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March 13, 2004

Hypoglycemia, Other

Question from Smiths Station, Alabama, USA:

My daughter has just started having her menstrual cycles this year. She is a "controlled" hypoglycemic. Her schedule is very active. She cheers for the school and an all star squad. Her practices have gone down recently due to the end of season, which is when we usually have problems with her sugar being regulated. However, throughout the year her periods have been very irregular, almost non-existent. She cramps pretty bad, but it is usually managed with a heating pad and ibuprofen. Her sugar also has a problem generally a week or two before onset. This past cycle, this month, is on it's ninth day. On the second and third days, there was very little blood. However, on day six, she had gone through a box of tampons and used pads as backup. This is not normal for her. On day six she could not get out of bed to go to school. She was so pale and appeared to be anemic. Her sugar registered at 58 mg/dl [3.2 mmol/L]. I have endometriosis and am concerned that she may also have it. Her cramping was horrible on days six through eight. She could not even get out of a crouching over position. Her sugar was also way off. Today, day nine, she seems to be much better. She is able to attend school. My daughter is about 5'0" and weighs approximately 96-100 pounds. I called my gynecologist, since she did not yet have one. I just know how it went for me with discovering that I had endometriosis. I don't want her to have to go through that. In addition, I need to know how to get her sugar levels under control during that time. Is this situation abnormal? Is there any advice?

Answer:

It is pretty typical to have sometimes dramatic blood sugar variations during a menstrual cycle. There are various ways to manage this, including using medication to alter the menstrual cycles. Your OB/Gyn physician or family physician may be able to best direct all of the options that are available to you.

MSB