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Diabetes Period Problems

Why Are My Blood Sugars Affected By My Period?

Why Are My Blood Sugars Affected By My Period?

Question: Dear CDE, Every month when I have my period I experience fluctuations in my blood sugar levels. Why does this occur? I've asked my other "DiabetesSisters" if this happens to them as well. For some, it doesn't but for others, it does. Some of my friends have high blood sugars a few days before their period starts (like me) while my other female friends' blood sugars go low!! What gives?? Answer: Dear Reader, Unfortunately, there have been very few studies in the area of menstruation and blood sugar control. The common finding is that menstruation’s affect on blood sugar control is varied depending on the individual. As a result, blood sugar testing during this time is the only way to know how it affects that particular woman’s blood sugar. One study by Villanova University College of Nursing revealed decreased insulin sensitivity during menstruation being the most common issue. This decreased insulin sensitivity means that the insulin that patients were taking or the pancreas was producing were not sufficient to lower blood sugar, resulting in hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. According to studies and reports, this decreased insulin sensitivity could be related to hormone fluctuations during different phases of the menstrual cycle or from symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) such as bloating, cramps, and mood swings. During menstruation estrogen and progesterone are at their lower levels. These are hormones that are produced by the ovaries in reaction to stimulation of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) all needed in normal menstruation. Estrogen and Progesterone are at their peak in the premenstrual phase. This is where they stimulate the endometrium to prepare a thick layer of blood vessels that will support a fertilized e Continue reading >>

Your Menstrual Cycle And Blood Sugar Levels

Your Menstrual Cycle And Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes can affect a woman's reproductive health because the hormones that control menstruation can cause changes in blood glucose levels. Learn to monitor patterns in your blood glucose changes that correlate to your menstrual cycles. Hormones and blood glucose levels The hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone, interact with the insulin hormone and may make your body more resistant to its own insulin or injected insulin. Because of this, either before, after, or during menstruation you may experience a rise in blood glucose levels for three to five days. These effects might be consistent from month to month, or they might vary, making them more difficult to monitor. An increase in your levels of progesterone can also trigger food cravings that can make diabetes management more difficult. Diabetes and your menstrual cycle Just as your menstrual cycle affects your diabetes, your diabetes, in turn, affects your menstrual cycle. Women with type 1 diabetes, on average, start menstruation a year later than women without diabetes, and they are more likely to have menstrual problems before age 30. Diabetes also increases a woman's chances of having longer menstrual cycles and periods, heavier periods, and earlier onset of menopause. Managing diabetes and your cycle The key to knowing how your menstrual cycle affects your diabetes and vice versa is careful monitoring. Track menstrual cycle changes that relate to your diabetes as closely as you would your blood sugar levels. Using a period tracker app can help you keep track of your cycle and clue you into when you might start experiencing high blood sugars. Compare your cycle with your blood glucose levels and note any trends that you see so you can be prepared for diabetes management changes in Continue reading >>

Irregular Menstrual Cycles May Predict Diabetes

Irregular Menstrual Cycles May Predict Diabetes

Irregular Menstrual Cycles May Predict Diabetes Not all women have a regular four-week menstruation cycle; cycles can range from between 20 to 40 or more days, and in some women the cycle length changes regularly. Diabetes, a condition in which a person has higher than normal blood sugar, can cause damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and other organs. Unusually long, extremely irregular, or infrequent menstrual cycles may be linked to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 (or adult-onset) diabetes. To assess the risk for type 2 diabetes in women with a history of irregular menstrual cycles, the authors of a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed over 100,000 women who had reported their menstrual cycle patterns from 18-22 years of age. A "usual" cycle was considered to be 26 to 31 days; weight, race, family history, cigarette use, and other factors were also examined. Women with long (40+ days) or irregular menstrual cycles were more than twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes over the 10-year study period than women with usual cycles. Women with very short cycles (21 days or less) were 1.5 times more likely to develop the condition than those with normal cycles. Overweight women had a significantly increased risk for type 2 diabetes as well, but obesity could not account for the increased risk in women with irregular cycles. Unusual menstrual cycles may indicate metabolic changes that increase a woman's risk for insulin resistance. Insulin resistance hinders a woman's ability to process sugars and can cause type 2 diabetes over time. If you typically have very long or short menstrual cycles, especially if your menstrual cycle is highly irregular, take extra precautions to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Ta Continue reading >>

