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Advised cortisone injections during pregnancy for growth of baby's lungs. Will it increase sugar levels?

Hello doctor. My wife is in the 30th week of her pregnancy. During the last two weeks my wife is following a very specific nutrition program as she had put on a bit more weight for our doctor s liking. We are also measuring her sugar levels 6 times daily, before and after each meal. We have now been asked to do 2 cortisone injections to help the baby s lungs grow, as a precautionary measure in case of premature birth. We would like to ask you: Isn t cortison going to increase sugar levels? And if so, what range of sugar levels we should expect? (prior to the cortisone injections, we had been given a target of 90 on an empty stomach and 125 after each meal). What numbers should we expect now? Is there a possibility she will need insulin injections as well if sugar levels rise too high? And lastly, don t cortisone and insulin offset each other? Thank you in advance for our guidance. George S.
Asked On : Sat, 21 Jul 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  304
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OBGYN 's  Response
Hello, I would be happy to help you with your question.

First of all, use of steroids for maturation of fetal lungs is only indicated in the setting of a threatened premature birth before 34 weeks. You have not said anything that would indicate that this is the case. If there is no imminent threat of a premature birth (preterm contractions, cervical dilation, cervical shortening, fetal growth restriction, etc.) then the steroids would not be indicated in her case. With regard to this recommendation, I would definitely seek a second opinion. Perhaps there are additional details that you have not mentioned.

In terms of your question, yes steroids will increase her blood sugars for a short period of time, and yes they will be difficult to keep within those targets that you mentioned. I am going to defer the last questions regarding targets for blood sugars and the physiology of insulin as I think that these should be addressed after you get a second opinion.

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Answered: Mon, 23 Jul 2012
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