How to Manage Blood Sugar in Pregnancy

How to Manage Blood Sugar in Pregnancy

 

Blood Sugar Support

Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is the major sugar found in the blood which plays an important role in maintaining the body’s overall health. Blood sugar serves as the main source of energy for our body cells. Studies have shown that when blood sugar levels become imbalanced, it has the potential to lead to various health conditions, including diabetes. In this article, we will discuss blood sugar in pregnancy, blood sugar one hour after eating, blood sugar control food, the different types of diabetes, and also the various factors that contribute to the fluctuations of blood sugar levels in the body.

 

High Blood Sugar in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there is an increased risk of developing diabetes due to hormonal changes and other factors. Some of these factors include lifestyle, genetics, and environmental factors. Understanding the different types of diabetes and what causes them is important to be able to effectively manage and prevent the development of diabetes.

 

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes develops as a result of the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking and destroying the insulin-producing cells in one’s pancreas. What causes this autoimmune response is not ascertained but environmental triggers and genetic predisposition may play a role.

 

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for about 90% of cases worldwide. It typically occurs in adulthood, although its prevalence among children and adolescents is gradually increasing. Several factors contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, including obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary habits, genetic factors, and insulin resistance.

 

What Causes Low Blood Sugar?

Low Blood sugar also called hypoglycemia can be caused by several factors including skipping meals, using excessive insulin, using additional diabetic medications, exercising more than usual, and consuming alcohol. Low blood sugar is defined as less than 70 mg/dL.

Everybody experiences low blood sugar differently. Typical signs you may experience include:(3)

  1. Shaking
  2. Sweating
  3. Anxiety or jitters
  4. Irritation or perplexity
  5. Dizziness
  6. Hunger

 

Know the symptoms unique to you so you can identify and manage low blood sugar early. Even if you are symptom-free, check your blood sugar if you have any reason to believe it may be low. Low blood sugar is harmful and needs to be treated right away.

 

What Is The Normal Sugar Level?

A normal sugar level should be less than 100 mg/dL after not consuming any food (fasting) for at least 8 hours. And 2 hours after eating, should be less than 140 mg/dL.

During day time, your blood sugar levels are usually at their lowest just before meals.

 

What Range Is a Low Sugar Level?

The value of low sugar levels varies widely just like high sugar levels. Many people’s glucose levels won’t ever fall below 60 mg/dL, even with prolonged fasting. With diet and fasting the liver still keeps your glucose levels normal by transforming fat and muscle into sugar. Some people’s glucose levels may fall somewhat lower.

 

What Are the Symptoms of High Blood Sugar Level

The symptoms you may experience with high blood sugar levels depending on the type of diabetes you have include;

  • Increased hunger even after eating
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing of sores
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Yeast infection

 

Why Is Having High Blood Sugar Levels Bad?

As earlier discussed, glucose is fuel for all the cells in the body when it is present at normal levels. But at a high level, it can destroy the normal functioning of the body. This is because high sugar levels steadily remove the ability of cells in one’s pancreas to produce insulin. As the organ begins to overcompensate, over time it becomes permanently damaged, and its insulin level remains too high. High blood sugar levels can cause alterations that lead to hardening of the blood vessels, popularly known as atherosclerosis. All parts of your body can be harmed due to excess sugar in the body. Damaged blood vessels result to wan problems such as:

  • Strokes
  • Kidney disease or kidney failure
  • Heart attacks
  • Weakened immune system, with a greater risk of infections
  • Loss of vision
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Poor blood circulation to the legs.
  • Nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, that causes pain, tingling, or less sensation in your legs, feet, and hands
  • Slow wound healing
  • Poor circulation to the legs and feet

 

What Causes Blood Sugar Levels To Fluctuate?

Maintaining a stable blood sugar level in our body is essential for good health. Fluctuations in blood sugar can have immediate and long-term consequences. We will discuss the factors that cause the rise and fall of blood sugar levels.

 

Rise in Blood Sugar Levels

Consuming food, especially those rich in carbohydrates, triggers a rise in blood sugar levels. The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, causing an increase in blood glucose concentration. In addition, factors such as stress, illness, certain medications, and lack of physical activity can lead to increased blood sugar levels.

 

What Causes the Fall in Blood Sugar Levels

The body uses insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells for energy. If there is insufficient insulin or if the body becomes resistant to its effects, blood sugar levels can drop below the normal range. Certain factors can contribute to a decrease in blood sugar levels, including prolonged fasting, excessive exercise, medication side effects, and certain medical conditions.

 

What Happens To  Your Blood Sugar One Hour After Eating?

After consuming a meal, our blood sugar levels increase as the body digests and absorbs the carbohydrates present in the food. Monitoring blood sugar levels one hour after eating provides valuable insights into how the body processes the meal and how effectively it manages blood sugar. This measurement is particularly important for individuals with diabetes, as it helps determine the impact of specific foods on their blood sugar control. The blood sugar unit of measure is typically milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in the United States and millimoles per liter (mmol/L) in other countries.

