High blood sugar & your period

Okay. This shouldn’t still be a problem for me. I’ve had diabetes for 23 years, I am 36 years old but I still struggle every time I get my period. I need advice. My cycle has never been regular, so I start guessing about 2 weeks before I get my period, is my blood sugar running high because I’m about to get my period? Does this sound familiar to anyone? By the time I finally do get my period, my blood sugar goes back to normal and I don’t have to guess any more, but those 2 weeks exhaust me and the high blood sugars that happen every time are really frustrating.

Has ayone talked to their dr. about the birth control that makes you not get your period? I think it’s called seasonal or something? If I could eliminate the ups and downs of my blood sugar prior to getting my period, it would make my life so much easier! Or, does anyone have a good birth control pill that they can reccommend specifically for women with diabetes? Am I the only one who gets out of whack every month?

Amy…You might have solved your own problem…using one form of the pill or another sounds brilliant. I was always regular until recently…menopause or perimenopause or whatever…raging hormones have me unable to anticipate the hormonal effects on my BS. I have only had DB for 3 years, so by the time I was getting the hormonal swings down, they became irratic. My endo is seemingly unfamiliar with the situation.

We blogged about that a few days back under the Raging Hormone title. I think it was Jenny who seemed pretty knowledgeable on the subject. You may need to go looking for her. I’ll be curious to follow your progress…good luck.

Hi Amy,

I get the exact same symptoms! My cycle has always been regular, but even if it weren’t I could still tell you when I’m 1-2 weeks out (:stuck_out_tongue: The only thing that seems to help is upping my Lantus a 1/2 to 1 unit during that time. I drop like a rock about a day or so before my cycle so I drop the dose back down to my usual level then. When I was younger and not as diligent about my BG, my symptoms were much worse (extreme highs, cramps, etc.) I’m better now, but like you I’ve struggled with it for a long time.

My doctor was going to give me the patch last year, but found out that women shouldn’t be on any hormonal birth control after age 35 due to the increased cardiovascular risks, so that was the end of that…I think Seasonale, etc. might be out for that reason :frowning: No one has ever offered me anything other than ‘barrier’ methods (condoms, diaphragm) as a choice. I’ve heard of some women using the Pill with no problems though. Ladies?

that’s what my sister said about birth control too, (she is also type 1) about heart risks. I was hoping she was wrong…she said her obgyn was talking about the IUD being the best for women with diabetes. hmmmm…shouldn’t this be easier? I guess it’s time to make an apt., in the meantime, my blood sugar is 220. ugh.

Have any of you read Toni Weschler’s book Taking Charge of Your Fertility?
It’s the “fertility bible” so it’s GREAT for birth control and/or pregnancy achievement, but it also really helped me feel much more in control and in the know about my own body and when things were going to happen, when higher blood sugars were a result of hormonal changes because of that time of the month and when it was EVERYTHING ELSE!
I have never had periods that anyone else considered “regular” but after reading that book I had a much clearer idea of what was normal for me and how to deal with it all.
It may seem like a lot of reading if you aren’t worried about achieving/avoiding pregnancy, and I don’t know how much help it is for menopause-type concerns as I am not there yet…but I DO know it helped me understand my body’s signs of what was going on with me hormonally, regular or not.
Best of luck!

Susan…sounds like a wonderful resource. I am going through the raging hormone stage and it could only help to know what’s going on. It seems easier for me to get it when the obvious is pointed out to me!

Amy…I think they absolutely discourage woman over 35 who smoke from taking the pill due to increased incidence of stroke. Probably overall diabetic statistics would put you at risk, but maybe not your individual situation. I think those of us who are interested enough to be on this site, have a better prognosis than the general diabetic public. It might have been Ken who stated that less than 10% of diabetics have an A1c of 7 or lower. Your doc might want to just go by the standard protocol…no BC Pills for diabetics, but some research might put you more at ease with the idea.

that 10% shocks me Elaine, wow. Obviously I haven’t talked with my OBGYN about birth control in a while…
Susan, you are right, when I was trying to get pregnant with my boys, I was amazed to discover how little I knew about the workings of my own body. I think it would be so much easier to deal with the high blood sugars if I was on a regular schedule and could prepare for them, but my situation makes it frustrating and from what you all say, birth control doesn’t sound like a good option even if I am in that 7%! This souonds like a good topic for me to pitch to Diabetes Forecast!

I’m only 22 (no kids) but I have an IUD because my sugar and blood pressure was out of control. I highly reccomend an IUd for any woman, I visited about 3 doctors before I found a doctor (at planned parenthood) that knew enough about diabetes and put one in me. It was fustrating because I had doctors telling me it wouldnt help, or it would hurt too much - its all BS, there was only a little pain/ soreness- I took some advil took a nap and I was fine by the evening. Its been about 3 years and I have NEVER had a problem, I don’t even feel it.

