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gestational diabetes - is it normal for glucose levels to get worse as you get further on?

(28 Posts)
olivo Sun 02-Aug-09 11:32:13

hello, hoping for some advice from people who are/have suffered from GD. i am 36+2 and have been controlling sugars through diet since about 30 weeks. in the past week or so, despite eating the same sort of things, my levels seem to be steadily creeping up. does this mean i am going to have to restrict my diet even further or will need medication? is it usual as you get further on?
i know various factors can make levels go up, but nothing much has changed for me in the apst few weeks. i have been very nauseous and thirsty - is that symbolic of anything?

sorry for so many questions! have mailed the diabetic team but obviously wont hear until tomorrow.

brightonbleach Sun 02-Aug-09 15:52:32

hi there - yes, unfortauntely - they should have explained to you by now that as you get 'more pregnant' you become more insulin resistant, its due to the hormones towards the end of pregnancy apparently. I'm having the same trouble - things I was eating 3 weeks ago that left my levels perfect after lunch are now a bit high... my team had already warned me that this would happen though & have adjusted my doses.

your team will advise you whether you need a higher dose of insulin with each injection now or whether its a diet thing they want you to do, make sure you ask as many questions of them as you like so you're not in the dark, best wishes.

thoughtforms Sun 02-Aug-09 15:53:05

I've no idea here, but as you know, I've had the opposite - where my levels have gone down - although I'm wondering how much this is to do with me being on Metformin. It may be if they're worried about your levels, you might get put on this, possibly?

Are your levels past the limits, or just generally higher?

somanyboyssolittletime Sun 02-Aug-09 15:55:47

Hi. One of my friends had GD through her 4 pregnancies (obviously didn't put her off too much) and what's happening to you sounds very similar. She got to around your stage and then had to start using insulin to control her levels, as the diet wasn't working any more. I think it is unfortunately just a natural progression sometimes, despite how careful you are with diet. On the plus side, as soon as she delivered everything seemed to go back to normal, and she has had no problems since. Sorry this is only secondhand experience, but hope you are ok.

olivo Sun 02-Aug-09 20:56:27

thanks for your replies. i wonder if they may give me something to take - metformin or insulin, at the moment, i am just on diet control. they did not mention this might happen. my levels are supposed to be less than 7.0, 2 hrs after meals and i'm getting higher than this often, whereas my levels were often 5.5 or 6.

i am really struggling with the whole thing, am often hungry and the only way to sort my heartburn seems to be eating! on the plus side, the baby is not growing too big at the moment, and i only have 3 1/2 weeks to go, although they are talking about delivering me early.

brightonbleach Mon 03-Aug-09 10:48:09

hi, I'm on insulin injections myself, with dinner and bedtimes; also, you might want to ask your team - when you're pregnant, you usually have to test ONE hour after eating not 2 as you mention you're doing? and yes, its meant to be 7.0 or less after eating (1 hour) and for me, between 4&5 just before eating.

thirst is symbolic of diabetes in general, but should get better with insulin - Again, i would ask the team, maybe you need injections for the last part of the pregnancy now? it sounds awful, but believe me the injections are not that bad.

good luck! Hope you speak to your team today.

MissMaths Mon 03-Aug-09 11:22:09

Hi Olivo

When I was diagnosed with GD about three weeks ago, they put me on Metformin tablets straight away, (which I think might be standard practise for my health authority, as everyone at that first workshop was given the same)
Anyways, it's not been the horror I expected it to be and I have found that this along with my diet has helped keep my blood sugars under control. So it might be worth asking if this could be a solution for you too?

Good luck with it all! Not long to go now wink

olivo Mon 03-Aug-09 11:37:37

thanks, i'm stiull waiting for them to get back to me; if i dont hear later on, I'll drop by I think or phone.

having a bit of a nightmare and have to go back to opticians today as they think my vision problem may be diabetres related. I am now officially fed up. sad

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 11:39:30

how big is baby. if baby gets too big as they can when u have gd they may induce you or do a c section. the babies seem to put on weight too quickly and can get too big ie over 10 lbs!!!!!!

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 11:42:39

i work(ed) in a pharmacy and thirst and peeing more is a side effect of diabetes.
you dont feel dizzy or anything do you. After you have baby it shud settle down but i wud recommend you go and have an eye check as diabetes can affect the eyes(retinopathy)

olivo Mon 03-Aug-09 11:45:18

thanks alypaly. i havent been feeling dizzy but a bit spaced out. I have an appt at lunchtime about my eyes, i'm quite worried now. i had assumed it was to do with my contact lenses as i know things can change when you are pg, but they have said it is most likely health related and prob because of the GD.

i really hope i havent done lasting damage to myself or my babe sad

olivo Mon 03-Aug-09 11:48:12

oh sh*t, just googled retinopathy - not a good idea!

