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Welcome to the Change the Cycle blog! We’ll be here every week, talking all things below-the-belt health – from heavy periods, to fibroids to pelvic health conditions, and more. We hope you’ll follow along to engage, learn and share with your friends and family.

Does Your Period Affect Blood Sugar?

by admin
June 28, 2018

Does Your Period Affect Blood Sugar?

Fluctuating hormone levels can have a larger impact on women’s health. For diabetics or anyone who needs keep an eye on their blood sugar, fluctuating hormones as a result of your period may throw a wrench in your glucose management plans. Here’s why you should always consult with your doctor about your glucose level management as it relates to your menstrual cycle.

Hormones and Diabetes

Since each woman is unique, everyone’s body processes sugar differently. These variations in blood sugar, even from one month to the next, may make it tricky to predict how your body may handle changes in the amount of sugar in your blood, because shifting hormone levels may cause insulin resistance. 1 Additionally, women with type 1 diabetes may be more likely to have heavy or long periods, which can contribute to cravings for the comfort foods that cause high blood sugar.

Careful monitoring may make variations in your health easier to understand. With a reliable glucose meter and a notebook, tracking fluctuations in blood sugar may be easier. Make note of meal times and what you ate to see if you can get a handle on what causes sudden changes in blood sugar throughout the month. Bring your findings to your doctor and see if they have any tips for diabetes management.

How to Adjust

Maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise in the week before your period may help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Sometimes, pre-menstrual symptoms may drive women to crave comfort foods or sweets. Try to avoid giving into temptation by reaching for healthier alternatives, like banana if you have a sweet tooth or carrot sticks if you’re looking for something crunchy.

Make sure to get regular exercise the week before your period to help keep blood sugar stable. Walking, for example, may help relieve cramps and may lower high glucose levels, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center.2

Always consult your doctor about how to best manage your glucose levels. Diabetes is a serious medical condition that requires constant communication with your doctor about your lifestyle, such as your eating and exercise habits and how hormone levels may affect your blood sugar from month to month.

If you have questions related to your period, make an appointment to talk with your doctor.

References

  1. Sheu, Wayne H-H. “Alteration of insulin sensitivity by sex hormones during the menstrual cycle.” Journal of Diabetes Investigation. August 2, 2011.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4014963/ https://www.diabetesqld.org.au/media-centre/2014/october/managing-type-1-and-menstruation.aspx
  2. Why Is My Blood Glucose Sometimes Low after Physical Activity?” Joslin Diabetes Center. http://www.joslin.org/info/why_is_my_blood_glucose_sometimes_low_after_physical_activity.html
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