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

en espaolComplicaciones a largo plazo de la diabetes Many of the complications of diabetes don't show up until after many years even decades of having the disease. They usually develop silently and gradually over time, so even if people with diabetes aren't having any signs of complications, they may still eventually develop them. Talking or thinking about long-term complications can be scary. And it can be hard for anyone to make changes in how they live today to decrease the risk of health problems that may not show up for decades. But it's important to start now. Managing your diabetes by eating right, getting regular exercise, and taking your medicine as directed by your diabetes health care team is the best way to reduce the risk of developing complications. You may have wondered why doctors talk so much about keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Here's why: Long-term diabetes problems or complications are often linked to higher blood sugar levels over a long period of time. These complications can affect several different parts of the body. But blood sugar control isn't the only thing that determines a person's risk for diabetes complications. Other factors, like genes, can also play a role. Parts of the body that can be most affected by diabetes complications are the: People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing eye problems, including: Cataracts: A cataract is a thickening and clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens is the part of the eye that helps you focus on what you see. Cataracts can make a person's vision blurry or make it hard to see at night. Doctors think that people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts if they have high blood sugar levels over a long period of time. If cataracts get in the way of seeing properly, a Continue reading >>

Periods (menstruation) And Diabetes

Periods (menstruation) And Diabetes

Tweet Different stages of the menstrual cycle may have different effects on your blood glucose levels and the effect can also vary from person to person and from month to month. Recording your blood glucose results can be helpful in finding patterns in your levels and helping you to better control your diabetes. How will my period affect my sugar levels? There is not a definite answer to this as periods affect each one of us differently. However, many women report having higher blood sugar levels a few days prior to their period starting. During your period, you may experience high blood sugar levels but some women notice a sharp drop in sugar levels so it’s best to be prepared for unexpected changes to happen. Why does blood sugar rise before or during periods? Before and during your period, changes in the level of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone can induce temporary resistance to insulin which can last for up to a few days and then drop off. Some girls and women have consistent effects as to how their period affects blood sugar whereas other women may find that the effect on blood sugar varies from one month to another. Coping with periods The effect on blood sugar as a result of periods can change from one month to another so keeping a diary of your blood glucose numbers can help you to see if there are any patterns in your results across different months. If you are finding your blood glucose levels go very high before or during your period, you may need to either inject more insulin (if insulin dependent) or reduce your carbohydrate intake. If you increase your insulin, be careful to avoid hypoglycemia as your insulin sensitivity can sometimes return quickly. Speak to your health team if you need advice on how to manage your insulin doses or carbohydrate Continue reading >>

Diabetes Symptoms To Never Ignore

Diabetes Symptoms To Never Ignore

One of the keys to leading a healthy life with diabetes is to keep your glucose levels, or blood sugar, in check. As your main source of energy, glucose plays a big role in keeping your body working like it should. If you have either type of diabetes, you need to be aware of symptoms that may mean your glucose is out of balance. If your blood sugar is too low: Symptom: Acting Drunk or Losing Consciousness Your brain can be affected if your sugar level drops too low. Low glucose can cause you to stagger, slur words, or even pass out. What to do: It's smart to wear a medical bracelet or necklace that lets people know you have diabetes. If your blood sugar gets too low, taking in about 15 to 20 grams of a simple carb may help. Some examples are a half a cup of orange juice, 2 tablespoons of raisins, or a tablespoon of sugar. Glucose tablets and gel tubes are also available. Some people keep an injectable hormone called glucagon on hand and tell their friends how to give them the shot in case they faint or can’t swallow. Ask your doctor if keeping glucagon on hand is right for you. If you can, check your fingerstick 15 minutes after 15 grams of sugar. If you are still low (less than 70 or less than 100 with symptoms), eat another round of carbs. When your blood sugar returns to your target range, eat a meal or snack to prevent if from dropping again. If you've gone 3 rounds and your sugar is still low, or your symptoms persist, call 911. Always let your doctor know if you've had an episode of low blood sugar. Your treatment plan may have to be adjusted. If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High: High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, usually causes its damage slowly over time. But there are some instances when more urgent care is needed. If you have any of the following symptoms, chec Continue reading >>

