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Perimenopause

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Natalie1974, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Natalie1974

    Natalie1974 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Advice please. So the last 3-4 months have been pure hell in terms of keeping my bloods stable. I low carb and up until a few weeks ago I was regularly using the Libre and as a result my hba1c has been relatively stable for the last few years. However in the last few months it’s like I have zero control of anything...normal rules have completely ceased to apply. My monthly cycle is just crazy...my moods are all over the shop...one minute I’m crying and the next I’m shouting...my bloods can go from 2.8 to 18.0 in a matter of minutes despite trying to treat hypos with the bare minimum to avoid this crazy swinging which really isn’t helping with my moods. I’ve tried tweaking my Levemir but nothing seems to work.
    I had my annual review with the consultant this week and as soon as he asked how things were going I broke down in tears and didn’t stop for pretty much the whole appointment. He was actually brilliant...he’s booked me in for Libre training so I can get it on prescription and is booking me on to Daphne course but in terms of insulin adjustments he didn’t offer any advice. Please...can anyone offer any advice or tips?
     
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  2. JMK1954

    JMK1954 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Natalie1974, I experienced exactly the same sort of problem, ie. crazily fluctuating blood sugar levels just after I hit 50. The problem was solved for me when a consultant wrote to my GP and advised him to prescribe HRT. Until this point, I felt I was going mad. My GP was concerned but could offer no help or advice. I was informed by the consultant that not all female type 1s experience the crazy blood sugar levels. For those that do, HRT solves the problem. The advise I was given was that I would probably only need HRT for about 2 and a half years, because after this time the crazy fluctuations would stop. I took HRT for about three years before stopping, because I was afraid of finding my self back in the original impossible situation. However, I need not have worried. The crazy fluctuations had really stopped for good.

    No insulin adjustments improved things for me at any point. It sounds as if you are unfortunately like me, in being one of those whose levels are seriously affected by fluctuating hormones.
     
  3. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    I am "at that age" and have friends (without diabetes) complaining of sweats and hormonal changes.
    Thankfully, I have not experienced any of that ... yet.
    I may be lucky but I believe this is, at least partially, to do with being very active.
    I have read about menopause and all articles I read advise keeping fit to reduce the chance of menopausal symptoms.
    I have read even walking for 30 minutes a day reduces the symptoms noticeably.
     
  4. JMK1954

    JMK1954 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well, I happened to be walking for about an hour a day Monday to Friday as a matter of course (and even more at the weekend ! )when my sugar levels went bananas.and I have already described what happened in other posts. I too read lots of stuff about keeping fit, adjusting your diet, taking a variety of supplements in tablet form and goodness only knows what else. I tried several options, but for me, nothing made any noticeable difference. I suspect most of us would something similar do in this situation, but I think this is likely to be yet another example of us not all being the same. According to the consultant who recommended HRT, only a small percentage of female type 1s experience the crazy sugar level fluctuations. My levels could rise from 4 point something before a meal to 22mml afterwards on my normal number of units in just over an hour. On other occasions everything remained normal for several hours. As a result, it is not possible to adjust insulin to match a crazy spike until it has already happened. If I took a correction injection, then I could end up hypo, as the hormones would suddenly kick in again and my levels would drop like a stone. All totally unpredictable.My consultant said that if I didn't take the HRT option, I would be risking kidney damage, neuropathy etc etc. HRT worked for me. Not perfectly, but well enough to limit spikes to 11 or 12 mml and reduce their frequency markedly. The idea is that a steady minimum level of hormones keeps things a lot more stable.

    I wouldn't wish the crazy blood sugar fluctuations on my worst enemy. The hot flushes and disturbed sleep were bad enough, but I could have coped with that. I did later on after stopping the HRT. The snag was, that if I started to sweat I could not be sure if I was hypo or not without testing and that was a real nuisance.
     
  5. Natalie1974

    Natalie1974 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for your response...I will definitely be asking my consultant about HRT. I’m at that point that I’ll try absolutely anything right now...I’m worn out and exhausted by the effort of trying to get it right.
    As a general rule I low carb for the majority of the time and I’m quite satisfied that my basal rate is spot on...however last week I had pizza with a friend...something that I would normally avoid at all costs...before eating my bloods were at 4.6....so I held off on my bolus and tested about half hour after eating and I was at 5.2...held off again...an hour later I was at 5.4....two hours later at 5.6...I set up an alarm to test in the night...5.7....in the morning it was still in range???? That makes no sense whatsoever...since when can any T1 get away with no insulin for Pizza??? Other days I’ll have something really low carb like a mushroom omelette and I’ll end up in the late teens....I just don’t get it. It’s mentally draining trying to second guess what’s gonna happen next...I’m just kind of going with it and firefighting as and when...I’m so exhausted
     
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  6. JMK1954

    JMK1954 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I remember how desperate I felt about the whole situation and what you said in your first post sounded so much like my own experience I had to answer. If hormones are at the root of your problems, HRT is your best bet in my opinion. Perhaps your consultant feels that there are other factors involved. It might be worth contacting a DSN at the hospital you attend to explain how desperate and exhausted you are feeling. They may be able to provide further info about HRT to treat crazy sugar level fluctuations. Hope you get some answers soon.
     
  7. sweaty betty

    sweaty betty Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am in the exact same position as the OP & it’s such a relief to hear that I’m not alone. I have a GP appointment soon so I’ll ask for HRT in the hope that helps.
     
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  8. Circuspony

    Circuspony Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm heading towards 50 and have a feeling this goes a long way to explaining my erratic swings in BG levels....
     
  9. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

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    I'm not type one but i had a really horrible, drawn out menopause after a hysterectomy at 42. I reacted very, very badly to HRT and spent six months feeling that life wasn't worth living. i was eventually referred to a nutritionist who advised me to eat lots of soya rich products which really worked for me.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Thanks for this thread I am nearing this point so watching this thread with interest, I have always suffered each month with swinging BG levels pre-menstrual so am not expecting menopause to be easy.
     
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  11. karen8967

    karen8967 Type 1 · Expert

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    I had the opposite effect hrt was a nightmare for me
     
  12. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

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    Same for me - I had frequent suicidal thoughts for months until i stopped taking HRT but i know other people who think it is a miracle drug.
     
  13. JMK1954

    JMK1954 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well, I am going to repeat what I find myself having to point out frequently on this forum. We are all different. The HRT was an answer to a prayer for me, as I was really desperate. However, statins lost me my short-term memory, ACE inhibitors for blood pressure gave me a stomach ulcer and I have no hypo warning symptoms on anything except an aninal insulin. I also had a bad skin reaction to the Libre sensor which was like a chemical burn. All any of us can do is look for solutions and try out what is offered. If it causes unacceptable side-effects - we can only drop it and dig our heels in. What we swallow or inject is our decision and nobody else's.

    My GP wanted to put me on antidepressants before my consultant suggested HRT, but I knew I wasn't depressed, just struggling with an impossible situation. The GP was reluctant to prescribe it even after receiving the consultant's letter. He had never heard of HRT stabilising BS levels, but I don't think he had dealt with many type 1 diabetics anyway. He had no useful advice for me on any occasion, so I did not bother him very much. You may have to fight to get HRT, but for me it was worth it.
     
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