Did you know that if you are going through menopause it could be impacting your diabetes blood sugar levels?
Yes, it's true! Your female hormones, estrogens and progesterone affect your cells' sensitivity to insulin.
So if you thought as your menopausal symptoms have gotten worse your blood sugar levels have also become less predictable, you are not crazy, it is true.
Why does one of your health conditions affect another? It is happening because our hormones impact one another.
There are three different estrogens which are produced mainly in the ovaries each month that we have our menstrual cycle. As we move into menopause the levels of estrogen being produced in the ovaries begin to decline.
Once in the blood stream, insulin travels to cells to help remove glucose from the blood so it can enter all of our cells easily.
Estrogen has a protective effect on pancreas cells and prevents them from premature cell death. It also works on the cells of the pancreas to increase the production of insulin when required by certain conditions, such as diabetes.
The decline in estrogen seems to cause our cells to become more insulin resistant, exacerbating blood glucose levels circulating in the body.
Insulin resistance causes cells to not absorb glucose from the bloodstream as readily so blood glucose levels get higher. This causes a higher probability of exacerbating high blood sugars and diabetic complications over time.
So what is the solution to this seemingly-complicated situation where menopause and diabetes co-exist in your body?
If you are taking medications to control your blood sugars, whether orally or by injection, be diligent about taking them daily.
It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels consistently during menopause and pay attention to lifestyle behaviors that support healthy blood sugar levels: exercise, stress management and food choices.
Blood sugars can be well-maintained through a healthy whole foods diet and consistent daily exercise. So by working with a knowledgeable naturopathic doctor or health care practitioner you can keep your diabetes under control during menopause.