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What happens if my sugar is high during pregnancy?

What happens if your sugar is high during pregnancy? For most women, their doctor will recommend a change in diet and exercise. But for some women, their doctor may recommend medication to lower their blood sugar levels. Keep reading to learn more about how high blood sugar can impact your pregnancy, and what you can do to keep it under control.

What is considered high blood sugar in pregnancy?

Some women may experience elevated blood sugar levels when pregnant. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or gestational diabetes is the medical term for the condition. Gestational diabetes usually develops between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.

It’s important to note that just because you have gestational diabetes while pregnant doesn’t mean you already had diabetes or will develop it thereafter. However, gestational diabetes increases your chances of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.

It can also lead to diabetes in your baby and issues for you and your baby throughout pregnancy and delivery if it is not properly treated.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that doctors check pregnant women for symptoms of gestational diabetes on a regular basis. When you’re 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, your physician will likely check you for gestational diabetes even if you have no known history of diabetes and normal blood sugar values at the beginning of your pregnancy.

If you have any of the following blood sugar levels, which are regarded to be high during pregnancy, you will most likely be diagnosed with gestational diabetes:

  • fasting blood sugar level greater than or equal to 92 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
  • 1-hour blood sugar level greater than or equal to 180 mg/dL
  • 2-hour blood sugar level greater than or equal to 153 mg/dL

What are the causes of high blood sugar?

Although the actual cause of gestational diabetes is uncertain, hormones are most likely attribute. When you’re pregnant, your body produces more certain hormones, including human placental lactogen (hPL) and other hormones that increase insulin resistance.

Your placenta is affected by these hormones, which help to keep your pregnancy going. Over time, your body’s production of these hormones increases. Insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar, may become resistant to your body as a result of this process.

Insulin is a hormone that helps in the transport of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, where it is converted to energy. Pregnancy naturally causes your body to become slightly insulin resistant, so that more glucose may be transferred to the baby through your system. Your blood sugar levels may rise excessively if your insulin resistance is too great. It’s possible that this will result in gestational diabetes.

What happens if my sugar is high during pregnancy?

During the first eight weeks of pregnancy, a baby’s organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs begin to develop. According to the sources, early in pregnancy, high blood glucose levels provide a risk for birth defects such as heart and brain abnormalities, which can affect your child’s health.

Pregnancy-related high blood glucose levels can also increase your baby’s risk of being born prematurely, weighing too much, or having breathing difficulties or low blood glucose immediately after birth. High blood glucose levels can also raise your chances of having a miscarriage or a stillborn baby.

How to reduce blood sugar level?

Blood sugar regulation is critical during pregnancy, both for the mother’s well-being and that of her unborn baby. Pregnant women should use the following advice to keep their blood sugar levels in check.

Carbohydrate consumption and appropriate meal choices are critical. It’s important to keep track of how much carbs you’re consuming in a variety of foods like bread and cereals, fruits and vegetables, milk and yogurt. Sweets should be avoided because they might cause blood sugar levels to spike.

How can I control my sugar during pregnancy?

  • Strictly limit sweets and desserts and stay away from sugars

Sugary foods like cakes, cookies, sweets, and pastries are prone to spike blood sugar levels. These foods are frequently high in fat and low in nutritional value. Sugar, honey, or syrup should also be removed from your diet.

  • Avoid fruit juice and sugary drinks

A glass of juice takes many pieces of fruit. It immediately elevates blood sugar levels due to its liquid nature. For the same reason, stay away from regular sodas and sugary soft drinks. You may use diet drinks instead.

  • Watch your breakfast

Because pregnancy hormones are at their peak in the morning, blood sugar management might be difficult. Even before you eat, these hormones might cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Dry cereals, fruits, and milk are not the finest breakfast options because they are quickly absorbed and cause blood sugar levels to spike.

  • Consume more fibre

Whole grain bread, brown rice, wild rice, whole oats, barley, millet, and other whole grains are all good options. Split peas, lentils, and any sort of bean (pinto, red, black, or garbanzo) are all better options. In contrast to processed grains like white bread and white rice, which are heavy in sugar, whole grains like these are high in fibre.

  • Eat smaller portions of fruits at a time

Fruits are healthy, but because they contain natural sugars, limit yourself to one serving each day. Twelve little pieces of fruit, 1 large fruit, or around 1 cup of mixed fruit is a serving of fruit. Fruit that has been canned in syrup should be avoided. Fruit juice should not be consumed.

  • Eat 3 meals and 2–3 snacks per day

When you eat too much at once, your blood sugar levels might become incredibly high. Snack between meals and eat smaller portions. During your pregnancy, your nutritional requirements increase, and your baby is dependent on you to supply adequate nutrition.

What is ideal blood sugar level?

According to the American Diabetes Association, the recommended targets for pregnant women who test their blood sugar should be as follows:

  • Before a meal: 95 mg/dL or less
  • An hour after a meal: 140 mg/dL or less
  • Two hours after a meal: 120 mg/dL or less

Final words:

High blood sugar during pregnancy is a condition that can occur in any trimester. While gestational diabetes is the most common cause of high blood sugar, there are other causes that should be ruled out. Treatment for high blood sugar during pregnancy depends on the underlying cause.

Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important for both the mother and baby. If you are pregnant and have concerns about your blood sugar, please consult with your doctor. 

To have more pregnancy tips and useful information, please read our blog.

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