joslin Diabetes Center:
- Under 70 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
- 70 to 130 mg/dl if you have diabetes.
The dawn effect can often lead to a high morning measurement in diabetes. This is your bodys tendency to get ready for the day by raising blood sugar by increasing levels of counter-regulatory hormones the ones that counteract insulin as in normal blood sugar. For people with diabetes, you do not have the capacity to counterbalance this rise in blood sugar, so levels can be dangerously high.
Ways to lower your morning blood sugar value include:
- Eating dinner earlier
- Checking your medications making sure you are taking them properly and asking your doctor if they are correct
- Going for a walk after dinner
- Including protein with your dinner
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What Is High Blood Sugar
If your blood sugar levels are chronically higher than normal, then this is referred to as hyperglycaemia. This is a common issue for those suffering from diabetes. The condition can also affect pregnant women who have gestational diabetes and occasionally those who are severely ill .
Some of the symptoms of hyperglycaemia include:
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
- Issues with concentration and/or thinking
If severe hyperglycaemia is left untreated the condition can lead to organ and tissue damage as the excess glucose present in the body can make it difficult for the organs and cells to function correctly. The disorder can also impair the immune system response in the healing of wounds and cuts.
Sugar Level During Pregnancy What’s Normal
The form of diabetes which develops during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. This condition has become predominant in the recent pastaccording to the 2009 article in American Family Physician. For instance, in the United States alone, it affects around 5% to 9% of all the pregnant women. Pregnancy aggravates the preexisting type 2 and type 1 diabetes. During pregnancy the sugar level may tend to be high sometimes, posing problems to the mother and the infant as well. However, concerning the sugar level during pregnancy, what’s normal? Blood sugar control is one of the most essential factors that should be undertaken during pregnancy. When measures are taken to control blood sugar level during pregnancy, it increases chances of a successful pregnancy.
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Different Levels And What They Mean
The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.
The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.
If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.
That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.
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Blood Sugar Level Chart
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = 7099 mg/dl
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = 80130 mg/dl
Two hours after a meal
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = Below 140 mg/dl
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = Below 180 mg/dl
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = Below 5.7%
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = 7% or less
**My Med Memo The measurement mmol is the abbreviation for millimole.
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How The Test Is Performed
During the first step, you will have a glucose screening test:
- You do not need to prepare or change your diet in any way.
- You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose.
- Your blood will be drawn 1 hour after you drink the glucose solution to check your blood glucose level.
If your blood glucose from the first step is too high, you will need to come back for a 3-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test:
- DO NOT eat or drink anything for 8 to 14 hours before your test.
- You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose, 100 grams .
- You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 3 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked.
- Allow at least 3 hours for this test.
You need to go to the lab one time for a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test:
- DO NOT eat or drink anything for 8 to 14 hours before your test.
- You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose .
- You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 2 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked.
- Allow at least 2 hours for this test.
Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy What’s Normal
The average fasting glucose for pregnant women without any diabetes condition range from 69 to 75 and from 105 to 108 immediately one hour after consuming food. If you have preexisting diabetes or you have developedgestational diabetes, the best way to handle the blood sugar level is to ensure that it remains in between the normal range, not going too low or high. According to the recommendations of the 2007, Fifth International Workshop-Conference on Gestational Diabetes, which established blood glucose goals especially for diabetic women, during the period of pregnancy, the fasting blood sugar should not exceed 96. Blood sugar should remain below 140 just one hour after eating and below 120 two hours later.
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How Is Diabetes During Pregnancy Treated
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your age, and your general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment focuses on keeping blood glucose levels in the normal range, and may include:
A careful diet with low amounts of carbohydrate foods and drinks
Oral medicines for hypoglycemia
What Complications Are Associated With Gestational Diabetes
If your gestational diabetes is poorly managed, your blood sugar levels may remain higher than they should be throughout your pregnancy. This can lead to complications and affect the health of your child. For example, when your baby is born, he or she may have:
- a high birth weight
- low blood sugar
- shoulder dystocia, which causes their shoulders to get stuck in the birth canal during labor
They may also be at higher risk of developing diabetes later in life. Thats why its so important to take steps to manage your gestational diabetes by following your doctors recommended treatment plan.
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Target Blood Sugar Ranges For Pregnant People With Diabetes
Blood sugar targets during pregnancy are lower due to hormonal influences. The ADA, AACE, and Joslin Diabetes Center have slightly different guidelines for target blood sugar levels during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women with diabetes will want to follow individual guidelines provided by their endocrinologist.
The ADA recommends maintaining blood sugar levels of 95-140 mg/dL for pregnant women. However, some providers recommend an even tighter goal of blood glucose levels below 89 mg/dL before a meal and below 120 mg/dL after a meal.
To keep close tabs on levels, most diabetes specialists recommend that women with diabetes during pregnancy check their blood sugar:
- First thing in the morning
- Before all meals
Delivery When You Have Gestational Diabetes
When planning for the baby’s arrival, the doctor will access the size of the baby to determine if you can deliver vaginally. If you have been able to keep your blood glucose well- controlled, your baby’s weight is within an appropriate range, you don’t have any other pregnancy concerns such as high blood pressure, and you are not on medication, than your labor should proceed just as it would if you didn’t have gestational diabetes. Of course, your delivery team will monitor your blood sugar throughout.
If your baby is considered too large for you to deliver vaginally than you will likely be induced at weeks 38 or 39. You and your doctor may also decide that a cesarean section may be a better route for delivering the baby. Should blood sugar levels get too high during labor, the baby may release more insulin in response. That increases the risk of the baby developing low blood glucose after birth so a C-section may be considered.
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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