Menopause and Diabetes

 
 

Does that morning Danish leave you craving another treat two hours later? Do you grab a candy bar to cope with your afternoon slump -- and then reach for a cola to get out of your post-slump slump?

If you’ve found that munching sugary snacks just makes you crave more sugary snacks, you’re not alone. Eating lots of simple carbohydrates -- without the backup of proteins or fats -- can quickly satisfy hunger and give your body a short-term energy boost, but they almost as quickly leave you famished again and craving more.

How can you stop sugar cravings once and for all? Here's expert advice.



The Effects of Menopause on Diabetes 
Menopause is a rite of passage for women, but not always a pleasant one. And it can be even more troublesome for women with Diabetes. Menopause signals changes in a woman's body beyond your control, but if you know to expect, you can better deal with the changes ahead.

Changes in blood sugar levels: Estrogen and progesterone affect your cells' response to insulin. As you go through menopause, changing hormone levels can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate, making it more difficult to control. You might need to check your blood glucose levels more frequently during menopause so they don't get out of control and lead to complications such as nerve damage, eye disease or cardiovascular problems.

Weight gain: One of the most dreaded effects of menopause, gaining weight can change the amount of insulin or oral medications you need to regulate your blood glucose levels. You can keep weight gain at bay if you make healthy lifestyle choices such as eating nutritious foods and exercising daily. Hopefully you have already implemented these behaviors so you don't have to make drastic lifestyle changes amid the radical physical changes your body is undergoing during menopause.

 Metformin cuts breast cancer risk in older women with diabetes 
A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found metformin-treated postmenopausal women with diabetes were 25% less likely to develop breast cancer after 11 years compared with women without diabetes who did not take the drug. Researchers also found that women who took diabetes drugs other than metformin had a slightly higher risk of breast cancer than women without diabetes. 

 Nuts for Diabetes 
According to Dr. Andrew Weil.... "If you don’t go overboard, munching on nuts daily can help lower your risks of developing metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease." Read the full story 
 

 Diabetes: Blood sugar triggers fat deposits in arteries

Fat deposits are increasingly found in the heart muscle cells of diabetes patients as an expression of an impaired metabolism. The precise cause of this was unknown up until now. Now researchers at the Medical University of Vienna in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in cooperation with the MR Center of Excellence Vienna have shown that high blood sugar in combination with insulin, not an influx of fats, results in such deposits within a few hours. 

These findings could serve as the basis for even more heart-friendly treatments of diabetes patients, particularly in the early stages of the disease. In the study published in the respected American journal "Diabetes", 18 healthy women and men were given a large amount of grape sugar intravenously. 

Fat deposits in the heart within hours

Already within six hours, the glucose already caused clearly visible fatty deposits in the heart. The injection of grape sugar, in combination with the release of insulin caused by the sugar, resulted in an overexertion of the heart’s metabolism. This proves that fatty deposits can occur without the direct influx of fats.

This was made visible for the first time using magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. This method makes it possible to observe the beating heart, not only as it works, but non-invasively and without ionizing radiation as it metabolizes energy. 
 

 Although 24 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, it's estimated that an additional 5.7 million people have the disease but don't know it. Type 2 diabetes doesn't always have clear symptoms, and often isn't diagnosed until found accidentally during a physical or check-up. Is the condition really symptomless or are there early warning signs that can sound the alarm?


 

Diabetes and menopause: What to expect

Menopause is the phase of life after your periods have stopped. Diabetes and menopause may team up for varied effects on your body, including:

  • Changes in blood sugar level. The hormones estrogen and progesterone affect how your cells respond to insulin. After menopause, changes in your hormone levels can trigger fluctuations in your blood sugar level. You may notice that your blood sugar level is more variable or less predictable than before. If your blood sugar gets out of control, you have a higher risk of diabetes complications.
  • Weight gain. Some women gain weight during the menopausal transition and after menopause. This can increase the need for insulin or oral diabetes medication.
  • Infections. Even before menopause, high blood sugar levels can contribute to urinary and vaginal infections. After menopause — when a drop in estrogen makes it easier for bacteria and yeast to thrive in the urinary tract and vagina — the risk is even higher.
  • Sleep problems. After menopause, hot flashes and night sweats may keep you up at night. In turn, the sleep deprivation can make it tougher to manage your blood sugar level.
  • Sexual problems. Diabetes can damage the nerves of the cells that line the vagina. This can interfere with arousal and orgasm. Vaginal dryness, a common symptom of menopause, may compound the issue by causing pain during sex.


It is known that women with type 1 diabetes have a delayed menarche and a greater prevalence of menstrual disorders than women without diabetes. However, before this research, little was known about the menopausal transition among type 1 diabetic women. The Familial Autoimmune and Diabetes (FAD) Study recruited both adult individuals who were identified from the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Type 1 registry for the years 1950-1964 and their family members. Unrelated non-diabetic control probands and their relatives were also evaluated. The study appears in Diabetes 50(8):1857-1862,2000 by Janice S. Dorman, Ph.D. et al.  

My Favorite Diabetes Links

DiabetesForum.com

WebMd Diabetes

Diabetes 101

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