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The Effects of Blood Sugar Levels During Menopause

April 03, 20233 min read

In this article I write about blood sugar levels during and after menopause.  As women get older, hormone changes before and during menopause often cause hot flashes, irritability and sleep deprivation. These drops or spikes in the hormones not only impact your mood and life, but they can also affect your bloods sugar.  The hormones estrogen and progesterone affect how your cells respond to insulin. If you are noticing that your blood sugar levels are changing more often, you may be of risk of diabetics.  

For women who have diabetes, you know from eating too much, missing out on a snack or even stress can affect your blood sugar, making it very difficult to control.  

Blood sugar or blood glucose level, is the concentration of glucose found in the blood. Glucose is a simple carbohydrate, it comes from breads, grains, fruits, dairy products and some vegetables.  It’s an important fuel for the body. 

Estrogen and progesterone are essential for control of the menstrual cycle and reproduction. With menopause, the ovaries cease to make these hormones. Estrogen now comes from adrenal production and fat cells. The decrease in estrogen decreases the metabolic rate in which women use starches and carbs. This can contribute to weight gain women experience in menopause.

Premenopausal women often gain weight around the thighs and buttocks but during menopause women tend to gain weight around the abdominal area. This is known as visceral fat which can lead to Type 2 diabetics. 

Type 2 diabetics is the most common type and is caused by the coexistence over time of two conditions; insulin resistance and chronic inflammation. This happens progressively in which the body needs to produce higher than normal amounts of insulin to clear glucose out of the blood after a meal or snack.  Insulin resistance occurs over time. It begins at a low level, and eventually shows up as prediabetics, and if not addressed through diet and lifestyle, may progress to diabetics. 

Sleep deprivation can also cause issues with blood sugar levels. Lack of sleep causes the body to produce more cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Cortisol provides the body with glucose by using the protein in the liver. Increased cortisol levels over a period of time can cause weight gain. 

Research tells us that the risk of all these problems can be reduced or even avoided when healthy lifestyle changes are implemented early on.

Weight Loss

A low carbohydrate diet can help as it does not pump as much glucose into your body and helps with weight loss and regulate your blood sugar.  It is important to note that dieting should be a primary focus only for health goals. Nothing replaces a nutrient-dense diet.

Exercise

It is important to stay active. Walking 30 minutes a day will help with losing weight and regulating blood sugar. When you exercise, your muscles will burn sugar in your body, helping to lower glucose levels. Exercising regularly will also help the body use insulin more efficiently.

Hydration

Drinking more water helps control blood sugar and helps kidneys get rid of the extra blood sugar through urine.  Water rehydrates the blood.  Don’t know how much water you should be drinking? The human body requires 33ml (millilitres) for each kilogram of body weight.  Take your body weight and times it by 0.033 which will equal the amount of water you should be drinking. Example: 58 x 0.033 = 1.914 litres per day.

Stress Less

When you are stressed your body releases hormones such as cortisol, which increases insulin resistance. Controlling stress levels is important for many other health issues including blood sugar. Meditation, sleep and relaxation can also help control this.

Cinnamon

Another easy way to reduce blood sugar is to add cinnamon to your foods as it slows the breakdown of carbohydrates and increases insulin sensitivity.  No more than 0.4 teaspoons a day. 

Controlling blood sugar is imperative for health and wellness throughout our lives. It is important to regularly get tested for blood glucose every year to prevent the onset of diabetics.


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Emma Bitz

Nutrition Coach | Weight-loss Practitioner | Neuro Change Master Practitioner | Meditation Coach - I help women navigate through all phases of life without expensive medications, restrictive diets or complicated plans! I use simple, easy to implement strategies that allow you to create long-lasting healthy habits, give you tools to reset and renergise your mind, and allow you to live a healthy and vibrant life.

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