Questions and Answers

Sep 1, 2001

I am in my 32nd week of pregnancy with my second child, and I wonder if I have developed gestational diabetes.

After reading several articles, I am not sure I have developed this. I took the three-hour GTT and my numbers compared to the common scales were only off by a few points—five at the most.

What are the normal levels for a pregnancy? I was feeling fine until my doctor suggested a diet of 1,900 calories and insulin shots three times per day. Since the diet, I am hungry and tired all the time. Since I have started the shots (five days ago) my blood sugars are reading under 100 mg/dl and I feel horrible. I have explained this to my nurse and doctor who tell me this is normal. Is it?


Andrea Fornicola
Lawton, Oklahoma


The normal values for the three-hour GTT are:

  • Fasting should be below 95 mg/dl
  • The one-hour should be below 180
  • The two-hour value below 155
  • The three-hour value less than 140

If you had two or more values equal to or over these values, then you have gestational diabetes.

If you are not overweight, you need to work with a dietitian who can help you decide how many calories and what kinds of foods you need to help keep your blood sugar in control, gain the right amount of weight and still not be hungry. About 1,900 calories may be right for you, but you should not be hungry.

Your fasting BG value should be below 95 mg/dl. It should be below 140 mg/dl one hour after a meal and below 120 mg/dl two hours after a meal. If this makes your feel bad at the beginning, then usually your levels were running too high. After a few days you should feel better than ever and have more energy.

Keeping the blood-glucose levels in control not only helps you, but it also prevents problems for your baby. If your blood glucose is high, even by small amounts all the time, the baby makes more insulin, which acts like a growth hormone and makes the baby get fatter. Then, when your baby is born, he or she is used to producing extra insulin because of the extra glucose that crosses the placenta. This can cause the baby to end up in the high-risk nursery because of hypoglycemia. The baby has extra insulin but the extra glucose source has stopped.

Last of all, having gestational diabetes puts you higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life, but you can do a lot to prevent that. Right now, you need to learn about healthy meal planning and exercise habits that will help you prevent type 2 diabetes.

You are the one in control and the one that will make these decisions, but you can have support and help if you seek it.

Joann Henry, RNC, CDE
Sweet Success Express
Garden Grove, California

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Food, Insulin, Low Blood Sugar, Pregnancy, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues

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