Type 1 Diabetes and Menstrual Cycles

As a girl, we know dealing with menstrual cycles is enough of a pain as is… but add Type 1 Diabetes into the mix, and it can be a complete disaster.

From day-to-day life, I already struggle with finding the correct basal rate to keep my blood sugar in check. My current settings have about 3 different rates set to change throughout each day at certain times to make sure that I stay within my target range. These rates can change simply from the amount of activity during each day, change in eating patterns, or even stress.

On top of all this, there is one more factor to add in. Hormones.

When our hormones change throughout our cycle, most girls find that our blood sugar levels increase 5-7 days before our period starts. They usually will fall back to normal two to three days later. This isn’t always the case, and sometimes the opposite happens, when blood sugar drops before our period starts and returns to normal a few days in.

For me personally, my blood sugar increases drastically about a week before. I typically end up increasing my basal rates by about 50-75% throughout different times of the day, and even still struggle to bring it back into range. The way my hormones fluctuate causes major insulin resistance for my body. (This is even more frustrating when all you want to do is eat from cravings)!

If you’re experiencing this… it’s normal! The good news is it doesn’t last. The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor about creating a temporary change in basal rates and potentially even bolus settings to combat the highs (or lows) and prepare to set them each month when you start to see the pattern again. I often experience lows during my cycle, so I like to carry Glucose SOS packets with me. I love how fast they bring up my blood sugar.  And I love that they are flat so I can carry them in my pocket while out and about. This makes it so much easier to have on me if I have a low blood sugar.  Try them out!

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