type 2 diabetes, menstrual cycle, period health, women's health, northwest arkansas, irregular period, Approximately 26 million people in the United States have Diabetes. Out of that number, 95% have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older adults but can also occur in young people. But what is the connection between Type 2 Diabetes and menstrual irregularities? Let’s find out!

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is an impairment in how the body regulates and uses sugar (glucose) as fuel. This condition results in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream. 

Progress has been made in understanding the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes. It is believed that a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors, such as being overweight and physically inactive, cause Type 2 Diabetes. However, how lifestyle choices combine with genetic risk to determine risk is uncertain.

How Does This Affect the Menstrual Cycle?

The connection between Diabetes and your period is a two-way street. Diabetes causes changes to the menstrual cycle. And the hormonal changes that happen throughout the menstrual cycle affect a person’s Diabetes. 

Women with Diabetes are at higher risk of menstrual abnormality due to hormonal disruption. Also, women with Type 2 Diabetes are more likely to be obese and at higher risk of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).

As a result, they are at higher risk for irregular periods, scanty flow, anovulation (no ovulation), and abnormal hair growth over the face and other body parts.

Type 2 diabetes is also linked to an increased risk of endometrial cancer regardless of a person’s weight. The risk increases if a person is overweight or obese.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Several factors increase a person’s risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. You can modify some risk factors, but others are non-modifiable.

Risk factors you cannot change:

  • Family history
  • Race or ethnic background
  • Age
  • History of gestational Diabetes

Some risk factors you can control:

  • Weight
  • Physical inactivity
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Abnormal cholesterol (lipid) levels

By making healthy changes in these areas, women can reduce their risk or delay the development of type 2 diabetes and improve their overall quality of life. 

To learn more about Type 2 Diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association

Type 2 Diabetes and Menstrual Irregularities

Women with Diabetes may have an increased risk of experiencing irregular or unpredictable menstrual cycles. It’s important to keep up with hormonal changes during your cycle since hormone fluctuations can trigger changes in blood glucose levels and insulin levels. Take steps to manage these changes.

If you Type 2 Diabetes and menstrual irregularities and have questions or need a healthcare provider, contact the friendly staff at Creekside Center for Women. 479.582.9268