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 11:49:48

yes ,ocular pressure can change but they also check the blood vessels that are at the back of the retina as they can show up any problems caused by diabetes. dont be alarmed ,it takes quite some time to develop eye problems with real diabetes, so short term gestational diabetes is not likely to cause any probs, but better to check.If you feel a bit spaced out and light headed or not with it you are probably having highs and lows, eat a banana or a drink of milk at regular intervals and this should help. Dont eat too many bananas as they are high in potassiium tho.

olivo Mon 03-Aug-09 11:56:08

thanks alpaly, that's reassuring. I will try and rememebr to have drinks of milk - they help with my heartburn anyway!
hopefully not too long to go.....

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 12:00:03

you can get gaviscon advance on a prescription and it is safe to have during pregnancy, really helps with the baby big for dates btw

olivo Mon 03-Aug-09 12:06:31

not too big at this stage but on 90th centile IIRC. i have excess fluid too so my bump is huge! i have been using gaviscon tabs but am not keen to use them all day, usually just at night and put up with it during the day.

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 12:10:44

Gavsicon liquid aniseed is much nicer.
90 th centile is pretty big. and baby may put another pound on in the last week as they lay more fat doen the few weeks.

Is your excess fluid being monitored. I had that and i ended up with pre eclampsia..all my fingers, feet and face were puffy and that nmade me fel a bit spaced out. Ask midwife or doc to do a urine teat on the spot for protein.

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 12:11:59

that wa smeant to read " lay more fat down in the last few weeks" Sorry am rying to pack for my hols in between messages

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 12:13:25


olivo Mon 03-Aug-09 14:16:18

have heard back from diabetic team, they're not concerned, just have to keep reporting results back. also back from eye check, eyes are healthy so blurred vision most likely down to hormones, have to mention at my hospital appt this week. will try and relax a bit now!

alypaly, i am being monitored by scans and midwife plus consultant appt every week so well looked after.
btw, aniseed gaviscon sounds gross!grin

enjoy your holiday and thanks for your advice! smile

thoughtforms Mon 03-Aug-09 18:41:23

brightonbleach - I can test 1 or 2 hours after food (but have to mark it up correctly in my diary). Sounds like we've got different levels, too!

Mine are :
Before meals - 4-5.6
1 Hour after food - 4-8
2 Hours after food - 4-7

Now I'm wondering how different everyone else is on here with the levels they're supposed to be getting?

olivo - good news from the team!

I've got my (hopefully last) diabetes appointment tomorrow, when I should find out exactly what they plan to do. JOY. I'm ready to argue.

olivo Mon 03-Aug-09 18:45:22

thoughtforms, my levels have to be like yours, 4- 5.4 before and less than 7 after 2 hours. good luck for your appt tomorrow.

thoughtforms Mon 10-Aug-09 13:39:54

thanks olivo - I'm all booked in for an induction on the 20th now, and a sweep tomorrow. Eek. But hopefully the latter will lead to the former not happening... one can hope...

I've noticed too, these last couple of days I've started having higher levels in the evening (which drop in the morning), which is odd - eating the same food as I always have, so I'm not sure what's going on there. I've had my last diabetes appointment now, and had my last growth scan today (where baby is now pretty much dead centre of all the growth charts - the time before she was towards the top - but still well within limits).

How are you managing?

olivo Mon 10-Aug-09 14:00:59

hello thoughtforms. I'm envious that you have a date, hope to have one by the end of the week! But hopefully, your sweep will do the job - good luck!!
I was admitted last week as they thought i was in preterm labour but it all settled down overnight and was let out. my levels are all over the place again; have seen diabetic people today, they say it may be the stress but if i'm going to go on much longer, i may have to treat it.
I find i am having to cut back on my meals even moe now to keep the levels lower. my last growth scan is showing baby on about 75th centile so not bad, but compared to my little 35th centile DD, scary enough!

still not long for either of us now. The thought of tucking inot a swiss mountain bar at the end of it all is just about keeping me going grin

thoughtforms Wed 12-Aug-09 12:16:54


Well, no luck on the sweep front just yet, although my abdominal area occasionally feels like it has knitting needles being jammed into it, so something might happen. I'm not building my hopes up though... looks like next Thursday is the big day.

Yikes, that sounds a bit scary - though glad it's all settled down for you now.

I had my last diabetes appointment with the sweep yesterday, plus my last growth scan - and my measurement levels have come down! The diabetes people took photocopies of my scans to show people that it can work, controlling it by diet, and were really pleased! Despite me having higher readings in the last week... I guess it's so close now, and baby is at a good level, that it's just a case of going with it - same for you, maybe? My little one was on 86.8 for the centile last time, and on Monday 74.1. Cripes.

Have you tried all the various Nairns biscuits you can get? I found some fruit biscuits in Sainsburys or Tesco the other day, which are low GI - obviously you can't eat them all at once, but god, what a fantastic find! They do crisps-style oat snacks too, in cheese, chili and one other flavour - again in some of the supermarkets. That's what's keeping me sane. That and looking at the lump of ice cream in the fridge, and thinking "just over a week now... arghhhh"


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