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Raspberry Leaf and Hypoglycemia in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Cheang, Kai I. PharmD, MS; Nguyen, Thanh T. BS; Karjane, Nicole W. MD; Salley, Kelsey E. S. MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001757
Contents: Case Report

BACKGROUND: Raspberry leaf is commonly consumed by pregnant women. Hypoglycemic effects have been documented with other species within the plant family. Whether raspberry leaf affects glycemic control in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is unknown.

CASE: A 38-year-old nulliparous woman with GDM developed hypoglycemia requiring lowered insulin dose after consuming raspberry leaf tea at 32 weeks of gestation. The temporal relationship was confirmed by the patient's self-withdrawal and reintroduction of the herb. Fetal surveillance and growth were reassuring. A cesarean delivery was performed at 39 weeks of gestation. The neonate did not experience hypoglycemia or other complications. Placental biopsy revealed normal findings.

CONCLUSION: Consumption of raspberry leaf may lead to reduced insulin requirements in GDM. Women with GDM should be cautioned about its use and their glucose levels more closely monitored.

Raspberry leaf consumption may lead to hypoglycemia in gestational diabetes mellitus.

Department of Pharmacotherapy & Outcomes Science, School of Pharmacy, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, and Virginia Endocrinology, Midlothian, Virginia.

Corresponding author: Kai I. Cheang, PharmD, MS, Virginia Commonwealth University, PO Box 980533, Richmond, VA 23298-0533; e-mail: kicheang@vcu.edu.

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2016 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.