I have been T1 since 1981 and was on the pill from age 21 - 36. I stopped taking it at 36 because of the risks already mentioned. In the past 9 months, (now I am 38) I have started having symtoms of PMS and the high BS readings. I usually increase my basal rate by 20 - 25% during those 3 or 4 days. I just saw my endo last week and was telling him that I have developed PMS and the increase BS’s during that time and he thought it would not be horrible to put me back on the pill. I would love to do it if I did not have such a large amount of heart disease in my family. You should speak with your endo and OB/GYN to get their opinions. It is soooo frustrating to have to guess at the reason for the elevated BS’s. It was so much easier to deal with when I was on the pill, or maybe it was because I was younger.

hmmm… thanks so much for your thoughts. It sounds like we have alot in common, I was diagnosed in 1985 and am now 36 dealing with these issues. I will talk to my OBGYN, I need to figure this out. It just feels like such a waste of time to deal with the highs every month and I hate increasing my basal rate, i don’t know why, it feels like I’m chasing the monster…Thanks for your input, I’ll make an apt. and post my findings!

I second Meagan’s praise of the IUD. My mom was leery of the idea because of the Dalkon Shield scare that ruined the rep of IUDs in the US, but today’s IUDs are tested extensively. It’s the most commonly used form of birth control worldwide, but one of the least used in the US.

As for the IUD helping your BS levels, it would probably depend on which one you get. There is an IUD that secretes a low level of hormone, which would be similar to taking the pill. The IUD I have is a copper IUD and doesn’t secrete any hormones, so I still have the same wacky high before my period you do. But it’s still a great method of birth control, especially for people like me who can’t remember to take pills on a daily basis.

Hi Amy, I was experiencing the same thing and started Seasonque 6 months ago. The first 3 months on it there was not much of a change but the last 3 were significantly better without the crazy blood sugar spikes and mood swings. Of course it still happens when you reach the end of the 3 month pak but better than every month. I’m 40 and haven’t been on birth control for 14 years. good luck karen

oohhh, this is the answer I like best! did yor obgyn say anything about heart issues?

I have a wonder drug for you all- Depo Provera

Yes, this is the shot you get every 12 weeks. I was on it before I became diabetic. ( I was diagnosed d at 27, started depo at 22). I never had blood sugar swings or any of that other crap we have to put up with.

I went off it last year to try and get my cycle back because my (new) husband and I were considering having kids. Now that we’re not, I can’t wait to go back on it! This half a month chaos is horrible! Depo doesn’t mess with your bs like the pill because it’s pure progesterone (according to my doc).

I have no idea why my docs don’t recommend this, other than the fact that if you do decide you want kids you may have to wait 2 years for your cycle to come back. But if you don’t want to get pregnant AND hate wacky premenstral bs, then it’s great!

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Hi everyone, I know this discussion is over a year old and many of you may not even remember it… but wanted to thank you anyway. I have been having so much trouble with mid-cycle high BGs and while I have a note in my diary to look out for it every month, it still seems to act a little differently every single month and I find it a bit much to cope with some months (probably the combination of pre-menstrual hormones and the added diabetes frustration!).

Anyway, it was very cathartic last night to come home after a particularly frustrating pre-menstrual day and look on here and find there are a bunch of you who have the same problem.


Hi All,

I have a somewhat different, but related question!

I have been doing careful carb counting the past couple days and facing relentless highs! I realized that it is around time for ovulation… so I decided to search online and found that ovulation can cause insulin resistance.

It seems that some people face higher blood sugars (who have high progesterone??) and some face lower blood sugars (who have more estrogen??). I’m using an insulin pump and just tried increasing my basal rate to 120%.

Does anyone change their basal insulin according to ovulation? I saw that some have different settings for the two weeks between ovulation and period compared with the time after menstruation and before ovulation. I guess you would need to log carefully to see this…

Hi Kristin and all,
OMG, I get SO frustrated with the ovulation highs. I’m at 140% basal and it’s not even touching it. Some months it’s half a day. This month it’s been two days of constant stress. Changed the insulin, changed the infustion site (twice!), nope, that’s not the problem. Double doses for corrections- still in the 200’s. Finally take a bolus that should have me unconscious just so I can eat. Down to 39, eat something small, and then VOOM, up it goes again. I asked my doctor about birth control for this once and he dismissed it, saying that the birth control woulr increase my need for insulin. That’s find, as long as it was a PREDICTABLE increase.
I may just nag the doctor about the depo-provera.

No you are not alone…hormones affect blood sugar…there is apart of our cycle that blood sugars go up, no matter what & then will stay low now matter what; then we’re just back to our everyday mood swinging diabetic selfs…LOL…any who, I’d have to find the specific information again, but your a normal diabetic woman…I don’t do birth control pills anymore so I can’t help there…but weigh the price of taking them verses other forms of birth control…everything has a risk factor.

Good luck Barbara…keep us posted. If the Depo-Provera works for you (should you get it,) that knowledge would help so many women on this site, I’d think!

Kristin…I am not astute enough to notice a difference in ovulation and pre-menstral #'s, but it seems to remain constant for the duration, plus I am dealing with menopause, Lord help me! Sorry…don’t want to worry you young women, the menopausal symptoms have been completely deal-able, it’s just that the unpredictable effects to my #'s last 2 weeks or more. I remember reading that it depended which ovary produces the egg each month …somehow directed the estrogen/progesterone balance which somehow effected the insulin resistance. I think that it is probably very tough to predict and compensate for because, like all hormones, they can fluctuate so much.

I have just entered a 2nd basal rate dealing just with hormones on my PDM…wish me luck. Good luck to all of us!