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From Edina, Missouri, USA:

I am 20 weeks pregnant with my third son. Four years ago, I had an open RNY gastric-bypass surgery, lost around 180 pounds and went from 385 pounds to 205 pounds. The past few years I have noticed that I would get dizzy, hot/cold, heart palpitations, and even somewhat confused when I would eat certain types of sugar. Both of my parents, and one sibling have type 2 diabetes so I would test my blood sugar using my mother's glucometer. My blood sugar would be around 40 mg/dl [2.2 mmol/L]. So, I assumed I had hypoglycemia, or a form of it. This continued. I would just live with the symptoms if I ate sweets, never going to the doctor for it.

When I became pregnant, a few times during the first trimester my blood sugar would drop quicker than it used to. French dressing on a salad or a hot roll would make it plummet. I asked the ob/gyn and they said just to avoid that food, but it would not hurt the baby, though it could hurt me if I passed out while driving. Well, never one to stick to a diet very well, since I heard it would NOT hurt the baby, I would still eat the wrong things sometimes. Then, my blood sugars changed and started going up when I ate the wrong things. It will go from 170 to 270 mg/dl [9.4 to 15.0 mmol/L] over simple little amounts of carbohydrates or sugars. Again, I was always under the impression that this would not hurt the baby. It would cause me to have a large baby, hence making the birth more difficult, but I have cesarean sections anyway, and my last two children were almost 11 pounds. At that time, I had been checked so I knew I did not have diabetes. I wasn't too worried about it, but now, I am reading the questions and letters posted on this board and others, and am worried about what I may have done to my unborn child. I honestly didn't think I was hurting anyone other than myself, and didn't think I was really hurting myself since the blood sugar drops back to normal within an hour or two. Have I already hurt the baby? Is it too late to change my eating pattern? If half of this pregnancy was spent with a blood sugar over 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L], what can I expect? They have already done a level 2 ultrasound and the blood work for spinal defects/down syndrome, Everything came back normal.

Since I am heavy (210 pounds), they didn't get a real clear look at the heart chambers, but felt it was all fine since everything else was perfect. Please let me know what to expect, if I can fix any wrong I may have done, if I really am just hurting myself or if I could lose my baby at this point? I am already suffering from constant urinary tract infections (UTIs), so I am getting ready to take my second round of antibiotics. I suspect I'm getting the UTIs because of the diabetes. Is this possible?


I would recommend early diabetes testing since your blood sugars are fluctuating so much. An additional ultrasound examination of the baby's heart is also warranted since you may have had hyperglycemia during the early part of the pregnancy when the developing baby is most at risk. If the first ultrasound is reassuring, then mostly likely there is nothing significantly wrong with the baby. However, ultrasound is not 100% perfect in detecting abnormalities. I would also strongly encourage you to meet with a dietitian to get a better handle on your calorie intake and to assist you in a more balanced diet.


Original posting 12 May 2004
Posted to Gestational Diabetes and Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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