Diabetes and menopause have many instances where they may affect one another,  or make worse the symptoms of each other.

For instance, having diabetes complications can arise when Menopause causes changes in the production of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones affect your body’s absorption of insulin, and this can cause unpredictable and harder to maintain blood sugar levels. This opens the door for complications from diabetes. Measure your blood sugar frequently and record it for discussion with your doctor about potential changes in your diabetes treatment.

During menopause, the loss of hormones enables the bad bacteria to flourish in your vagina, allowing infections to occur. When you have diabetes, having high blood sugar levels contributes to vaginal and urinary infections, which means having both menopause and diabetes increases the risk of infections running rampant.

Diabetes can become more difficult to control when weight gain (common with menopause) occurs, causing a need to take insulin or oral diabetes medication. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet are your best weapons in combating both diabetes and menopause.

During menopause, hot flashes and night sweats can prevent you from obtaining adequate sleep. This can lead to problems controlling your blood sugar levels, affecting your diabetes. Ask your doctor about medications to help relieve you of the symptoms of menopause to alleviate the stressors to diabetes.

Another time to go to your doctor for relief is when you may experience vaginal dryness due to menopause combined with the damage to nerves in and around your vagina (due to diabetes). Together, these can cause sex to be painful. Vaginal lubricants can provide wonderful relief so that you can once again enjoy a healthy sex life.

For further reading, see nih.gov’s page on Burning Mouth Syndrome