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Woman with menopause and diabetesThe onset of menopause is difficult enough, but for women with type 2 diabetes it can be even more challenging. That’s because the hormonal changes that bring the symptoms of menopause can also affect your body’s ability to respond to insulin.

During the transitional years of menopause when menstrual cycles slow down but haven't stopped, the hormones estrogen and progesterone are unstable and that could have a roller coaster effect on your insulin levels. More estrogen can improve insulin sensitivity and higher levels of progesterone can cause resistance.

A common side effect of menopause is weight gain and that can be another problem for women with type 2 diabetes. You may need to change your insulin treatment or oral medications to account for any weight gain so be sure to monitor your weight closely. Gaining weight in menopause might also push someone from pre-diabetes into type 2 diabetes.

Other symptoms of menopause can affect insulin management with type 2 diabetes. Hot flashes and night sweats can prevent you from sleeping soundly and that can make blood sugar levels rise. On the other hand, hot flashes and moodiness may be mistaken for problems with insulin, so be sure to test for low blood sugar before you self-manage with a glass of orange juice.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could be an option to help women with type 2 diabetes whose menopause symptoms are making it difficult to keep their blood glucose under control. Talk with your health care provider about whether HRT is right for you.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax