USING MEAL-BASED SELF-MONITORING OF BLOOD GLUCOSE AS A TOOL TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES IN PREGNANCY COMPLICATED BY DIABETES

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Abstract

Objective:

To review the importance of controlling blood glucose levels and the role of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) in the management of pregnancy complicated by diabetes.

Methods:

This report describes the relationship between hyperglycemia and maternal and neonatal complications, reviews the utility of meal-based SMBG in modifying food choices and adjusting insulin doses, and proposes an algorithm to achieve normoglycemia in pregnancies complicated by diabetes.

Results:

The risk of diabetes-related complications in pregnancy is more strongly associated with 1-hour postprandial plasma glucose concentrations than with fasting plasma glucose levels. SMBG strategies that incorporate postprandial glucose testing provide better glycemic control and greater reductions in risk of complications than does preprandial glucose testing alone. Although the optimal timing and frequency of SMBG remain controversial, available clinical evidence supports testing 4 times per day (before breakfast and 1 hour after each meal) in women with gestational diabetes managed by medical nutrition therapy only and 6 times per day (before and 1 hour after each meal) in pregnant women treated with insulin.

Conclusion:

Meal-based SMBG is a valuable tool for improving outcomes in pregnancy complicated by diabetes. The lessons learned in this setting should have relevance to the general population of patients with diabetes, in whom microvascular and macrovascular complications are the outcomes of importance.

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