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June 29, 2000

Family Planning, Hypoglycemia

Question from Michigan, USA:

I have type 1 diabetes and am about 31 weeks pregnant. I'm doing great, except occasional nighttime low blood sugars. I usually have a bedtime snack with peanut butter on Ritz crackers and milk. I've seen a product called the "Extendbar" and understand that it contains uncooked cornstarch and may reduce episodes of low blood sugar overnight. Is it safe for me to try this sort of product during pregnancy?


Overnight lows have always been fairly hard to manage with food at bedtime because most foods don’t last long enough to cover insulin that’s peaking at 2-3 A.M. That’s why it’s pretty common to take the evening N or L insulin at bedtime instead of with the evening meal. Moving the peak of the insulin to the next morning (more or less) to change the insulin timing can reduce the risk for lows.

Another option is to use Extend Bar or some other product made with uncooked cornstarch at bedtime. Uncooked cornstarch is digested and absorbed slowly enough to actually cover a tendency toward lows in the middle of the night. Since these bars are just made from food products, there is no reason they wouldn’t be perfectly safe to eat during your pregnancy.

Additional comments from Joyce Mosiman:

I do not have any information that would indicate that products with uncooked cornstarch would be a problem during pregnancy. Check with your doctor to be sure.