Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Menopause is already a hard time; its physical and emotional symptoms can disrupt your sleep, cause hot flashes, lower your energy, or even cause anxiety and sadness. For women with diabetes, there is one more thing to consider: hormone changes have a direct impact on glucose control with diabetes.
According to The Mayo Clinic, the years surrounding menopause create unique challenges for a woman living with diabetes. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, see your healthcare provider to discuss solutions.
Estrogen and Progesterone - These hormones affect how our cells respond to insulin. You may notice that blood sugar levels become less predictable during this stage of life.
Weight Changes - Many women experience weight gain throughout these years due to hormone changes. As weight increases, insulin needs will change as well.
Yeast Infections - Women with diabetes are more prone to experiencing yeast infections due to blood sugar fluctuations. As estrogen levels drop, it's easier for yeast to thrive and grow. Active yeast infections can in turn cause high blood sugars.
Sleep deprivation - Between night sweats and other sleep interruptions stress can quickly creep up on you. Lack of sleep leads to high cortisol levels, which in turn can cause high blood sugars.
Sexual Dysfunction - With a decreased level of estrogen, vaginal dryness may be a symptom of menopause and can cause discomfort and pain during intercourse.