Pregnant diabetic women represent a unique category of patient in whom diabetic control is most desirable, since even minor degrees of hyperglycemia have adverse effects on the conceptus. In 18 insulin-dependent pregnant diabetic women (White Class B,N= 4; C,N= 5; D,N= 7; and R, N=2), we have utilized a therapeutic program consisting of intensive patient education, a multiple-component insulin regimen (two to four injections daily), careful dietary control, and meticulous balancing of food, activity, and insulin dosage, monitoring such balance with patient-determined blood glucose measurements four to seven times daily using the Dextrostix/Eyetone system. Our goals for blood glucose management have been to attain fasting levels of 60-90 mg/dl, preprandial levels less than 105 mg/dl, and postprandial levels less than 120 mg/dl, in the absence of significant hypoglycemia. We have been able to attain these goals for most of the period of monitoring in the majority of these patients, while in the others we have achieved marked improvement in diabetic control, although we did not consistently attain our goals. Despite this, there was not infrequent neonatal morbidity, including a 33% frequency of macrosomia, an 11% frequency of significant hypoglycemia, and a 22% frequency of congenital malformation. Nevertheless, all infants survived and are generally healthy, whereas only 38% of 21 previous pregnancies in these same women have eventuated in living offspring. Thus, although further refinement is clearly indicated, it appears that our approach has resulted in improved pregnancy outcome. Patient self-monitoring of blood glucose is a procedure that is relatively simple, practical, acceptable to patients, and facilitates the attainment of glycemic control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing