Thoughts on Better Aging

Diabetes and Menopause

March 25th, 2015

Hormone replacement therapy can help combat the increased difficulties menopausal women face in controlling their diabetes.

For women with type 2 diabetes, the hormonal imbalance that occurs during menopause will bring many challenges. It is extremely important to understand how your menopause symptoms affect your blood sugar and your health and what steps you may need to take in order to continue successfully managing your diabetes during menopause.

Impact of Menopause Symptoms on the Health of Diabetic Women

Hormone imbalance: During menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone decline and testosterone can rise. This is a serious problem because high testosterone levels predict insulin resistance and incident type 2 diabetes in older women. Without sufficient estrogen and progesterone, the way your cells respond to insulin may change, triggering more unpredictable fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Weight gain: Reduced estrogen production in the ovaries often causes menopausal women to gain weight as the body turns to fat cells as a new source of estrogen. Unfortunately, weight changes often make it harder to control diabetes.

Sleep problems: If your menopause symptoms include insomnia or night sweats, you probably won’t be getting a good night’s rest. Sleep deprivation can result in stress on the system and make it harder to manage your blood sugar.

Heart health risks: Healthy estrogen is very important for your heart, because it helps protect your arteries, decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, and lower your risk of heart attack by reducing homocysteine levels in your blood. Because diabetic women are already at an increased risk for heart attack, the impact of low estrogen at menopause on heart health should be especially worrisome.

Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

While eating a healthy diet, staying active, and monitoring your insulin and medication intake is very important for any diabetic woman, menopausal women with diabetes should also consider adding hormone replacement therapy to their treatment plan.

A study published in the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Care journal found that hormone replacement therapy that restored estrogen to healthy levels had a significant impact on glycemic control. Specifically, the women getting hormone replacement therapy showed a difference of about 0.5 points in their HbA1c levels. This was roughly equivalent to a 10 percent reduction in risk for diabetes complications, an 18 percent reduction for microvascular complications, and a 7 percent reduction for heart attack.

In order to reap all the benefits of hormone replacement therapy without exposing yourself to undue risk, it is essential to choose a quality treatment protocol such as that provided by Renew Woman™. For your safety, we only use bioidentical hormones, we always replace estrogen and progesterone together, and we always provide personalized dosages based on your unique hormone levels.

To learn more about how Renew Woman™ can support women in their efforts to manage diabetes during menopause, please contact us now.

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