Any experience with progesterone cream?

OK, for the girls -

Really frustrated that two weeks before the T-O-M thing my blood sugar skyrockets and it's like I'm pumping water rather than insulin. My NP says it's due to increased progesterone-to-estrogen ratio. I've heard that it can be counterbalanced by using progesterone cream during the first two weeks of the cycle. This seems counter-intuitive to me, as my blood sugar is GOOD during that time.

This hormone thing is not something I know much about.

But an imbalance might help to explain my 15-lb weight gain this year.

My endo (male) won't pay any attention to my hormone concerns. I suspect that he's so used to seeing people about to keel over from kidney disease and things that he dismisses me as in relatively good health. I'm also open to any techniques to try to get him to address this. I'm thinking of trying to find a naturopath, because they seem willling to discuss hormones.

Thanks,

Maria

Our member Michele - here - is an ob/gyn and type1

Maria,
I do not think that extra progesterone (adding it to the first 2 weeks of your cycle) is a good thing for you. You already see that extra progestrone make your BS run high. If you know when you BS are going to rise - you can set up a different insulin regimen to be used monthly with assistance of your endocrinologist. Another option, to eliminate fluctuations in your hormones, you can consider BCP.
Marina

Actually, I have set up a different insulin regimen but it seems ridiculous that I have to just about double my doses and quite honestly, we’re still tweaking it because we still haven’t been able to match the sudden insulin resistance. And I think it explains my weight gain. What is BCP?
Maria

BCP–birth control pills.

Marina,

What’s your opinion of progesterone cream for menopausal T1 women?

I would be interested to know if anyone is using Metformin to offset this insulin resistance. My cycle leads to similar (though not as severe) changes in my insulin needs. I’ve also seen my insulin needs increase in general over the last five years, but it is most noticeable during the two weeks before my period. Then I run REALLY low the week of my period. I have also gained 20 pounds during these five years.

My doctors have resisted my request for Metformin in the past, but seem to be slightly more receptive now.

I have this issue as well. Over the past 6 months, I’ve really noticed a huge difference in my body.
When on my cycle, I have to nearly double my insulin intake as well. And I gain 10 lbs every month the week before my cycle… and then it comes back off the week after. But if you think about that, that’s a gain and a loss of 10 lbs every single stinking month!

When I set my wedding date, I’m going to have to schedule around my potential cycle to avoid looking like a heffer in my wedding dress! haha.

My Endo was talking about Metformin on my last visit. I have heard some things about it aiding in weight loss in diabetics because it helps insulin resistance, but I’ve only seen it associated with type 2 patients. I don’t know why it’s never been associated with type 1s.

it’s been around since the 1920s, though, which makes me feel better about using it. The only side effects listed on Wikipedia are increased digestion, which I would think might help in the gastroparesis diabetics amongst us?

Hi Nici,
I’m type I and I’ve been on Metformin for a month now (though the initial lowest does) , and have not recognized any improvement of BG during my cycle (darn it!) Unfortunately no weight loss either. UGH. I’m feeling totally frustrated with this. I think I may not be the norm however, and it’s worth a shot to look in to? My endo is totally for it and seems to think it should help with insulin resistance and hormonal things. Maybe my time is yet to come with higher doses? We’'ll see! Best of luck to you!!! Wish I had all the answers :slight_smile:

I have never tracked my cycle and blood sugars well, but my new endo asked me to write the day of my cycle and to start logging everything better. I’ve committed to doing this so that we can figure out if my “unexplained highs” are related to my menstrual cycle.

She said that many women need about 25% extra insulin for days 20-28 of their cycle (where day 1 is the beginning of menstruation). I’ve heard from others that say any time between ovulation and menstruation, they are insulin resistant. This sounds like what you are experiencing.

Have you tried increasing your basal (long acting) insulin on the days of the cycle when you are experiencing highs? I would start by increasing it by about 10% and then see. It’s amazing what an increased basal will do. It is much more effective that many correction boluses throughout the day.

[Disclaimer: of course you should ask your endo about this, but if he is disinterested, then I would give it a try anyway. I’m not a doctor, but I have been adjusting my own rates for about 5 years.]

I may be wrong, but I was assuming that Maria is already increasing her insulin intake to cover the resistance. But I thought her question was to find out a way to reduce resistance. Increased intake of insulin (especially wasted insulin seeing as most is resisted anyway) seems to be correlated with weight gain. Extra, unused insulin in the body will tend to increase weight. So, I was under the assumption that her question was asking about how to reduce insulin resistance, not how to cover for it (basal or bolus).

I might be wrong tho. haha.

