Diabetes and Menstruation

If you have trouble keeping your blood glucose levels under control just before your menstruation period starts, don’t worry, you are not alone in this. A survey of more than 200 women with type 1 diabetes showed that in the week before their menstruation periods, almost 30% of them had problems with high blood glucose levels and around 15% had problems with low blood glucose levels. Another study revealed that among women under the age of 45 who were hospitalized for diabetes ketoacidosis, half were within several days of starting their menstrual periods.

From the onset of menstrual cycles until menopause, every month a woman’s reproductive system revolves around the ovulating task. Women with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes are no exception of course. During the early part of this stage of cycle, the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest level. Another hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, is produced and trigger of production of estrogen causing the ovary to release ann egg midway through cycle. The luteal phase takes over afterwards. Luteinizing hormone triggers the ovary to produce estragen and progesterone. They cause the lining of the uterus to thicken for a possible pregnancy. When egg fertilizayion does not occur, the ovary stops making estrogen and progesterone. The sudden loss of estrogen and progesterone hormones cause the shedding of the uterine lining, and menstruation occurs. High levels of estrogen seems to wreck havoc on blood glucose levels about a week or so before menstruation.

If you are already logging your blood glucose levels readings on daily basis, you can easily find out if those levels affected by your menstruation cycle. Using your diabetes logs look for a pattern in blood glucose levels around the dates when your periods started in the past. But if you don’t have diabetes log book, you are definitely should start it. This data is very important in your diabetes management!

To control spikes in your usual diabetes management during periods you need to adhere to simple rules. Stick with your diebetes diet meal plan as closely as possible and be especially careful to limit your sodium intake, which causes bloating. Eat at regular intervals, this will kepp your blood glucose levels from swinging too much. Exercise regularly and cut on alcohol consumption, caffeine, and chocolate. And you will be just fine.

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