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August 3, 2003

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Question from Hermann, Missouri, USA:

Since being diagnosed with diabetes several years ago, my menstrual periods have been very messed up. One month my period may last a couple of days, and then the next month it may last several weeks. I even went for six weeks straight. Will diabetes cause this to happen?

Answer:

If you lost a lot of weight before you were diagnosed, this can upset the normal cycle. If it doesn’t become normal on its own spontaneously within six months, sometimes a 12 day course of progesterone will help reestablish normal cycles if there is no underlying problem. On the other hand, if you are overweight or have type�2 diabetes and needs insulin, the irregular periods may be part of the metabolic disorder. In any case, you should at least have your thyroid function tested as abnormal thyroid function is more common in people with type�1 diabetes and common in the non-diabetic population and can cause menstrual irregularities. Depending on your physical exam, you might need some other blood tests and or/different treatment.

TGL