Life with menopause and diabetes can be challenging!
The time that leads up to menopause is known as perimenopause or menopause transition. This comes with some signs apart from missed or irregular periods such as slow weight gain, sleepless nights, sweating, mood swings or waking up uncomfortable. Another common occurrence along with perimenopause is difficulty managing blood sugar levels. A common experience among women is a change in cholesterol levels as well. For women with diabetes, these symptoms can come earlier than normal.
The perimenopause period usually lasts for about 3-4 years until menopause begins.
Usually when you have periods, estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate and affect how your body responds to insulin.
For women having diabetes, higher levels of estrogen can actually improve insulin sensitivity. However, higher levels of progesterone can cause insulin resistance. With an unpredictable cycle, you can expect your diabetes to be stable on some days and not on others.
When there is a constant imbalance in your hormone levels, it can affect your weight cycle as well. And too much weight gain during the perimenopause and menopause phases can put women at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
Identifying and understanding the body’s signals during this time can be challenging.
Staying in control of your diabetes is manageable by maintaining a lifestyle that is active and involves choosing healthy meal options.
Some tips to cope with weight gain:
- Eat smaller meals on a regular basis to reduce fat storage.
- Opt for whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables.
- Choose complex carbs such a fruits than simple carbs like soda and candy.
- Use oils rich in omega 3 fats, such a olive oil.
- Stay active and involve yourself in regular yoga, walking or swimming.
Women with diabetes who are in the perimenopause or menopause stage will need to have regular blood sugar checks. This can be done using a glucometer.
Apart from all this, make sure to eliminate the unhealthy practises. Whenever you see a change in your body or anything different from the usual, discuss the same with your doctor or health care provider.