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I am a 41 year old woman with no family history of diabetes. At a regular doctor's check-up (about 5 weeks ago) I had blood work done routinely and the results showed a blood sugar count around 280. Previous bloodwork done 9 months ago had it at 90.

At the time of this test where my bood sugar was so high, I had been having extremely intense premenstrual symptoms (cravings for food I don't normally eat, irritability, etc.)

The doctor decided to do a fasting blood sugar test three days later. A day and a half later I got my period. This blood test showed my blood sugar at around 380. I was put on Glucotrol [glipizide, a sulfonylurea hypoglycemic medication, ed.] for the next three weeks. Again we did a blood test (I also had PMS again) and this time it was about 470. Now we are set tomorrow to do another fasting test.

I'm having such a hard time adjusting to a diabetes diagnosis and wondered if there could possibly be a relationship to menstruation -- am I secreting hormones or something which could drive up my blood sugar that much? I had no noticeable symptoms which made me think I was ill when I went to the doctor five weeks ago, but now I have symptoms. Can you help me understand this at all?


It's common that the symptoms related to the onset of monthly menstruation (called PMS, premenstrual syndrome) can cause the blood sugar to be slightly elevated for a few days. But the extremely high levels you're experiencing cannot just be related to menses; based on the recent blood sugar value, your diabetes seems to be getting worse despite the addition of medication that should have helped (if you have Type 2 diabetes).

At age 41, it's not clear whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Since you're not responding well to a month's treatment so far, ask your physician for additional advice and information to help get things under control soon. For example, I really wonder what your blood sugar levels have been doing during the past month while you have been on Glucotrol. If you have not been doing home blood sugar monitoring, you definitely should be!


Original posting 15 Oct 96


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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