T1D for 41 years
MDI for first 38 years, pump (t:slim) the past three; CGM (Dexcom) for the past three, as well
Diabetic all through reproductive phase of life; have not yet reached perimenopause or menopause
(Will come back to the insulin need changes)
I’m not sure if you want this information, so do with it what you will: I’m not the mothering type, but did mess up and got pregnant in my 20’s (I am now blessed with a wonderful daughter and the best grandson in the world; somehow, she made it and became a terrific mother in spite of me). I was not in control of my diabetes when I got pregnant, but no idea how badly out of control I was. Though, afterwards, I had gotten to the point of “achieving” a 9-point-something A1c, so that is pretty telling. No internet back then - just read a lot of parenting magazines. Of course, none of those discussed being a diabetic mother. Doctors just said that, if I were to see this through, I would have a very large (10 pound) baby, but she was only 6 lb 4 oz when she was born. She was, however, sick and had to stay in the NICU for ten days before we could bring her home. She overcame all that, for the most part, and is doing well.
After the pregnancy, I started to realize the consequences of not taking care of my diabetes. Suffered near blindness in one eye, then amputation of a toe (just a toe, thankfully!), trouble with my tendons (trigger finger in several joints, and frozen shoulder in both shoulders). Though not likely linked to hormonal issues, it is probably worth mentioning that I also had a very minor stroke in my 40’s (which I’ll come back to in a bit), diagnosed with charcot foot, and now my kidneys are probably starting to fail.
As to how hormonal changes affect me: I am a mess EITHER pre-, during, or at the end of my menstrual cycle. The cycle always changes. I may need to cut my insulin down 2/3 before and during my cycle and then increase it 4x at the end. It may be opposite that, or anything in-between. I may have heavy bleeding, may be light. May have debilitating cramps, or none at all. I’m lucky in that the hormones don’t have a strong affect on my moods, but the one given during my cycle is when I become insulin resistant to the point where nothing is working (exercise, diet, insulin dosage - including stacking my insulin), I get terribly irritable. I hate that; irritability is worse than the most intense pain, to me. So I try to correct with insulin and increase my basal rate to an extreme level - which eventually catches up, of course, and I find myself in trouble.
No sign of menopause yet, but - despite all the negative side effects with it - I am ready for it to start now. Because of the stroke I had, no doctor will prescribe birth control. I think I should be allowed to consider that option; I don’t believe my chances of having another stroke are that great. I was under really high stress at that time - something that is really rare for me. And, when the time comes that I might be subjected to that type of stress again, I know I can handle it better.
Of course, diabetes and reproductive hormones are part of the endocrine system; so is the thyroid and pituitary gland. The hormones (or the limited release of them) also play a huge part in my diabetes. If my TSH is low (I take medication, but have to have it increased every few years), my sugars drop to dangerous levels (inexplicably, until I finally figured this out). My hypothalamus is a little wonky, too, but this hasn’t caused me much in the way of issues - at least, not yet. Since these are are all hormone related, too, I thought they would be worth mentioning.