 

Understanding the blood sugar unit of measure is essential for the proper interpretation of blood sugar readings and consistency in diabetes management. It is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals or use appropriate conversion tools to ensure accurate monitoring and understanding of blood sugar levels.

 

Blood sugar levels one hour after eating can vary depending on several factors, including the type and amount of carbohydrates consumed, individual rate of metabolism, and any underlying health conditions. Certain foods can cause a more significant spike in blood sugar levels one hour after eating, particularly those high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars. These foods are rapidly digested and absorbed, leading to a sharp increase in blood glucose. Examples include sugary beverages, sweets, white bread, and processed snacks. On the other hand, choosing foods with a lower glycemic index, such as whole grains, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables, can help maintain more stable blood sugar levels.

 

What Happens To Your Blood Sugar 2 Hours After  Meal?

Managing blood sugar 2 hours after meal involves making conscious dietary choices and potentially adjusting medication or insulin doses for individuals who have high blood sugar. The goal is to maintain blood sugar within a target range to minimize postprandial hyperglycemia.

 

Choosing foods with a lower glycemic index can help regulate blood sugar levels even two hours after a meal. This includes whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits and high-fiber foods in the meal can slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, resulting in a more gradual and sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream. Asides from eating food with a low glycemic index, combining carbohydrates with protein and healthy fats can help slow down the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream, preventing sudden increases in blood sugar levels. Include lean proteins like poultry, fish, tofu, or legumes, and healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil in your meals.

 

Regular physical activity can also aid in blood sugar control. Carrying out exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling after a meal can enhance glucose uptake by cells by improving insulin sensitivity, which in turn lowers blood sugar levels.

 

Can You Manage Blood Sugar Through Food Choices?

Absolutely. The type of diet you indulge in determines and plays a fundamental role in blood sugar control food both in individuals with diabetes and during pregnancy. Making informed food choices can help regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of complications.

Healthy Pregnancy Diet

During pregnancy, hormonal changes and increased insulin resistance can affect blood sugar control. The glycemic index is a ranking system that measures how quickly carbohydrates in food raise blood sugar levels. Blood sugar control food with a high glycemic index cause a more rapid and pronounced increase in blood glucose compared to those with a low glycemic index. Opt for complex carbohydrates that provide a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream, such as whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.

 

Type Of Foods To Avoid To Manage Blood Sugars

Diabetes increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke by increasing the rate at which clogged and hardened arteries are developed. Foods containing the following should be avoided when trying to reduce blood sugar diseases.

 

  • Trans fats. Avoid consuming trans fats found in baked goods, processed snacks, and stick portions of margarine.
  • Saturated fats. Avoid consuming animal proteins and high-fat dairy products such as butter, sausage, beef, hot dogs, and bacon. Limit your consumption of palm kernel oils and coconut.
  • Sources of cholesterol which includes high-fat animal protein and high-fat dairy products should not be consumed in no more than 200mg a day. Examples include liver, egg yolks, and organ meats.
  • Do not consume more than 2300mg of sodium a day. If you’re hypersensitive, you should aim for lower amounts as encouraged by your healthcare provider.

 

Low Blood Sugar In Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a unique period where blood sugar control becomes particularly important. Here are some of the factors that influence blood sugar changes in pregnancy;

 

Hormonal Changes

During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that help support the growth and development of the fetus. However, some of these hormones can interfere with insulin action, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. An example of such a hormone is the human placental lactogen (HPL), which can cause insulin resistance, making it more difficult for the body to effectively use insulin.

 

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, also known as blood sugar in pregnancy is a condition that develops during pregnancy and usually resolves on its own after childbirth. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels and an impaired ability to utilize insulin. Women who are overweight or have a family history of diabetes are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. Managing blood sugar levels during pregnancy is essential to ensure the health of both the mother and the baby.

 

Blood Sugar Monitoring During Pregnancy

Monitoring blood sugar in pregnancy is crucial for maintaining good health and preventing complications. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes may be advised to perform regular blood sugar checks, including one hour and two hours after meals. These measurements provide valuable information about postprandial blood sugar responses and help guide dietary and treatment interventions.

 

It’s crucial to eat the correct amount of meals each day if you have blood sugar in pregnancy. To receive the proper amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack, your eating plan will include information on how much to eat. You’ll discover how to weigh your meals and count carbs.

 

It’s also critical to eat at the appropriate times. To prevent having high or low blood sugar levels, you should make plans for regular, balanced meals. It can be beneficial to have roughly the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal. Your eating plan will also show you how to follow it both at home and in restaurants.

 

It does take work to eat healthfully to control your blood sugar in pregnancy. However, the prize is the chance to live and live amazingly.

 

References

  1. https://apps.who.int/iris/rest/bitstreams/1233344/retrieve
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/diabetes-basics
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/manage-blood-sugar.html
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-diet/art20044295#:~:text=You%20can%20help%20keep%20your,host%20of%20other%20health%20benefits.
  5. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/what-is-candidiasis-yeast-infection