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  1. #1
    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
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    New onset hypoglycemia in pregnancy

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    I am 24 weeks pregnant and up until a week or two ago, had no issues with blood sugar other than when I exercised too much. Now I am becoming hypoglycemic almost every time I eat, whether it's something like cottage cheese and fruit or almonds or meat/veg/starch. If I don't eat enough carbohydrate, I feel really exhausted and have low-energy. But obviously too much causes this to be worse. I cannot regulate this.

    Yesterday, I had breakfast (eggs in butter with an apple) and took my glucose which was 115 about an hour after I ate. Then 2 hours after I ate, it was 61, but I wasn't quite to the shaky, weak, dizzy point. But I was getting close. That is not a lot of carbohydrate, and if I don't have some, I don't feel "right."

    Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of insulin resistance. I'm not sure why this is happening, but I feel awful and really don't know what and how often to eat at this point. I cannot keep stuffing myself with food to stop this from happening. A couple weeks ago, a breakfast of eggs and apple would keep me full for 3-4 hours and I would have no issue with blood sugar crashes.

    Any advice? TIA.

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    Dragonfly's Avatar
    Dragonfly is offline Senior Member
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    Some pregnant women need to eat lots of smaller meals more often.
    I just spoke to a Primal pregnant friend of mine who is hungry all the time at 16 weeks--she thinks baby is going through a growth spurt.

    Try upping your fats when you eat carbs to slow down their absorption.

  3. #3
    Ingvildr's Avatar
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    I'm a diabetic who went through a diabetic pregnancy as well. I was on insulin from 10weeks onward. Starting at around 22 weeks or so the little one goes through spurts of just sucking down any nutrients you can send their way and periods where they just seem to be sleeping. As a diabetic I was supposed to adjust my insulin to what I was eating, complicated by the fact that the baby would randomly use up my blood sugar. It is NOT predictable. You may need to eat larger meals, possibly with more carbs and possibly eat more often. Pregnancy is a special situation and if the baby needs it, eat it and don't worry too hard about rules. I would also recommend you carry a snack with you for those times when the baby randomly takes up nutrients. The baby is simply eating a lot more, and more often because they are growing so fast then earlier in the pregnancy. It will let up around 36-38 weeks because they slow down a bit right before they are born. By the time the baby is born it will be taking in around 1000 calories a day(growing takes a lot of calories).

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    paleo_hailey is offline Senior Member
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    I'm 31 weeks and have experienced the same issues, in spits and spurts - it will happen for a week or two which seems to coincide with a growth spurt for the baby, and then things will equalize again.

    I think you just need to be kind to yourself, and above all, listen to your body - if you need more carbs, eat them and don't feel guilty. I've made a point of having lots of healthy snack options in the house and in my car if the urge strikes. I choose carbs that won't spike my insulin as fast, or combine carbs with plenty of fat and protein. Smaller, more frequent meals definitely help too. I find as the baby grows I have less room in my stomach, so more frequent meals are essential to get enough calories in anyway!

    And it should go without saying - if you are having severe hypoglycemic turns, make sure the people around you (husband, friends, at work, whoever that is) are aware of the issue. Pre-pregnancy I fainted during a hypo episode and it scared the living daylights out of the friends I was with... they called 911 when all I needed was something to eat. I can only imagine the freakout if I'd dropped out cold while pregnant! It's a slim chance (and you seem very on top of your blood sugar measurements) but it could happen.

    Good luck ShannonPA-S, I can imagine this is making you feel really anxious, but I'm certain with a few tweaks here and there you'll be past this in no time.

  5. #5
    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
    ShannonPA-S is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvildr View Post
    I'm a diabetic who went through a diabetic pregnancy as well. I was on insulin from 10weeks onward. Starting at around 22 weeks or so the little one goes through spurts of just sucking down any nutrients you can send their way and periods where they just seem to be sleeping. As a diabetic I was supposed to adjust my insulin to what I was eating, complicated by the fact that the baby would randomly use up my blood sugar. It is NOT predictable. You may need to eat larger meals, possibly with more carbs and possibly eat more often. Pregnancy is a special situation and if the baby needs it, eat it and don't worry too hard about rules. I would also recommend you carry a snack with you for those times when the baby randomly takes up nutrients. The baby is simply eating a lot more, and more often because they are growing so fast then earlier in the pregnancy. It will let up around 36-38 weeks because they slow down a bit right before they are born. By the time the baby is born it will be taking in around 1000 calories a day(growing takes a lot of calories).
    Wow, this is really interesting. I was reading about how diabetics tend toward hypoglycemia in pregnancy because of the unpredictability. But I wasn't associating it with a non-diabetic person whose growing fetus is using up all the glucose already in the bloodstream. My doctor's office told me to eat every 2 hours, but it wasn't making sense to me until I read this. Plus, I continue to exercise, which makes one more insulin sensitive, so even though my body thinks it needs to pump out more insulin, I'm sensitive to it, so it just keeps lowering the blood sugar.

