Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy: Odd Cravings

Kerri Sparling Health Guide
  • (Honestly, this is a post I always hoped I’d be able to write, and even the title is making me grin.)


    I am currently 4 ½ months into my first pregnancy, and I’m beyond grateful for it and thrilled about it.  I’m also 23 years into my type 1 diabetes diagnosis, so pregnancy wasn’t always something I felt confident that I’d experience.  I have heard more horror stories about diabetes and pregnancy than I’d care to think about, and of course there’s that whole Steele Magnolias movie that is burned into my memory.  Thankfully, I followed Kelsey’s journey here on HealthCentral, and she helped to give me plenty of hope.  And now, after a few years of careful planning and several months of consecutive diabetes control wrangling, I’m finally there, too.  And I have the potbelly to prove it. 

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    While the pregnancy low blood sugars have been extremely surprising (can you say “29 mg/dl without symptoms?”  I can.  Oy.), I have to admit that the food cravings have been even weirder.   I’ve been anti-seafood for as long as I can remember, which makes me the subject of much ridicule in my home state of Rhode Island.  As a kid, my family would have lobster dinner and I would eat chicken fingers.  And even as recently as last summer, my husband’s family ate a meal of mussels while my seven year old niece and I shared spaghetti and meatballs.  Seafood just repulsed me, and I didn’t even like to be in the room when it was being cooked.


    Until two months ago, when I suddenly craved grilled shrimp.  And then I ordered the scallops while out with my college roommates a few weeks ago.  And today?  I can’t stop thinking about salmon and corn salsa. 


    I feel like I’m possessed by the Gorton’s Fisherman.  This is the weirdest culinary palette I have EVER had. 


    I’ve heard about other pregnant women’s cravings – like people who can’t sit still until they get their hands on soft serve ice cream, or the ladies who are chowing on Doritos by the fistful.  Pregnancy cravings can be intense enough to throw an entire day’s worth of blood sugars into the garbage – and that is crappy because now is the time we’re trying our hardest to stay in best control.  I am beyond thankful my cravings seem to be more on the diabetes-friendly side of things, like shrimp.  Mmmm, or avocadoes.  Oh, or grilled chicken with lemon and a side of asparagus … (maybe I need a snack?).   But I know this is bound to change as my pregnancy progresses.


    Granted, I’ve had moments of “Oh my God how quickly can we find a McDonald’s so I can get a cheeseburger?” and “Do I have enough insulin in my pump to cover this whole cheesecake?”, but these moments are few and far between.  THANK GOODNESS.  Because between the blood sugar fluctuations, the increasing belly size, and the dance of the basal rates, pregnancy is tough enough without craving jelly beans and cotton candy. 


    Whoops, BSparl is craving guacamole.  I’m off to indulge!

Published On: November 30, 2009