Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
February 25, 2002
Question from New Orleans, Louisiana, USA:
I am 21 years old, and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 16. My 25 year old fiance also has type 1 diabetes, diagnosed at the age of 2, and we are both in semi-tight control. His sugars stay around 120-140 mg/dl [6.7-7.8 mmol/L], while mine are generally higher, around 180-200 mg/dl [10-11.1 mmol/L]. About three months ago, I found out that I was a month pregnant that, due to my elevated sugar and high caffeine intake (I am in my last year of college and drink 3-4 cups a coffee a day), I had only a 50/50 chance of making it through the first trimester. So, from about a month into my pregnancy I drove myself crazy, testing sometimes over 12 times a day, taking Humalog to keep my sugars normal after meals and Ultralente for long-acting insulin. I also ate much healthier and did very low impact aerobics and walking for exercise. My sugar was the best it has been in years staying around 110-120 mg/dl [6.1-6.7 mmol/L]. I really became proud of myself and excited at the thought of having a child, but, after over a month and a half of strict control and two and a half months of pregnancy, I began having really bad cramping pains and lost the baby. My finance and I are still emotionally devastated. My doctor feels that the miscarriage was caused by elevated blood sugars before conception and for the first month that I was unaware of my pregnancy. What is the chance of that being the reason? Can the fact that I was taking increased doses of Humalog (about 28 units throughout the day) have contributed? Could the fact that both my fiance and I have diabetes have made a difference? Could that inhibit us from conceiving again in the future? Could the excess coffee drinking combined with high sugar have contributed?
There is no way of proving this, but I seriously doubt that the Humalog and/or the coffee contributed to the miscarriage. If the fetus had a severe structural abnormality as a result of your elevated blood sugars, then that may have resulted in the loss. However, at 10-11 weeks that would be difficult to detect. There are many causes of miscarriages (poor placentation, fetal abnormalities, hormonal problems, etc.), and often the exact reason cannot be determined.
[Editor’s comment: See The Diabetes Monitor:Planning a pregnancy .
[Editor’s comment: I do not see any reason to not try again at some future time. You’ve learned an important lesson — that you can control your blood sugar levels — and when you decide to have your next child, you’ll plan to have the numbers under control (including a normal HbA1c) before conception.