Diabetes Symptoms

Our goal is to help with the care and treatment of diabetes including diagnosing the symptoms

Blood sugar levels
Blood Sugar

Tracking Your Blood Glucose

Checking your blood glucose levels frequently with a portable home monitor is also an important part of your treatment program. This quick and simple test involves pricking your finger with a fine needle, called a lancet, and placing a small blood drop on a test strip that is inserted into a blood glucose monitor, or meter. The monitor analyzes the amount of glucose in the blood sample and displays the reading.

E Alert

Although the thought of "sticking yourself" repeatedly is a deter­rent to many when they first start checking glucose levels, keep in mind that with today's ultrafine lancets, the procedure is relatively painless. If you're experiencing a lot of pain or are having trouble getting a blood sample, take your meter and your technique to your CDE, who can offer you pointers on less painful testing. When you first get started, you may be testing more frequently as you try to get a handle on how different foods and activities affect your glucose levels. Testing is usually recommended early in the morning before breakfast and after meals . Postprandial tests are taken one hour after the start of your meal, and can be taken again at the two hour mark. You should keep a written log of all your results. If you exercise regularly, test your glucose levels before and after your workout.

Ketone Testing

In addition to blood glucose monitoring, your doctor may ask you to perform ketone testing at home. This is done by dipping a ketone test strip in a urine sample. Home monitors that check for blood ketones are also available. Ketones can be a sign that your blood glucose is too high and your body is breaking down fat stores for energy instead of glucose. They can also occur in cases of severe morning sickness if you aren't keeping adequate food down. If you test positive for ketones, call your health care provider right away for further directions.

When You Need Insulin

If you're unable to keep your blood glucose levels down to a safe level with dietary and activity changes only, your doctor may suggest insulin therapy. Oral medications aren't recommended because of the possible risks to the fetus, but insulin does not cross the placenta and is therefore considered safe for you and your developing baby.

E Fact

In 2000, a clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the diabetes drug glyburide was as effective as insulin in controlling blood glucose levels in women with GDM. As of early 2003, the drug was not approved for the treatment of GDM by the FDA, however. Another trip back to the CDE may be in order to teach you how to take insulin and to learn the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia . He or she can also work with you to help you understand how to interpret your blood glucose readings and manage your insulin accordingly. Always bring your blood glucose log with you on both your obgyn and CDE appointments so you don't have to rely on your memory and so your providers have a more accurate clinical picture on which to base treatment decisions. Needing to take insulin does not mean you've "failed" at managing your GDM. Consider it another method of ensuring your baby the best possible birth outcome.