Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
If you are diabetic and menopausal, you already know the increased health issues and challenges. There are no easy solutions that help every woman deal with menopause and diabetes, but you can talk to your doctor and look for ways to help manage your health and your life.
Diabetes and menopause
Whether you have type 1 (Juvenile diabetes) or type 2 (Adult onset diabetes), you know about dealing with fluctuating blood sugar levels and increased health risks for things such as stroke. But throw menopause or perimenopause in the mix and things get more complicated. Decreasing hormonal levels, especially estrogen, make it difficult to maintain blood sugar levels. This makes caring for diabetes even more challenging but with some help from your doctor; there are things you can do that may help bring both diabetes and menopause under control.
Managing menopause and diabetes
1. Monitor blood sugar levels faithfully. You already measure your blood sugar, but you may notice that your readings are becoming unpredictable because hormonal changes significantly impact blood sugar. Type 1 diabetic women tend to become more hypoglycaemic while type 2 sufferers may notice even higher sugar level readings than usual. Your doctor may suggest taking more frequent readings throughout the day and may also test your haemoglobin levels to monitor your diabetes. Consequently your insulin regimen may be changed as well.
2. Talk to your doctor about your diabetes medications. Your doctor may change the type or amount of diabetes medication you take whether you are on insulin or other therapies. Even more crucial is knowing how menopause remedies may interact with your diabetes medications so be sure to get the facts about any and all synthetic (HRT) or natural menopause treatments you are looking into.
3. Ask your doctor about cholesterol levels. Make sure you get these tested regularly as increased cholesterol leads to increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease. You may need to change your eating habits and if your cholesterol levels remain stubbornly high, a cholesterol reducing medication may help.
4. Disclose all your menopausal symptoms. Sounds easy enough but dealing with diabetes is difficult without having menopause as well. Keep a journal to record any and all menopause symptoms including night sweats and hot flashes, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, fatigue, genital dryness, painful intercourse, mood swings, irregular periods, or any other health issues.
5. Keep it simple and healthy! Managing diabetes and menopause is often easier with good overall health habits. Get plenty of exercise on a regular basis, eat a healthy balanced diet, drink alcohol in moderation (if at all since many diabetics must avoid alcohol consumption), reduce stressors and your reactions to stressful events, keep in touch with social circles and stop smoking.
As if diabetes is not enough to deal with, now you’re going through menopause or perimenopause. But with good health habits and information as well as a good working relationship with your doctor, you can enjoy a healthier you during and beyond menopause.
Some helpful info can be found at: www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes and be sure to check out the menopause info on their site as well.
Menopause, Your Doctor, and You