Hormones And Their Affect On Type 1 Diabetes Management

Hormones And Their Affect On Type 1 Diabetes Management

For people with Type 1 diabetes, there are certain stages in life that can seem a bit more like a rollercoaster than others. In most cases, these ups and downs can be attributed to a shift in hormones. Major hormonal changes can be due to many things, such as puberty, menopause, menstrual cycle, stress and illness, to name a few. Definitive correlations between hormones and blood glucose levels, insulin sensitivities and other possible Type 1 related side effects have been difficult to pinpoint thus far. Until more studies have been published about hormonal effects on T1D, there are things we can keep in mind based on the type of imbalance hormones can generally cause for T1D management. Growth hormones Both men and women experience puberty, and it can occur anywhere between the ages of 9 and 16. One of the primary hormones that kick in during puberty are growth hormones, and it has been noted by medical professionals that this kind of hormone can create insulin resistance. As a result, insulin requirements are often increased significantly during growth spurts. Other things to keep in mind during puberty that can have an effect on T1D: Behavioral changes / Moodiness Body image issues Increase in appetite Peer pressure Changes in sleep habits More (or less) physical activity Menstruation Women often notice changes in their blood sugar levels depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle. Many women have reported having abnormally high blood sugars the week before starting their period, and lower blood sugars in the few days following starting their period. It is important to note, however, that hormones fluctuate differently for each person – especially considering that women use all different kinds of birth control that can contribute to these fluctuations. Me Continue reading >>

Menstrual Cycle & Diabetes: Can Diabetes Affect Your Period?

Menstrual Cycle & Diabetes: Can Diabetes Affect Your Period?

As we know, diabetes is a disease of the hormones. As such, when a person is suffering from diabetes, the different hormones of the body tend to deviate from the normal functioning causing different types of complications in the patient’s body. One such complication specific to that of women is the menstrual cycle. Women get largely affected by even a small deviation caused in hormones and the monthly periods is no different. Diabetes can largely affect the women’s menstrual cycle while any deviation in the regular menstrual cycle in a healthy woman can help doctors predict diabetes. In this article, we shall study how type 1 and type 2 diabetes tends to affect the periods or the monthly menstrual cycle in a woman. So, join in for the article “Can Diabetes Affect Your Period?” Relationship Between Blood Glucose and the Hormones Causing Menstruation It is known that the hormones estrogen and progesterone are responsible for the menstrual cycle in women. What many people do not know is the fact that both these hormones interact with the main hormone insulin as well. Sometimes, these hormones make the body more resistant to insulin and results in the increase of the blood glucose levels during or just before and after the monthly cycle. Besides, progesterone is known to give rise to your hunger. Hence, during periods, if you have diabetes, diabetes management becomes all the more difficult as you tend to eat more. Why is There an Increase in the Blood Glucose During Periods? As seen above, just a few days before and after getting the periods, the hormones, estrogen, and progesterone lead to resistance of the body towards insulin. This effect is however temporary in nature and is known to stay for only a few days. Having said that, it is imperative to know that the Continue reading >>

10 Surprising Causes Of Blood Sugar Swings You Probably Didn’t Know

10 Surprising Causes Of Blood Sugar Swings You Probably Didn’t Know

1 / 11 What Causes Blood Sugar to Rise and Fall? Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the disease for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled. Proper blood sugar control is key for helping ward off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you keep your levels in check on a daily basis, it will help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood. You’ll know if your diabetes is poorly controlled if you experience symptoms such as frequent urination, sores that won’t heal, blurred vision, and unexplained weight loss. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and use of a blood glucose meter to track your numbers routinely can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose be 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) before meals, and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals. Learning how different habits can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate can help you better predict how your levels will swing. You may be more likely to experience hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar if you have advanced-stage diabetes, according to the ADA. Meanwhile, high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, may be caused by factors such as not using enough insulin or other diabetes medication, not following a prop Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Period

