July 28, 2000
Question from North Carolina, USA:
I am 33 years old, 18 weeks pregnant. I have also had part of my intestines bypassed, therefore I don’t absorb all of what I eat. As well, I can’t eat high carb foods. I have been having frequent low blood sugar reactions, as low as 35 mg/dl (1.9 mmol/L), even though I try to eat more complex carbs.
What are or where can I find info on the effects of low blood sugar reactions to my fetus? My regular obstetrician just recommends eating more complex carbs. I want to be sure I am not hurting the baby.
By the way, my son ha type 1 diabetes. He’s rather enjoying that mom now has to check her blood sugar too!
There is not a great deal of information on the effects of hypoglycemia on the fetus. There has been some animal research but no studies in humans. The fetus gets much of its sugar from the mother and the effects of high blood sugars are well documented. Occasional low blood sugars are probably not causing long term problems. If it is a frequent occurrence, then my suggestion is to not try for such strict control of blood glucose. Once you are out of the first trimester, the effects of hyperglycemia on the baby are more manageable.