Period. Insulin Resistance. Period.

Attention men: You may want to stop reading now. We’re about to delve into one of those mysterious women-folk-things that might make you queasy, so don’t feel obligated to read this post in it’s entirety. But if you really want to, by all means, feel free! Maybe you’ll learn something. It’s really not THAT gross, I’m just going to say “period” a lot. You’ve been warned.

OK, back to this period thing. Being a woman of child-bearing age, I have a period every month. Having type 1 diabetes on top of that means, my body goes through weird cycles of hormones that connect both of those things. I’m sure other type 1 women have noticed this, but I finally paid close attention this month, and here’s my personal amazing discovery, always with the disclaimer that Your Diabetes May Vary (and I am in no way a doctor or medical professional):

On the first few days of my period, I CAN EAT CHINESE FOOD and NOT go high as a kite sugar-wise! I was curious as to why, hormonally, this might happen. Then I looked at a chart of the cycle of progesterone and estrogen hormones.

I learned many, many things about my body (some I wish I didn’t know) when we were undergoing fertility treatments trying to have our little girl. The main thing I learned, and saw in action very frequently, was that progesterone made my blood sugars run steadily higher the more of it I was taking. (This also supports why, in your 3rd trimester of pregnancy, you become the most insulin resistant as well – it’s when you have the most progesterone coursing through your body.)

In the little chart above, you can see progesterone levels come crashing down at the end of your monthly cycle, thus, triggering your period. For me this past week, these hormone changes equated to one visit to Red Bowl, with me eating “flower chicken” (no breading on the chicken, and a light sauce low in sugar), veggies, a small portion of fried rice AND half an eggroll, and actually going LOW afterwards. It was so unbelievable, I had to try it again a couple days later. The next time, I got a little more brave, ate some wonderfully evil-and-carb-filled Spicy Chicken, bolused appropriately for it in a dual-wave, and peaked at a high of only 165 about an hour and a half later. It was truly magical.

The one thing I didn’t get the test over the last few days was pizza. Next month, I will! Now, I’m not saying we all should go out and eat vats of Chinese food and pizza when we are all on our periods, but if you’re going to do it, may as well do it when it will affect ye olde blood sugars the least, right?  (Oh, and speaking of monthly reminders – you might want to change out the lancet in your checker 🙂 )

5 thoughts on “Period. Insulin Resistance. Period.

  1. Good to know! My daughter is only 10, but we are quickly approaching the time of her life where stuff like this will be relevant. And, really, Chinese food and pizza are ideal period foods, especially if they are followed by chocolate. Thank you for using yourself as a test subject to bring this wonderful message to WWD everywhere! (and also the moms of CWD who are going through puberty!)

    • Goodness, I can only imagine how crazy hormones will affect blood sugars in puberty! I was lucky(??!!) to be diagnosed at age 21, so I didn’t have that struggle to deal with, but I am fast approaching the hormonal change of menopause in the next 10-15 years, so that will no doubt be a battle in itself. Glad to help out whenever I can! Just always keep in mind, everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another. (But I hope it does, because yes – pizza, Chinese food, and chocolate are so delicious at that time of the month!!)

    • I went through that phase. I don’t remember it being super traumatic on my sugars, but I was still on shots back then. I also run a LOT lower during my cycle, so my parents had a lot of 3 am checks.

  2. this is amazing!

    it’s like god and gynecology WANT YOU TO HAVE THAT CHICKEN.

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