Diabetes And Your Period

My blood sugar had been running high all week. One morning it spiked to 300, and it took all day (and extra injections) before I could get it back down to “normal” levels. I was also crampy, bloated, and irritable and knew exactly why I was feeling this way. A few days later I got my period and my blood sugars returned to “normal.” I wrote about fluctuations during the menstrual cycle for a chapter in my book, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Diabetes, and yet every month I’m newly frustrated as if it’s happening for the first time. No woman enjoys having her period, but I’ve always felt that mine was particularly problematic. Not only do I get crampy and bloated, I also feel drained because of high blood sugars. In a 2003 study, women with Type 1 diabetes were shown to have more menstrual problems (long cycles, long menstruation, and heavy menstruation) before age 30 years than their peers without diabetes. These problems may indicate increased risk for osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. It was also shown that women with Type 1 diabetes got their periods nearly a year later than control subjects. I got my period the same year I was diagnosed with diabetes and never had regular cycles. I didn’t mind having irregular periods until I was trying to get pregnant and had to take Clomid to kick-start my ovulation. I bought countless pregnancy tests in hopes that the reason I wasn’t getting my period each month was because I was finally pregnant, but each test was negative. I’d heard so many discouraging stories and myths about fertility challenges for women with Type 1 (such as big babies and birth defects) that I was overwhelmed with worry. I made threats in the dark to the Diabetes Gods that if I couldn’t get pregnant, I would give up. I was tired of Continue reading >>

Menstruation Can Affect Insulin Needs

Menstruation Can Affect Insulin Needs

In some women who have type 1 diabetes, the hormonal changes that come with menstruation can cause changes in blood glucose levels. Monitoring levels and adjusting insulin accordingly is key to managing this monthly shift. Diabetes: How Hormones Affect Blood Glucose The same hormones that control your menstrual cycle can also affect your blood glucose levels. "Two or three days before menstruation, as estrogen and progesterone levels are changing, a number of women — but not all — will notice that their insulin needs increase substantially because their blood glucose levels are rising,” explains Jay Cohen, MD, medical director of the Endocrine Clinic in Memphis and clinical assistant professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Tennessee. If this happens, levels usually decrease after their period begins. Also, Cohen points out, some women don't experience menstrual cycle-related changes in their blood glucose levels, and others may only see decreases in their blood glucose levels around the time of their period. Diabetes: How Your Menstrual Cycle Can Be Affected In addition to your menstrual cycle affecting your ability to control your diabetes, having type 1 diabetes can affect your menstrual cycle. On average, girls who have type 1 diabetes tend to start their periods about a year later than girls who don't have the disease. And women who have type 1 diabetes are twice as likely as those who don't to have menstrual problems before age 30. Specifically, having type 1 diabetes can increase your chances of: Longer menstrual cycles Longer periods Heavier menstruation Earlier onset of menopause "In women whose diabetes is out of control, high blood sugars can put a woman at increased risk of vaginal and yeast infections, and can also affect re Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Period

Diabetes And Your Period

If youve noticed higher blood sugar levels shortly before or during your period, or if your blood sugars are bouncing up and down as you approach menopause , join the club. Diabetes and your menstrual cycle are closely intertwined, thanks to fluctuating levels of hormones. In fact, if youre a woman who has diabetes or who is at risk of diabetes, brace yourself for a somewhat bumpy ride as you navigate your menstrual cycle over the course of your life. The good news? There are steps you can take to help ensure smooth sailing. Two main hormones regulate your menstrual cycle: estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are secreted by the ovaries. Estrogen thickens the lining of the uterus in preparation for a possible pregnancy. It has other functions, too, such as regulating bone and vaginal health. Progesterone is also needed to prepare the uterus for pregnancy, and it helps to maintain the lining of the uterus throughout pregnancy. These hormones can affect how your body responds to insulin, and are responsible for the blood sugar ups and downs that you may notice at different times of the month, or when you are nearing or in menopause. As you approach that time of the month, you might experience premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. PMS starts about one to two weeks before your period. It affects about 90% of women at some point in their lives, bringing a combination of physical, emotional, and psychological factors with it. Symptoms include irritability, mood swings, depression, fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness, and food cravings. PMS is likely caused by changes in hormone levels, as well as chemical changes in the brain. Both can, in turn, cause erratic blood sugars. In addition, changes in appetite, food cravings, and feelings of fatigue can make it more likely tha Continue reading >>

Long Menstrual Cycle Is Associated With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus In Korean Women

