Insane insulin resistance and carb consumption

So, after five years of TTC and pretty much on the verge of giving up, the first inkling I get is suddenly, my blood sugars go crazy (high), and virtually overnight, I’m needing twice as much insulin as before.

I’m now officially 8 weeks and a bit along and the only symptom I have is my insane blood sugars. And last period on 8th April when I am normally regular as clockwork. I’m so symptom-less I wouldn’t even believe it, if it wasn’t for the small matter of three positive pregnancy tests.

At the pre-conception session at my diabetes clinic, I was told to be careful of lows during the first few weeks. But the absolute opposite was true. When my insulin-carb ratio went from 1:5 to 1:2.5, I knew it was time to test, and sure enough, the second blue line appeared.

It’s driving me mad. 1:5 was bad enough, at 1:2.5, I feel like I am injecting water, and with my luck, it is just going to get worse. I’m probably going to be needing more units of insulin per unit of carb by the end, as I have read that insulin resistance increases as pregnancy advances. I just did not expect that it would start from day one!

Following on from there, what do people think of low carb during pregnancy? My pre-pregnancy A1C was consistently 5.9, only because I cut out all starchy carb from my diet. The first few weeks when my blood sugar was all over the place (well, high, mostly), I was literally too scared to eat anything. Now that I’ve adjusted my insulin:carb ratio, I am now terrified by the huge amounts of insulin I need everytime I put anything in my mouth. For example, one wholegrain Ryvita (similar to a Wasa cracker) with houmous on top (about 10g carb together) requires 4 units of insulin. The other day I had a plain croissant and that required 16 units of insulin! I actually sat down and cried and felt like a failure for needing 16 (!!!) units of insulin for something so small. As I am already carrying some excess weight, I’m really worried that these huge amounts of insulin are going to lead to even more weight gain on top of the normal pregnancy weight gain.

I have not discussed diet at the antenatal clinic yet and I’m afraid they are going to give me that awful propaganda about how your brain needs 130g of carb a day to function. I know that’s rubbish but that’s rubbish for a non-pregnant person. Do I actually need more carbs while pregnant? I would hate to think that the diet that works for blood sugar control would be in any way detrimental to the baby. I am not a militant low-carber but I generally do not eat starchy carbs. I guess I do about 50-70g of carb a day? I did have a blowout the other day and did 100g. I am extremely sensitive to carb and the only way I can hit the post-prandial pregnancy targets is never to eat more than 10g of carb in one sitting.

Hi - Congratulations on your pregnancy!
It’s normal for your insulin needs to go up. Pre-prego, I used to take ~12units for breakfast (milk, bowl of cereal). I currently take ~26 for the same. I am in my 40th week now (almost there!) - I eat more carbs than I probably should per day (being I love to eat!), but my A1c throughout pregnancy has been 5.5-5.7. I would not skimp out on carbs while your pregnant for the baby’s sake, and worry about loosing any extra baby lbs once the baby is out and healthy!
Here’s another discussion about insulin resistance during pregnancy, and there’s an attachment in here that shows typical insulin requirements per week of pregnancy:

First - congrats! This is such an exciting time!

As far as you not really having any other symptoms. Don’t worry too much about it. I was terribly morning sick with both my boys, but the sicknesses really didn’t hit me until at least eight weeks along and ramped up after that. But a lot of my friends never had sickness. Enjoy feeling normal while it lasts, because soon you’ll be plenty aware that you are pregnant!

As far as weight gain in pregnancy, which I kind of deduce as being your major concern about insulin and carbs, let me say this. With almost no exception, the women I know who gain a ton of weight in pregnancy that they have a really hard time losing are the ones who use pregnancy as an excuse to eat poorly and excessively. Now, let me qualify that by saying it’s very difficult for us anyone to return to pre-pregnancy condition and of course with the taking care of a baby, sleepless nights, etc. it’s difficult to lose that last 5-10 lbs. I’m not talking about that. That will happen regardless of what you eat or don’t eat. But the women who really pack on the lbs are the ones who assume they’re going to get fat anyway and just eat and eat.

In your case, you do have to up your carb consumption and if it means more insulin, it’s fine. Remember you’re eating for two and in a way you’re taking insulin for two. For the same amount of carbs, I took 8 units of insulin in pregnancy when I now take 2 units. I had my carbs at meals and in the 3rd trimester I had two snacks as well as meals. And I was within 5 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight a week after giving birth. How much insulin we take has nothing to do with being a success or a failure. It’s just what we need.

Take care and enjoy your pregnancy.

My endo told me that I could continue to low carb during my pregnancy but does not necessarily like it but I told him I was going to continue. Before pregnancy I ate about 30 carbs total per day and since finding out I bumped it up to 60 carbs per day. My endo makes me test my urine every morning for ketones and says as long as I do not have more than a small amount I am good and do not need to increase my carbs. Some days I only eat about 40-50 carbs and will still only test with small ketones in the AM which my endo says is perfectly fine. He says if I do test with more than small ketones drink a lot of water to flush them out and increase my carbs by 5 per day until I no longer have more than a small amount and my ob/gyn said the same thing.