Gina- thanks for replying with this. Have you noticed any side effects? Any increase in bowel movements, etc (if you don’t mind sharing, that is). They say the side effects of Metformin are increased colon activity and can sometimes lead to vomiting. Have you seen this?

Thanks again. I wanted to see if there were any T1s out there on Metformin.

Marps–I totally feel like there are hardly any T1s on Metformin, which seems strange, right? I was feeling anxious about being the only one! Anyway…So…I started on the generic “metformin” that says on the bottle ‘generic for glucophage.’ I had terrible nausea and lethargy (but i also have the worst/most sensitive stomach on the planet!) I tried to stick it out but after a week and a 1/2 had to quit (doc says these side affects would’ve subsided if I had waited it out.) My endo who thinks I could really benefit from this type of drug, then switched me to the name brand glumetza (stating it had less side effects,) and voila: no bad stomach whatsoever! I did take it one night a while after I ate ( i forgot) and noticed loose BM, but that was the only time. I take it now with dinner each night, and everything seems normal. I’m about to up the dosage, so we’ll see what happens here. Side note: I find it disturbing that the name brand can have such a difference in side effects. i mean, they are supposed to be the “same” right? Anyway, it costs more, but I’ll take it if there is no nausea if you know what i mean! Hope that helps!

Marps is right. I am already adjusting my insulin - although I haven’t hit the target yet because I’ve been a bit conservative in adjusting up. I want to reduce the insulin resistance.

I have a special setting on my pump for these weeks, but here’s what happens: increase basal and bolus 3 units instead of 2. STILL find myself at 200 even though I didn’t eat any carbs. Bolus 2 units more. STILL find myself at 200. Exercise. STILL find myself at 200. Change my infusion site. STILL find myself at 200. Bolus 2 units more and exercise again. FINALLY find myself at 120 and ecstatic at at that.

I think I said something wrong though. I think progesterone falls before your period rather than increases.

My ignorance is sad but it’s hard to get good information on this. I’ve gone to web site after web site but everything is so vague and I haven’t found anything addressed to type 1 diabetics.

It has been SO frustrating to see my insulin needs increase and my scale increase. I’m desperate to find some good information.

I am on metformin but I don’t think it does much for me.

Maria

Gina-
Please keep us posted on how the higher dosage works for you. I have also heard that the suspended release version has fewer side effects than the regular release one.

I have been seeing more and more talk about Metformin for Type 1s in blog posts lately. I thought this one by Amy at Diabetes Mine is especially good: http://www.diabetesmine.com/2010/01/metformin-for-type-1-diabetes-really-why.html

I think there are lot more Type 1s with insulin resistance than our doctors realize, especially the kind of resistance that is tied to female hormones.

Ugh! Sounds awful! How is your thyroid? That can cause weight gain and screw with your insulin needs, too. Maybe you could try a higher dose of Metformin? Maybe the BCP that someone else suggested would help … could even out your hormone levels.

Sounds like you need an endo who is willing to really tackle this problem! Unfortunately, they are hard to come by sometimes!

Maria,

Have you looked into Symlin?

Gina: Me too. I asked my Endo about Metformin to help w my resistance issues abt 6 months ago (or more??) and he immediately said “No.” becuase it was tied to type 2. Then, last week at my appt, he suggested it to help.

I think they’re all still learning.

I hope it helps. Please keep us posted. Post a discussion if you notice any change please??? I would LOVE to hear good news! : )

Gerri- what I’ve heard from my Endo is that Symlin only helps w weight loss because it slows the absorption of carbs into the digestion. This allows people to feel fuller longer. But it doesnt’ actually help with resistance, it just makes you want to eat less often and less of.

With people like us (If I’m actually diagnosed w gastroparesis next week at my radiology appt), this will only make our digestion even SLOWER and mess up our BG numbers even more.

He might have been wrong in the Symlin use, but I’ve asked him three times over the course of last week and his answer was always the same.

Maria- yeah, I’ve seen the same thing in myself. Yeah, I want stable BG numbers, but I don’t see how it’s “okay” to increase from 1 unit per 5g carbs to 1 unit to 1 g of carbs just because I’ve got my menstrual cycle. I mean, this is for 13 weeks out of 26 weeks per year. My weight is going to continually increase over the next few years if I stay at this pace. My BG might look nice bc of the increased insulin to cover HORMONES (ugh), but my ■■■ is going to need new pants if this keeps up at this pace. I’m looking at 5 lbs per year at this rate. And I exercise and monitor my diet very steadily.

So, I feel your pain.

All of my blood work looks great too. Cholesterol, triglycerides (better than most normal people), and thyroid looks great.