Long Menstrual Cycle Is Associated With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus In Korean Women

Long Menstrual Cycle Is Associated with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Korean Women Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. Corresponding author: Jee-Young Oh. Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, 911-1 Mok-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul 158-710, Korea. [email protected] Received 2010 Oct 4; Accepted 2011 Jan 19. Copyright 2011 Korean Diabetes Association This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( ) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Long menstrual cycle is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in women. We aimed to evaluate the association between existing type 2 diabetes and oligomenorrhea before diagnosis of diabetes, and to observe the differences in this association among obese and non-obese Korean women. Patients with type 2 diabetes (n=118) and without any clinical evidence of abnormal glucose regulation (n=258) who attended the outpatient clinic of a university hospital and were over age 30. Patients self-reporting a menstrual cycle over 40 days during their 20s were defined as oligomenorrhea before diagnosis of diabetes. Obesity was defined as having a body mass index (BMI) over 25 kg/m2. The frequency of oligomenorrhea before diagnosis of diabetes was almost two-fold higher in women with type 2 diabetes than in the control group (16.1% vs. 8.5%, P=0.03). Oligomenorrhea was associated with type 2 diabetes after adjusting for age, BMI, systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and high density lipoprotein ch Continue reading >>

Medical Conditions That Can Affect Your Period - Health

Medical Conditions That Can Affect Your Period - Health

You know how its supposed to go: A normal menstrual cycle is around 28 days, give or take seven days, and usually the bleeding lasts for up to seven. This system works most of the time, for most of us. But there can be glitches, whether its a missed period , a shorter than usual cycle, or an oddly heavy flow. Usually, those hiccups are no big deal. I tell women that one to two abnormal cycles or missed cycles a year is probably okay, says Mary L. Rosser, MD, PhD, director of obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Health System in New York City. If its persistent or consistent, meaning three months or more, then you do need to seek a visit with a healthcare provider. In many cases, simple lifestyle tweaks can help. Being underweight, overweight, or exercising really rigorously can all mess with your period . But in other instances, there may be an underlying medical condition affecting your cycle. Periods that come less than every 21 days, more than every 40, or last more than eight can signal trouble. If youre sure youre not pregnant (the most common reason for missed periods), one of these conditions may be to blame. As many as 10% of women of reproductive age have PCOS , a complicated disorder that affects hormones and metabolism. Hallmark symptoms include irregular periods (cycles of at least 35 days for adults and 45 days for adolescents), no periods at all, or lighter or heavier periods. PCOS is not only a leading cause of infertility ; it can also mean other problems down the line. Theres a real red flag raised when we see someone with PCOS, as it may lead to diabetes and heart disease, says Dr. Rosser, who is also assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and womens health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Fortunately, there are medications to trea Continue reading >>

Women And Diabetes | Diabetesnet.com

Women And Diabetes | Diabetesnet.com

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 11:33 -- Richard Morris Fluctuations in hormone levels occur through the menstrual cycle and these fluctuations can affect blood sugar control. When estrogen levels are naturally high, your body may be resistant to its own insulin or injected insulin. Many women find their blood sugar tends to be high 3-5 days before, during or after their periods. Since everyone is different, the only way to manage blood sugars in a setting where sensitivity to insulin changes is to test and record blood sugars four or more times a day the week before, during and after your period for at least 2 or 3 months to find your own pattern. This allows you to adjust your insulin doses and carb intake both before and during this time to better control your blood sugar. Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) can be worsened by poor blood sugar control. It helps to chart your feelings such as tenderness, bloating, grouchiness for a week before, during and after your period. Charting will help you know when your PMS reach their peak during your period so that before your PMS is most severe, you can check your blood sugar more often and take extra insulin or exercise to bring high blood sugars down. Food cravings during PMS are triggered by an increase in progesterone and can make it more difficult to control your blood sugar. Usually the craving is for chocolate or sweet foods. Give in to your cravings by trying sugar-free and fat-free versions, such as chocolate pudding. Take extra insulin or increase your exercise to compensate. You may feel less like exercising during your period. If so, extra insulin may be a good choice for keeping your blood sugar from rising. The extra insulin needed to overcome insulin resistance during this time will not cause weight gain. Treat yourself well duri Continue reading >>

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