Insulin Nation - Why your menstrual cycle raises your blood sugar

So this doesn’t really match my experience, but at least the effect of hormones on bg levels is getting some attention :slight_smile:

What do you think @T1Allison?


It is a very simplistic article, that really doesn’t explain much, but I agree, it is nice they are raising awareness to the issue.


In addition to raising blood sugar it can also raise their hackles.

Couldn’t resist

Thanks for posting this article, @Katers87!

Definitely agree. This is the first piece of writing I ever recall reading that covers the entire menstrual cycle, acknowledging that each phase can impact insulin sensitivity. So I am certainly glad for that!

I agree with:

  1. “This 28-day cycle is an important part of your health but just like hormones related to stress, these hormones can also impact your blood sugars and sensitivity to insulin.”
  2. “…every phase in your menstrual cycle can have at least a slight impact on your insulin needs and blood sugar levels…”
  3. Above all else: take good notes! Write down what you did and when you did it, and how it impacted your blood sugars. The more consistencies you can pinpoint, the more easily you can manage your blood sugars…”

But, I wish these sorts of “articles” would cite the source material for statements and recommendations such as:

  1. “Most women will see a significant spike in their blood sugar during the hour before and the few hours immediately after your period starts.”
  2. If you’re on a pump: You could work with your healthcare team to adjust your basal rate specifically for the day of your period, likely increasing your total daily insulin usage by 2 or 3 units.”
  3. If you take injections: Adjusting your long-acting insulin dose is tricky because you’ll need to be certain the day before your period starts that it is indeed going to start soon. Instead, you’re better off working with your healthcare team on taking small doses of rapid-acting insulin to prevent or correct rising blood sugars when your period starts.”

This piece is a very odd mix of vague generalizations with very specific advice. I can’t understand stating that the day of the cycle restart is going to include the most insulin resistance without citing where that information is coming from (I’ve never experienced that so we know there’s at least some variation in hormone experiences right there). I also can’t fathom why you’d publish that a woman’s total daily dose might increase by 2 or 3 units. How on Earth would you know how many units all women are using? At least use a percentage for generalizing…not actual units.

This article is a start. It is a place to start. I don’t know what information she is pulling from other than maybe her own experience? Her advice does not at all work for my hormonal shifts…boluses are not going to come close to controlling the overall insulin resistance I experience through the latter stages of the cycle…but anyway. It’s an interesting place to start. I just hope it doesn’t get any readers into trouble by following it too closely in its recommendations.


Yeah, it’d be great if we had some research to reference.

I wonder if there are certain categories people tend to fall into. There may be a limited number of patterns and having examples of 4-5 general categories of patterns might help women know what to look for and expect.

At my appointment today, my endo commented on how my basal patterns from hormones aren’t as variable as others he’s seen. I should’ve asked if he knew of any research on the subject, but I was focused on taking care of other things. I’ll try to remember for my next appointment.


It would be cool if one of the researchers or pump companies used machine learning to identify the groups. It would be even cooler if you could include sensor data to separate by time in range.


Being a woman and a diabetic is so rough, I swear. :tired_face: :pleading_face:


I feel odd…I drop like clockwork the day “of”. I hardly need any insulin at all. The week before is almost double insulin requirement.


I experience similar effects to you.