Have you ever wondered how does period affect to diabetes? In this post we explain everything you have to consider.
Although sometimes we don’t realize it, menstruation causes changes in temperature, on hormones, and even in arterial tension. But how does menstruation affect diabetes? Its symptoms vary widely and affect all aspects of our lives. Our mood, our health, or our hormone levels can modify our insulin and blood sugar. Therefore, women with diabetes have to be aware of their menstrual cycle to control their glucose levels.
The duration of the menstrual cycle depends on each woman, it can be from 21 to 35 days. The most common being 28-day cycles. During your monthly cycle, many hormonal variations may happen in your body that will make more difficult for you to control your glucose. This lack of control is real, but with a few little tricks it can be easier to handle.
How does menstruation influence diabetes?
The hormones that regulate the cycle (progesterone and estrogens) interact with insulin, which is also a hormone, making a cocktail that alters sugar levels throughout the cycle. This is reflected in higher sugar levels 3 to 5 days before the first bleeding.
Women with diabetes tend to have heavier and longer periods. However, many studies suggest that they’re more likely to have early menopause. Making them fertile for less years.
Your insulin will be partying or overworking
Estrogens and progesterone. Black and white. The day and the night. The effect of estrogens in our body causes insulin resistance to decrease, therefore our blood glucose will drop. This will happen in the premenstrual phase about three days before the bleeding.
However, progesterone will cause the opposite effect, it increases blood glucose in the first days of menstruation.
Take care of diet
Controlling your diet is essential if you have diabetes. However, the fluctuations generated by hormones can make you fall into temptation more than usual. Increased progesterone often increases cravings and the desire to eat carbohydrates. So, it is important to be attentive to these changes in your body and prevent these variations. These cyclical changes in blood sugar levels can lead to yeast infections that require specific medical control.
Monitor your sugar throughout the cycle
It is advisable to check your glucose regularly throughout the cycle. About 6 times a day (if you use a capilar glucometer) or through a continuous glucose measurement sensor. With all that information and the help of apps like Cori you will be able to understand what is happening to your body. An easy and simple way to detect patterns and trends that repeat monthly and be able to anticipate and adjust the treatment.
You don’t have to run a marathon. And less the days when you are more tired. But some physical exercise will improve your mood and help you control your glucose levels. A walk for half an hour is more than enough. Here is a video with some exercises to do at home during the period.
What if I take contraceptives?
If you take birth control pills, you may notice different effects on your glucose. There are many pill formulations but most increase the insulin resistance of your body. It’s important to control your sugar levels when you change or modify your hormonal contraceptive method. And remember to always do it under the supervision of your gynecologist.