Living With

Diabetes and Menopause

Yumhee Park Oct 2nd, 2014 (updated May 19th, 2015)
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For most women, menopause occurs between the ages of 40 and 60, which is also the period during which most adults are screened for diabetes, especially if they are overweight. Here are some things to know about the correlation between menopause and diabetes.

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Diabetes affects women differently than men
Diabetes affects women differently than men

More than 11 million women in the U.S. have diabetes. The condition affects men and women differently with women having to deal with a specific set of concerns, including a higher chance of developing yeast infections, sexual problems and complications with pregnancy. Combine diabetes with menopause and there are even more potential problems.

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Hormone changes and weight gain
Hormone changes and weight gain

If you are living with diabetes and are experiencing the beginning stages of menopause, the combination could cause major changes in your blood glucose due to changes in hormonal levels.  Menopause can also contribute to weight gain. It's important to talk to your doctor about the implications of having diabetes during menopause. 

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It can affect blood sugar levels
It can affect blood sugar levels

A woman’s hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, affect how your body responds to insulin so it can cause fluctuations in blood sugar. And it's important to control your blood sugar level as that can lead to more serious complications affecting your eyes, heart, and kidney.

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Diet and exercise are particularly important
Diet and exercise are particularly important

Since menopause can contribute to weight gain and diabetes is linked to obesity, it’s important to do whatever you can to control your weight. Eating low-carb diets and maintaining a regular exercise program will help reduce the symptoms caused by the combination of menopause and diabetes.

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All women are different
All women are different

Depending on genetics and lifestyle, all women’s bodies will respond differently to the combination of menopause and diabetes. Speak to your doctor about possible hormone therapy or get a reference for a dietician who can help you manage your diabetes while entering a new stage of your life.