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August 17, 2002

Type 2

Question from Poland:

I am a 50 year old woman who would be grateful if you could inform me whether the menopause, especially the period shortly before its beginning, has any influence on type 2 diabetes. If so, are the symptoms? I am going to contact with my doctor as well, but I would surely feel much more confident knowing what may happen.


What I have read is that menopause may cause an increase in insulin resistance (increasing the blood sugar). However, this may not always be a consistent finding. Therefore, you will have to check your blood sugar levels periodically to see what is happening and determine if you need to either decrease or increase your medication.

Recently, in the American medical literature, a study was published that showed that estrogen replacement therapy may have harmful effects in women (increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease). Although the results were statistically significant, the actual increase in number of cases was small (an extra 4-6 per 10,000 women). Nevertheless, this has raised concern about estrogen replacement. The focus has been on tailoring treatment to the needs of the woman. You may want to consider alternate sources of estrogen or even different types of therapy in an effort to reduce the symptoms of menopause and its potential complications. You should speak with your physician further about this.