Posts Tagged ‘blood sugar’

Screening for gestational diabetes

Monday, March 26th, 2018

In the United States, 9 out of every 100 women (9 percent) has diabetes. Diabetes is a health condition marked by an increase in blood sugar, also called glucose. People with diabetes need to make sure their blood sugar levels are not too high nor too low.

This is particularly important for women, because preexisting diabetes (type 1 or type2) that’s not under control before pregnancy can lead to serious complications during pregnancy. Some of these complications include preeclampsia, premature birth, and birth defects. So, if you have diabetes, talk to your health care provider about how to best have it under control before trying to get pregnant to help prevent these serious complications.

There is another type of diabetes that only occurs during pregnancy, called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy and goes away after you have your baby. However, developing gestational diabetes can make your more likely to develop diabetes later in life. The good news is that there’s a way to determine if you may have gestational diabetes. Between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy, you get a prenatal test called glucose screening test. If you get a positive result on your glucose screening test, you get another test called glucose tolerance test to see if you have gestational diabetes.

If you have gestational diabetes, here are few things you can do to help you control diabetes during pregnancy:

  • Go to all you prenatal care visits, even if you’re feeling fine.
  • Learn how to control your blood sugar by eating healthy foods and being active every day.
  • If you have to take medicine, take it exactly as your provider tells you to.

Screening for gestational diabetes is a preventive service covered by most health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, at no extra cost to you. Learn more about recommended preventive services that are covered under the Affordable Care Act at Care Women Deserve.

What are hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia?

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Foods we eat are broken down to glucose (blood sugar), which is the body’s main source of energy. Extra glucose is stored in the liver and is released into the blood stream as needed. Insulin is a hormone that helps our cells use energy from glucose.

Hypoglycemia (also called low blood glucose) is when blood glucose levels are too low. When blood glucose levels are low, your body can’t get the energy it needs.

Hyperglycemia (also called high blood glucose) is when your body doesn’t have enough insulin or can’t use insulin correctly. Both of these conditions are common in women with preexisting diabetes.

Hypoglycemia is usually mild and easily treated by eating or drinking something with sugar in it. If it’s not treated, it can cause confusion and severe lightheadedness and you might pass out. Hypoglycemia can be caused by:
• Not eating enough. This may mean you’ve been eating meals or snacks that are too small, or skipping or delaying meals or snacks.
• Taking too much insulin
• Getting too much physical activity

If you have hyperglycemia, you may need to change the amount of insulin you take, your meal plan or the amount of physical activity you get. Signs that you may have hyperglycemia include if you:
• Need to go to urinate often
• Are thirsty
• Lose weight suddenly

Hyperglycemia can be caused by:
• Problems with the amount of food you eat and diabetes medicine you take
• Eating the wrong kinds of foods or more food than usual
• Being less active than usual
• Having an illness
• Stress

If you have diabetes, it is important to know the early signs of hyperglycemia. If hyperglycemia is left untreated, it may develop into a more serious problem. You can read more about it at this link.

Your health care provider can monitor you for both of these conditions during pregnancy to make sure you and your baby stay healthy.