According to Mayo Clinic, menopause can wreak havoc on your diabetes control. But there’s plenty you can do to better manage diabetes and menopause.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices. Healthy lifestyle choices — such as eating healthy foods and exercising regularly — are the cornerstone of your diabetes treatment plan. Healthy foods and regular physical activity can help you feel your best after menopause, too.
- Measure your blood sugar frequently. You may need to check your blood sugar level more often than usual during the day, and occasionally during the night. Keep a log of your blood sugar readings and symptoms. Your doctor may use the details to adjust your diabetes treatment plan as needed.
- Ask your doctor about adjusting your diabetes medications. If your average blood sugar level increases, you may need to increase the dosage of your diabetes medications or begin taking a new medication — especially if you gain weight or reduce your level of physical activity. Likewise, if your average blood sugar level decreases, you may need to reduce the dosage of your diabetes medications.
- Ask your doctor about cholesterol-lowering medications. If you have diabetes, you’re at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The risk increases even more when you reach menopause. To reduce the risk, eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. Your doctor may recommend cholesterol-lowering medication if you’re not already taking it.
- Seek help for menopausal symptoms. If you’re struggling with hot flashes, vaginal dryness, decreased sexual response or other menopausal symptoms, remember that treatment is available. For example, your doctor may recommend a vaginal lubricant to restore vaginal moisture or vaginal estrogen therapy to correct thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls (vaginal atrophy). Your doctor may also recommend hormone replacement therapy to alleviate the symptoms if you have no contraindications for this therapy.
If weight gain is a problem, a registered dietitian can help you revise your meal plans. For some women, hormone therapy may be a good option.
Having diabetes while going through menopause can be a twin challenge. Work closely with your doctor to ease the transition.