Menopause refers to the cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycle and usually happens around the age of 50 years. Managing type 2 diabetes symptoms while dealing with menopause can be very challenging for women due to the combined effect of the two conditions on the body.
For many women, menopause simply does not mean the end of childbearing years; it can have an impact on some chronic illnesses including type 2 diabetes. The best way to stay in control is to know about it and prepare yourself for the challenges that may lie ahead.
Effect of menopause and diabetes:
Menopause and diabetes affect different women differently. However, there are some common effects.
Fluctuating blood sugar levels – Changes in the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate. It can make it difficult to control diabetes. To avoid any complications from type 2 diabetes, it is important to keep the blood glucose levels as normal as possible, something that is not easy during menopause.
Weight gain – Menopause often brings metabolic changes that can cause a woman to pile on some pounds. Women who have type 2 diabetes and are overweight may experience menopause later than women who have type 1 diabetes. Studies have found that estrogen levels drop more slowly in women who are overweight than their thinner counterparts.
Infections – Diabetes increases the risk of vaginal and urinary infections and more so during menopause, when less estrogen in the body makes the vagina/urinary tract ideal for bacteria and yeast to thrive.
Heart diseases – Women with type 2 diabetes who are in their menopause may not have to deal with hormonal mood swings that affect the blood glucose levels. However, they may have other issues to contend. They carry a high risk of developing atherosclerosis, a condition of the heart that can lead to heart attack or stroke. Menopausal women with type 2 diabetes also have a high chance of gaining weight after menopause. It increases the risk of heart diseases.
Sleep issues – Night sweats and hot flushes can lead to less sleep at night. It can affect your blood glucose levels adversely.
Sexual issues – High blood sugar levels can affect the nerves in the vagina and make it difficult for a woman to have interest in sex.
Osteoporosis – Menopause also brings the possibility of osteoporosis. Women with type 2 diabetes are not at as high a risk of the condition as women with type 1 diabetes.
Certain menopause symptoms can be confused with low or high blood glucose levels such as irritability, sweating, and dizziness. As the menopause and diabetes symptoms are so alike, it may not be easy for a woman to tell whether it is due to menopause or diabetes. You can check your blood glucose levels at these times to know what is causing you the symptoms. If the menopause and type 2 diabetes symptoms get uncomfortable, it is important to talk to your doctor and know about the different treatment symptoms.
Managing menopause and diabetes:
There are many steps that you can take for menopause and type 2 diabetes treatment:
Adopting a healthy lifestyle – Having a healthy diet, staying away from smoking, alcohol and including a regular regimen of exercises can go a long way towards helping you feel better after menopause.
Test your blood glucose levels – Examining your blood sugar levels both during the day and night will help your doctor to manage the type 2 diabetes treatment plan.
Bone protection – Diabetes can lead to numerous joint issues, more so in women. These issues can aggravate during menopause. Therefore, it is important to increase the strength of bones. It can be done by including vitamin D and calcium in your diet.
Consult your doctor – If you are struggling with the various menopausal and type 2 diabetes symptoms, do not forget to seek help. Also get checked for any risk of heart diseases.
HRT – Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be used for type 2 diabetes treatment and who is having a difficult menopause.
These tips for menopause and type 2 diabetes treatment can go a long way towards helping a woman manage her health better. Menopause is a life changing process for every woman. Working with your doctor can help in a healthy and smooth transition.