When blood glucose levels are too low, a person suffers from a condition known as hypoglycemia. While it most commonly affects diabetics, new-onset hypoglycemia may develop during pregnancy. When left untreated and undiagnosed, the condition can be dangerous. For more information about hypoglycemia during pregnancy, including symptoms, dangers and what to do if hypoglycemia in pregnancy has harmed you or your baby, read on.
Understanding Hypoglycemia in Pregnancy
If the body doesn’t have enough blood glucose (blood sugar), then it may have trouble fueling itself and functioning properly. Often, the causes of hypoglycemia during pregnancy are unknown for those who don't already suffer from the condition or other risk factors, such as diabetes or another disorder. Hypoglycemia can be caused by taking too much of a certain medication, missing a meal or strenuous exercise.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia means that the body doesn’t have enough blood sugar to function properly. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include mood changes (feeling grumpy or emotional), fatigue, hunger, headache, shakiness, crying for no apparent reason, trouble focusing, sweating and even losing consciousness.
Dangers of Hypoglycemia During Pregnancy
While low blood sugar levels don’t appear to have a major effect on a developing baby’s growth, they can have a big impact on the mother. And, if a mother’s hypoglycemia is so severe that she faints, both she and the baby may be at risk of serious injury. If the fall is bad enough, the mother is at risk of injuries, and miscarriage may occur.
Preventing and Treating Hypoglycemia
The good news it that hypoglycemia during pregnancy is one of the easier conditions to prevent and treat. Pregnant mothers should eat often to control blood sugar levels and choose unprocessed foods and that are low in refined sugars. Sugary drinks, white breads and pastas, candy, and other processed foods are not good choices for controlling hypoglycemia. Avoiding foods that are high in carbohydrates, having frequent snacks and exercise also can prevent hypoglycemia.
If the patient’s hypoglycemia is caused by diabetes or another underlying condition, then other treatment methods, including medication, may be prescribed.
The Importance of Diagnosing Hypoglycemia
Diagnosing hypoglycemia for all individuals suffering from the condition is important but can be of particular consequence when the patient is also pregnant. A doctor should use the Whipple’s triad test to diagnose hypoglycemia, which involves observing the patient during hypoglycemic moments, blood tests, and the disappearance of signs and symptoms with treatment. If a doctor fails to diagnose hypoglycemia and provide the patient with treatment recommendations for the condition, and if harm to mother or baby occurs as a result, the prenatal care provider may be to blame. If prenatal care provider negligence can be proven, then the mother is eligible to recover damages for harm she or her baby suffered. This can be done by filing a medical malpractice suit against the at-fault doctor. In Pennsylvania, all medical malpractice suits must be filed within two years’ time of the malpractice incident.
Take Legal Action Today
Undiagnosed and untreated hypoglycemia during pregnancy can cause serious injuries for both you and your unborn baby. If you’re a victim of negligent prenatal care because your doctor failed to diagnose and treat hypoglycemia, you may have the right to legal action. To discover more about negligence during prenatal care and the rights of those harmed by negligence, call the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC today. You can reach us now to schedule your first free meeting with us by dialing 215-642-2335.