Did my diabetes stop my menstrual cycle?

I’m soon to turn 46, have Hashimoto’s Disease for 3 years, and Type 2. My GYN tells me i am definitely in Menopause because my LMP was over a year ago, also she said because my female hormones (when last tested back in December) indicate (to her) that i am, however my FSH levels aren’t high enough to be in Menopause. Here’s what it is:
In late 2004 (when i was 42) i started having awful symptoms which i thought were menopausal (severe sweating,racing heart, ammenorrhea, terrible cramps, bloating & PMS, anxiety, depression) which in the end turned out to be Hashimoto’s. (I later learned that thyroid disease and menopause & perimenopause have the same symptoms) Even when i started on thyroid hormone replacement my periods returned but not on a monthly basis, i had 4 in '05, 2 in '06, and one (my last one) in '07. My first endo (back in '05) told me i was not in menopause, or even perimenopause, that my thyroid was to blame. Then i developed Type 2 last year. I recently read an article that Diabetes can stop your cycles. I cannot get any dr to explain anything like this to me and am really confused.
i have been posting this on other forums on different websites, but noone seems to know the answer. I can post my lab results if anyone is interested. Thanks!

same thing happened to me. just stopped right after i was diagnosed. and my tests came back that i was finished with menopause. it isn’t common, but it does happen.

check out my blog post here: http://landileigh.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/not-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it/

Dear luv2chitchat

I like your handle

good news and bad news – without a complete genetic profile, you will not know the specifics of your situation. good news is that they are learning more and more all the time – keep a close eye on immune system and diabetes

Disabetes is a diagnosis – but like cancer, there are many types. Some are easier to understand and treat than others. Type 1, where the insulin producing cells have been destroyed is relatively straightforward – replace the missing insulin through injection. There are a number of reasons why a person might stop making insulin, autoimmune and genetic causes are primary. You may or may not be one of these people.

The rest of us fall into a whole bunch of not-yet-well-defined groups. Some of us cannot metabolize carbs correctly and even insulin does not control it wall. Some of us have livers that make glucose (make it from fat) and even when we fast, our blood glucose goes up! Some of us are “insulin resistant” which means that our cells can’t use insulin to get the glucose into the cells. There are yet more things for our scientists to discover! The challenging thing is that most “type 2” people are a combination of insulin resistance, glucose producing livers, and ineffective insulin production. Docs find it very frustrating to get the meds right and working for people in this category.

Now to your question – did diabetes cause early onset menopause?

Probably not. The well documented implications of high blood sugars affect three primary areas – all places with lots of tiny blood vessels called capillaries – kidneys, eyes(retina) and feet.

IF you had gestational diabetes with a pregnancy, the relationship to the development of the diabetes and early onset menopause is clear – it’s a genetic thing and there are a boatload of us like that. Most women who have gestational diabetes develop diabetes at menopause.

IF your diabetes includes autoimmune attack on your Islets of Langerhans (the cells in your Pancrease that make insulin), then the diabetes and Hashimoto’s may be related in that your body has turned on itselt.

It’s possible that early onset menopause is also related to autoimmune and thyroid output (all of our hormone systesms are related)

BUT the diabetes didn’t probably cause the early onset menopause. I can’t think of a way that might have been causal.

I started menopause at 40. – 15 years ago. Mine is related to severe sleep deprivation – long story, but everything else I deal with is a combination of genetics and the challenge to my system that no sleep creates. Metabolism, hormones, mood, everything is out of whack. the sayme thing that caused early onset menopause caused the diabetes.

Hope this helps

Hi, I have the Graves and am Type 1. It is definitively Thyroid that can effect your menstrual cycle and not diabetes…

As you have Hashimoto I assume that you are underactive and are taking thyroxine on a daily basis which is a hormonal pill compared to cabrimazole which is a chemical pill if you are hyper. As far as I know and have been informed if you have your TSH, T3 and T4 all under control you should be fine and not be meopausal before your due time.

Dr Rubenfeld in Houston - TX is an expert on Thyroid. He has a book called could it be my thyroid, which I have found very useful, though I would classify myself quiet an expert in Thyroid disease, as my mom has it as well.

Hope this helps

It helped very much, Janet, thank you

I am taking Armour Thyroid, which is the natural, dessicated thyroid and far more superior than Thyroxine (Synthroid and it’s generics) .Several months ago a new OB/GYN dr just diagnosed me as being post-menopausal because i’m 2 years without a period, yet my Hashi’s is the cause but he won’t say, i just turned 47 this month.
Nice to hear from someone who agree with me on my thyroid being a contributing factor, thank you for your input!!

Okay, reading this leads me to my question… will thyroid make your periods worse? Or am I just getting old? I am actually turning 40 today and I just assumed that it would be due to my age that my periods and the symptoms are getting worse. Could it be thyroid? My doc has me on synthroid 112mcg once a day.

Well, my thyroid just stopped my periods altogether, although having just turned 47 i now believe i’m going through perimenopause/menopause. My ob/gyn says since thyroid and meno symptoms are similar it’s hard to tell.

Basically what I know is that if your thyroid is not under control your fertility decreases as well…hence it has an affect on your period.

Ok just from dr Rubensfeld’s book
it says basically that thyroid can alter a womans menstrual cycle and cause infertility.

and I found on the following website the following

Many doctors would say that sure, an untreated thyroid problem could contribute to infertility, PMS, and menopause symptoms, but if your thyroid readings are in the normal range, it isn’t implicated. The problems with that approach are well described elsewhere on Mary Shomon’s site. Here I will simply add that I personally know women who have successfully overcome infertility by being treated for subclinical hypothyroidism, who have been cured of PMS with T3 added to their formula, and who have been able to eliminate hot flashes that came every 20 minutes day and night by taking kelp supplements, an iodine source for thyroid support. All of these women had TSH values in the so-called normal range.

Hope this helps