Discusses how to deal with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) when you have gestational diabetes (diabetes that developed during pregnancy). Covers symptoms and complications of hypoglycemia. Offers tips on preventing and managing low blood sugar emergencies.
Gestational Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar
Women who take
insulin shots or take the medicine glyburide are at
risk for low blood sugar levels. Most women with
gestational diabetes do not have problems with low
blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If your blood sugar (glucose) drops
very low, make sure to get treated immediately so that neither you
nor your baby is harmed.
Low blood sugar occurs when the sugar level
in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. Women who
take insulin may get low blood sugar if they don't eat enough food, skip meals,
exercise more than usual, or take too much insulin.
These steps can
help you avoid a life-threatening emergency from low blood sugar:
Test your blood sugar often so that you
don't have to guess when your blood sugar is low.
Know the signs of
low blood sugar, such as sweating, shakiness, hunger, blurred vision, and
The best treatment for low blood sugar is to eat quick-sugar foods. Liquids will raise your blood sugar faster than solid foods. Keep the list of quick-sugar foods in a convenient place.
Wait 10 to 15 minutes after eating the quick-sugar food, and, if possible, check your blood sugar again.
Keep some hard candy, raisins, or other sugary foods with
you at all times. Eat some at the first sign of low blood sugar.
Check your blood sugar before getting in a car, and don't
drive if your blood sugar level is less than 70 mg/dL.
Teach your friends and coworkers what to do if your blood
sugar is very low.
are some ways you can prevent and manage low blood sugar emergencies.
Although most women with
gestational diabetes do not have problems with low blood sugar, you should
always be prepared for the possibility.
Keep some quick-sugar foods with you at all times. If you are at home, you will probably already have something close at hand that contains sugar, such as table sugar or fruit juice. Carry some hard candy or glucose tablets with you when you are away from home. To avoid causing high blood sugar, choose foods that contain about 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate.
symptoms of low blood sugar, such as sweating, blurred vision, and confusion. Carry a list of the symptoms with you at
all times, and post the list at home and work.
medical identification in case your blood sugar drops very low and you need
help. Medical identification bracelets and necklaces are sold at many local
drugstores and pharmacies.
Keep a copy of instructions on how to use
your blood sugar meter with the meter. Tell your family and friends where the instructions are
and how to use your meter to check your blood sugar.
Post information on
emergency care for low blood sugar in a convenient
place at home and at work for other people to use if you need help during a low
blood sugar episode.
Do not drive if your blood sugar is less than
70 mg/dL. Your reflexes are slowed, and you could have an accident.
Treat low blood sugar early
Treat low blood sugar levels as soon as the symptoms are noticed, whether
by you or by someone else.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.