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January 8, 2000

Gestational Diabetes

Question from Ontario, Canada:

I am 30 years old and 11 weeks pregnant. Over the past 2 weeks I have been monitoring my blood sugars as I had been feeling quite light headed as though I was going to faint. I have often found them to be 2.5 mmol/l [45 mg/dl] and 2.8 mmol/l [50 mg/dl] only 1-2 hours after eating a full meal. I have tried to adjust my dietary intake but am still having difficulty stabilizing them. I spoke with my family doctor about this and he informed me that hypoglycemia is not uncommon in early pregnancy and that it is nothing to worry about. There is diabetes in my family and I had been tested last year as I was spilling sugar into my urine. Could the hypoglycemia be the beginning of gestational diabetes and do you have any other advice to offer me?

Answer:

Your blood sugar values are on the low side. This may reflect your diet more than problems with insulin. At 11 gestation weeks, you should not be developing insulin resistance which would cause high blood sugar values. You may want to consider eating multiple small meals during the day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner) rather than just three. As long as you do not have diabetes your body such regulate your blood sugar just fine. If you are concerned about diabetes due to the family history, I would suggest asking your physician to test you early for gestational diabetes.

OWJ