Menopause and Diabetes

Yikes! Who would write a blog post about menopause?? Who would read it??

As I quickly approach that time in life, I am thinking about things like cardio (heart) protection, blood glucose swings, sleep, bone health – all the things that menopause (and diabetes) affects.

I once had a patient call me and say that her blood glucose levels were all over the place and she thought it was menopause. That was my first exposure and now I’m experiencing it first hand. So the thing I tell parents of newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes – you’ll get it down, then it will change; then you’ll get it down again and it will change again – is true! Welcome to menopause where it can change every week (day? minute?). And I really had it down!

Anyway, in addition to blood glucose swings, with menopause come difficulty sleeping, which can certainly be exacerbated by pump and CGM alarms; loss of bone protection – people with diabetes already have a higher risk of bone loss; and loss of cardio-protection.

So where’s the good news in all this? Well, women at this age are wiser, have more experience, have more perspective… blah, blah, blah. Exercise. The good news is that we can still exercise and if we do, we will be doing our part to protect our bones, get better sleep, and protect our heart. In fact, this article says that one workout could protect the heart for hours or even days!

Despite the hot flashes, mood swings, glucose swings, lack of sleep, we are strong and intelligent and we can figure this thing out. It definitely takes patience and a sense of humor…and those of us with diabetes already have those qualities, so we’re all set. Bring it on!


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