Menopause is already challenging for women, but becomes a double trouble for diabetic women. The hormonal imbalances during menopause, trigger symptoms of moodiness, weight gain, hot flashes, incontinence, sleep problems and infections that may result in lowering or increasing blood sugar levels, affecting diabetic’s health.
This directly influences the insulin levels needed by the affected diabetic woman. There are many affects mediated by menopause on diabetic state. Every diabetic woman has to carefully manage these to avoid any severe consequences.
Complications Of Diabetes And Menopause
Fluctuations In Blood Glucose Levels
Diabetic women’s responsiveness to insulin changes dramatically due to hormonal changes during menopause. Now, blood sugar becomes variable and gets changed quite often, than earlier. If blood sugar levels are not controlled, it may lead to severe diabetes complications.
Urinary And Vaginal Infections
With menopause, chances of vaginal and urinary infection increases manifold. The drop of estrogen hormone makes the condition more favorable for yeast and bacteria. These can thrive more easily in vagina and urinary tract, increasing the infection risk in diabetic women, who are already prone to infections.
Menopause leads to increased night sweats and hot flashes in diabetic women, waking them at night. Women become sleep deprived that in turn makes it difficult to normalize blood sugar levels. Loss of sleep may also lead to increase in weight, for certain women.
Weight gain is commonly observed in diabetic women, undergoing menopause and post menopause. This elevates the insulin needs of the body or oral medications, for keeping glucose levels under control.
Increased Risk For Cardiovascular Diseases
Diabetic women undergoing menopause are at higher risks of getting cardiovascular diseases than before. This is owing to increased high cholesterol, increased waistline fat and high blood pressure, compounding due to hormonal imbalances during menopause.
Fluctuated blood sugar levels may lead to a sudden drop of sugar levels in the blood, leading to high episodes of intense hot flashes. The hormonal imbalances aggravate the matter many folds, making it worst for the diabetic patient.
Diabetes may damage the nerve cells of the vaginal lining, interfering with the orgasm and arousal during intimacy, making women uninterested in the act. Vaginal dryness even further compound the problem and can even cause pain. For diabetic women with menopause, sex becomes more of a painful and uncomfortable task.
Women with type 2 diabetes are very likely to suffer from state of depression due to daily stress of managing the disease for long. With menopause, the trouble is increased all the more, eroding self confidence in the patients by exacerbating depression, stress and mood swings.
Menopause in diabetic women results in urinary incontinence. Reduced estrogen levels decreases tissue elasticity within the vagina, bladder and urethra, resulting in leakage of urine. The weakened tissue and muscles are not able to hold on the high urine output, formed due to elevated glucose levels in diabetic women, for long. Hence, it becomes difficult for diabetic women to remain mobile with fear of urine leakage.
The twin challenge of diabetes and menopause can be handled with a little extra care and under regular supervision of the doctor.