    I am also going through some other stuff, like palpitations after meals, which is why I didn't want to eat all the time. But I think I am much more anemic now. I was doing really well at taking additional iron for awhile, but sort of stopped being so consistent and the weakness, fatigue, and palpitations have crept back in. So I think this the other reason I feel so icky. I got some Floradix iron today because it has been really good at raising my iron in the past (without that icky feeling other iron products give). I've taken Hema-Plex too, and it is very effective, but it would sometimes make me nauseated.

  6. #6
    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo_hailey View Post
    I'm 31 weeks and have experienced the same issues, in spits and spurts - it will happen for a week or two which seems to coincide with a growth spurt for the baby, and then things will equalize again.

    I think you just need to be kind to yourself, and above all, listen to your body - if you need more carbs, eat them and don't feel guilty. I've made a point of having lots of healthy snack options in the house and in my car if the urge strikes. I choose carbs that won't spike my insulin as fast, or combine carbs with plenty of fat and protein. Smaller, more frequent meals definitely help too. I find as the baby grows I have less room in my stomach, so more frequent meals are essential to get enough calories in anyway!

    And it should go without saying - if you are having severe hypoglycemic turns, make sure the people around you (husband, friends, at work, whoever that is) are aware of the issue. Pre-pregnancy I fainted during a hypo episode and it scared the living daylights out of the friends I was with... they called 911 when all I needed was something to eat. I can only imagine the freakout if I'd dropped out cold while pregnant! It's a slim chance (and you seem very on top of your blood sugar measurements) but it could happen.

    Good luck ShannonPA-S, I can imagine this is making you feel really anxious, but I'm certain with a few tweaks here and there you'll be past this in no time.
    Thanks. I'm sorry you've also experienced it, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who this has happened to. It was weird, and sudden. I am going to the doctor Monday and I will ask him about the glucagon kit you're supposed to carry around. I don't have a glucometer at home; I am a physician assistant student and was in clinic the other morning, so I figured I'd take advantage of the glucometer there. I'm glad I did. I was concerned I was diabetic because I have just not been feeling right. But seeing as my glucose was only 115 after eating, I don't think that's the concern here. I do think it must be a growth spurt.

    I have been good to myself. I bought some local whole milk (jersey cows, the rich kind) and drank 1/2 a gallon in 2 days. I could not get enough. No ill effects, and I finally feel like I'm getting some nutrients. I might start having a big cup of that with my eggs in the morning and see if I feel better. I am not one to drink milk at all, but it tastes so good! I stocked up on almonds and dark chocolate chips to make trail mix with some tart cherries and coconut. I think I'll start feeling better now that I know what is going on.

    Good luck in your final stretch. You are almost there!

  7. #7
    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
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    Ha ha, I just googled hypoglycemia diet and came up with this breakfast:
    orange juice 1/2 cup
    cornflakes 3/4 cup
    whole wheat toast, 1 slice
    margarine 1 tsp
    sugar-free jelly 1 tsp
    skim milk 1 cup
    coffee/creamer/sugar substitute

    I can't believe outdated info like this is still out there!

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    Have you had your thyroid and adrenal glands checked? It is not uncommon for women to develop thyroid problems during pregnancy. Ironically, "the weakness, fatigue, and palpitations" can be signs of both hypo and hyper thyroid. Also, hypoglycemia can be related to adrenal fatigue with in turn is often related to a malfunctioning thyroid, although extended periods of high stress, certain vitamin deficiency and hormonal imbalances can also cause adrenal fatigue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suzyq View Post
    Have you had your thyroid and adrenal glands checked? It is not uncommon for women to develop thyroid problems during pregnancy. Ironically, "the weakness, fatigue, and palpitations" can be signs of both hypo and hyper thyroid. Also, hypoglycemia can be related to adrenal fatigue with in turn is often related to a malfunctioning thyroid, although extended periods of high stress, certain vitamin deficiency and hormonal imbalances can also cause adrenal fatigue.
    Thanks, yes, I have Hashimoto's. I think I'm a big old mess at this point!

    I am going to my most favorite doc in the world Friday -- he's a holistic MD who specializes in functional medicine. He is amazing and I know he'll be able to help me. Not sure why I didn't think to go see him earlier. I think my fatigue, weakness, and palpitations are related to 3 things (maybe 4 with adrenals): hypothyroid, anemia, and hypoglycemia. My ob/gyn is a moron and I'm switching. She wouldn't test me for anemia at 18 weeks when I first started complaining of fatigue (because it was prior to the magical 24 week mark they usually start testing)...even though I was already considered anemic. Plus she said my thyroid was normal, even with a TSH of nearly 7 and a low-normal free T4.

    I am going to the high-risk doctor for a follow-up tomorrow. I was initially sent to him because my first daughter was over 9 pounds. We'll see what he says about all this. Probably nothing...not expecting much.

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