The Diabetes WA Helpline and Telehealth Service provides free comprehensive access to personalised diabetes management advice and support from a Credentialed Diabetes Educator. Meet our educators as they share some of the common concerns they hear from our members.
Cate Mitchell is a registered nurse, midwife and diabetes educator, with experience in paediatrics, adolescents, remote community nursing and Aboriginal and school health including health care planning, diabetes education and self-management group education. She is passionate about making a difference and supporting people to manage their diabetes in a way that recognises their uniqueness and diversity. Her favourite things in life are family, her dog (probably the dog first), glamping – because who goes camping without a coffee machine? – and long walks (with the dog, of course!)
Here she answers one of the most common queries from clients living with gestational diabetes.
“I have cut out carbs in my diet and my blood glucose levels (BGLs) in the morning are higher than my target of <5.1mmol/L. what can I do?”
Fasting BGLs are not usually related to carbohydrate intake but instead come from glucose being released into the bloodstream from stores in the liver. The liver releases glucose into the blood to be used by the body as fuel, during any fasting state (like sleep), so cutting out carbohydrates the day before will not have any impact on BGLs taken in the morning.
A fasting blood glucose reading is taken to see what impact the hormones from the placenta are having on blood glucose levels during the fasting state. The reading is to check if the body’s cells are resistant to insulin or a result of blood glucose levels dropping in the night, which causes your liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. It’s important to take this reading to keep the blood glucose levels within the optimum range for you.
Your health care professional or diabetes educator will suggest checking your blood glucose levels at 2 or 3am to see if the high blood glucose levels (>5.1mmol/L) are a result of going low (<4mmol/L) overnight and may suggest a supper before bed with a low GI carbohydrate, making sure you are only fasting for around 8-10 hours.
The Diabetes WA Helpline is available Mon-Fri 8.30am-4.30pm for all people in WA.
The Diabetes Telehealth Service is for country WA only.
Call 1300 001 880