Diabetes, a chronic condition, can bring about many changes in the body. As a result, women with type 2 diabetes might notice irregular periods.
Women with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing a condition called anovulation, which could lead to irregular periods. This condition indicates that ovulation, the process where the ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube, is not happening. However, not everyone with diabetes experiences this.
Every woman has a unique menstrual cycle owing to a fine-tuned balance of hormones within their body. The process of ovulation plays a critical role in ensuring regular menstruation. Since women with diabetes don’t regularly ovulate, they are more likely to have a hormonal imbalance leading to anovulation.
Women with Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) in their teen or early adult years have hyperinsulinemia or increased blood levels of insulin. This also triggers hormonal imbalance leading to insulin resistance, wherein the body is unable to utilize insulin to control blood sugar. This causes delayed menstrual cycles and obesity.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in women who are overweight or obese. The greater volume of body fat generates large amounts of hormones that directly contribute to insulin resistance. This causes the pancreas to produce more insulin.
Different menstrual cycle phases can have diverse effects on a person’s blood glucose levels. Therefore, regularly recording blood sugar levels can help locate patterns in sugar level fluctuations and help you regulate your sugar levels.
**Lifestyle changes that women can adopt to avoid complications**
- It is advisable for women to adopt lifestyle modifications to avoid these complications.
- Eating a balanced diet can keep you healthy. Try replacing simple carbohydrates and processed food with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, a good mix of starches, and lean meat cuts to maintain a stable blood sugar level.
- Stay hydrated and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Get adequate 7-8 hours of sleep and rest.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes daily to control blood sugar levels and regularize the menstrual cycle. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar for energy. Regular physical activity can help your body use insulin more effectively. However, be aware of warning signs of low blood sugar levels, including lightheadedness, anxiety, hunger, shakiness, or weakness.
- Moderate weight loss can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Refrain from smoking and drinking.
- Track your cycle length, period heaviness, and cravings. It is also helpful to monitor your weight, blood sugar level, and fatigue.
- Consult your gynecologist if you have diabetes and experience symptoms such as skipping periods for 3 months or more, excessive or prolonged bleeding with the passage of clots during periods, or erratic bleeding between cycles.