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From Ottawa, Ontario, Canada:

I am 28 years old, have been diabetic for 25 years. I tend to over-medicate myself and have frequent hypoglycemia. I understand from my endocrinologist that this tends to be common in young diabetics (the over-medicating). Now that my husband and I are considering planning a family, I am interested in knowing the effects of low glucose levels on a fetus. I am aware of the dangers of high glucose levels during pregnancy, but could not find any info on the effects of low levels.


The effects of hypoglycemia on a fetus are not as well understood as the effects of hyperglycemia. Based on some animal studies, it appears that the fetus does not have as much glucose reserve as a child/adult. Thus, the fetus is very reliant on glucose from the mother. The long term effects of repeated hypoglycemic events are unknown.

In my own practice, if I have a patient who is having repeated insulin reactions, I will loosen the glucose control and tolerate higher blood sugar values to prevent hypoglycemic events. I do this to minimize the risk to the mother since the effects on the fetus (increased weight, hypoglycemia at birth) are very manageable problems.


Original posting 25 May 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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