What You Need to Know About Diabetes Management During Menopause: Strategies for Navigating Challenges

Diabetes affects over 537 million adults globally, which represents one out of ten people. The numbers are expected to increase over the years, predicted to reach 783 million in 2045. Not to mention, one out of five deaths every second is due to diabetes. 

Effective blood sugar control is necessary to combat the problem and prevent potential health repercussions. However, doing so can be hard for some, including those in their menopausal stage. Hormonal changes can disrupt blood sugar levels. Hence, it's more difficult to control diabetes. With a preventative and mindful approach, it can be easier for those in their climacteric years to regulate their blood sugar. 

How Menopause Affects Well-being 

This change in your reproductive system represents a significant transition. From physical to mental aspects, your body will experience numerous changes, affecting your life in more ways than one. The impacts go beyond fertility. 

Hormonal shifts at this point can disrupt your bodily systems. Estrogen levels will drop. It can lead to a problem as simple as skin dryness or something as serious as a heart issue. 

Most women will experience vasomotor symptoms as they reach the menopausal stage. These often manifest in the form of night sweats and hot flashes. More than being uncomfortable, they also affect sleep. Medications can offer promising solutions. However, you might also want to consider using a skincare product that provides better absorption to help improve your sleep and manage the symptoms better. 

It isn’t just your body that’s changing. Your emotions can also take a hit. Changes in hormone levels can lead to depressive episodes. These feelings can shake your self-confidence. Consequently, it can impact your mental wellness.

Why It’s Harder to Manage Diabetes During Menopause 

As women enter their 30s, estrogen and progesterone production declines. It gets worse as you reach your 40s. More than regulating monthly menstrual cycles, these hormones also impact the cellular insulin response. More than these hormonal fluctuations, your blood sugar can go up and down too. 

Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) 

With rising LDL and decreasing HDL, menopause heightens the risk of heart issues. More so, estrogen demonstrates a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, and as it dwindles later on in life, you are at a higher risk of CVD. 

It isn’t just menopause that can increase your predisposition to heart problems. Diabetes can also be the cause. When glucose levels are high, there can be buildup in the blood vessels. Hard and narrow arteries can manifest. You can suffer from a stroke or a heart attack in the absence of medical interventions or management. 

Sleep Disruptions

Lack of sleep is a common problem menopausal women experience. One thing that you can blame is hot flashes. They make you feel hotter, which can trigger an awakening. Depression and mood changes, which women also suffer from as they enter their menopausal stage, can also impact sleep quality. 

Insulin resistance is one of the many issues when your sleep suffers. Hence, it makes it more difficult to control your blood sugar

Weight Gain 

As you enter the perimenopausal phase, your metabolism slows down. It translates to extra weight, with an average annual increase of up to 1.5 pounds. This accumulation of weight is often most visible around the abdomen.

Weighing more increases your body’s capability to resist insulin. In addition, this can also increase your predisposition to cardiovascular diseases. All these things can complicate diabetes management. 

Lifestyle and Wellness Tips 

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels 

It can be frustrating to experience life changes but do not lose hope. Small changes can go a long way, especially with medical intervention. 

Eat a Healthy Diet 

Transitioning to plant-based meals can be promising. Load up on whole grains. They’re fiber-rich, which slows glucose absorption. If you like meat, opt for lean proteins. Monitor your carb intake to keep your glucose in check. Omega-3 fatty acids are equally important for your heart health. 

Get Enough Sleep 

As mentioned earlier, sleep problems are evident during menopause. Establish a routine, which means you should set a specific time to hit the sack and wake up. Control your sleep environment to make it more comfortable. Find a sleeping position that works best and use the right pillows. At nighttime, avoid stimulants, such as caffeine. Consider adding white noise in your bedroom if it helps. 

Exercise Regularly 

Get moving to stay fit and healthy. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical weekly. It’s better to get more, but avoid putting too much strain on your body. Gentle exercises like walking and biking are good. Strength training is also beneficial, especially for supporting metabolic health. 

Reduce Stress 

Menopause and stress share a common denominator - they can increase the risk of diabetes. There are plenty of stress reduction solutions that can work:

  • Deep Breathing: Diaphragmatic breathing allows the body to reduce stress. Practice this at strategic times throughout the day to help you calm down. 
  • Yoga: Gentle but effective, it brings more than just physical benefits. It can also improve balance and flexibility.  
  • Mindfulness Meditation: More than reducing stress, this can be an effective strategy to regulate your emotions. Therefore, it can reduce the impact of hormonal changes. 

Monitor Regularly and Consult a Doctor 

Invest in a high-quality glucometer to check your glucose level. This way, you can immediately act when it’s abnormal. Record the readings and watch out for patterns. Most importantly, talk to a doctor. A healthcare expert can help provide more accurate screening and recommend the necessary interventions. 

Wrapping Up 

Effective diabetes management during menopause is critical for embracing your life transition. It all starts with accepting the changes your body is experiencing, followed by a proactive approach to managing your blood sugar. With personalized health strategies, regular blood sugar monitoring, and healthy lifestyle adjustments, you can manage diabetes. It’s not a journey you have to traverse on your own. Remember to consult a medical professional before taking any medicines.