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May 9, 2007

Gestational Diabetes

Question from Atlanta, Georgia, USA:

I had gestational diabetes in my first pregnancy, starting the 12th week. I used to test my blood sugar four times a day. I did not take any medication, just followed an appropriate diet. I gave birth in January 2004. Now, I am six weeks pregnant. I started testing my blood sugars again. In the early mornings, fasting, I am getting glucose readings from 135 mg/dl [7.5 mmol/L] to 145 mg/dl [8.1 mmol/L]. Could I have gestational diabetes this early? Before conception, I had a diabetes test and the doctor said my blood sugar readings were in range. I have not yet seen the doctor since conception, so I started checking my blood sugars on my own. I am eating a proper diet, mostly very small servings. How can I prevent diabetes?

Answer:

Your fasting blood sugar is higher than expected. It should be between 70 mg/dl [3.9 mmol/L] and 90 mg/dl [5.0 mmol/L]. There are two possibilities: one is that your glucometer needs to be checked and calibrated and the other possibility is that you have type 2 diabetes. In other words, you may have diabetes even when you are not pregnant. It would worthwhile to have a formal glucose challenge test now. If it is normal, then you should still have testing at 24 to 28 weeks of gestation. If you have diabetes this early in pregnancy, then there are several additional things that need to be done to assess the baby. Please be sure to discuss this with your doctor.

OWJ