Diabetes Hormone Therapy for Women
Benefits of HRT for Female Diabetes

If you have low estrogen, you might be concerned about weight gain, libido loss, or hot flashes. But did you know that declining estrogen levels can also increase your risk of diabetes?

Your endocrine system consists of eight major glands that produce the hormones that regulate nearly every function in your body. While the glands are located throughout your body, and each hormone has a unique primary purpose, they also work together, collaborating to keep your body healthy and functional.

As a result, a hormonal imbalance in one area can contribute to suboptimal function throughout your body. For example, low estrogen levels affect how your cells respond to insulin, increase your blood sugar levels, and cause diabetes.

Everything you need to know about diabetes

First, let’s explore diabetes. It’s a group of diseases that disrupt the way your body produces or uses insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in your pancreas. Its primary job is to convert glucose (blood sugar) into energy.

If diabetes interferes with this process, your blood sugar levels rise, causing a range of uncomfortable symptoms and dangerous complications. For example, unmanaged diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, foot ulcers, and amputation.

There are several types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your pancreas doesn’t make insulin because an autoimmune condition has damaged the insulin-producing cells. Type 1 diabetes usually emerges during childhood.

Type 2 diabetes develops when your body stops using insulin correctly and is sometimes called insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in adults — although the unhealthy American lifestyle is causing it to become more prominent in children and adolescents.

Some women develop gestational diabetes during the second trimester of pregnancy. The placenta makes a hormone that interferes with insulin use. While gestational diabetes goes away soon after the baby is born, it increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The connection between diabetes and estrogen

Before menopause, women are less likely than men to develop Type 2 diabetes. However, after menopause, the risk level reverses, and women have a higher likelihood of developing the disease than men in the same age group.[2]

As you approach menopause or if you have an estrogen imbalance, your blood sugar levels might also fluctuate, causing energy spikes and crashes, irritability, and other disruptive symptoms.

Studies show that estrogen helps lower your glucose levels.[1] Medical researchers haven’t identified the specific process, but they believe it could promote glucose uptake in your muscle tissue. Estrogen could also suppress glucose production in your liver.

It’s also possible that estrogen influences the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Abnormal estrogen levels can disrupt the balance between insulin and glucagon.

Glucagon is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar, but instead of picking up and using glucose like insulin, glucagon releases glucose back into the bloodstream.

An imbalance between insulin and glucagon increases your risk of developing diabetes.

Low estrogen – obesity – diabetes

The relationship between estrogen and diabetes is not one-directional. In fact, estrogen, obesity, and diabetes create a cycle of health risks.

Low estrogen also slows your metabolism. This not only affects the way you use glucose for energy but also makes you gain weight. When you have a surplus of fat tissue, your body produces and uses insulin differently to make up for the high fat ratio in your overall body composition..

Obesity also interferes with your estrogen production, which just exacerbates the situation. Without adjusting your diet and exercise habits, you can end up in a cycle of weight gain and increasing health problems.

For example, as your estrogen levels decrease, you might also develop night sweats and insomnia. A lack of insufficient sleep leads to daytime fatigue, snacking, abnormal blood sugar levels, and weight gain.

More complications

It’s critical to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and either avoid or manage diabetes. First, remember that estrogen is one of the hormones that help your skin produce new collagen cells to stay supple and healthy, and that thin, dry, weak skin is a common sign of low estrogen.

Now, also consider that unmanaged diabetes damages your blood vessels and limits circulation as well as causing neuropathy (nerve damage). These two symptoms combine to increase your risk of sores that don’t heal without pain to warn you of the injury. This is why diabetic foot ulcers are so likely to lead to severe infections, necrosis, and amputation.

Combining think, dry, injury-prone skin with the wound problems of diabetes sounds like a recipe for disaster!

Maintaining hormone health with diabetes

Fortunately, your health is manageable. If you have diabetes, work with your physician to keep it under control with diet and exercise. If you have prediabetes or are in the early stages of Type 2 diabetes, cutting sugar out of your diet and adding 30 minutes of moderate exercise to your day can make a significant difference in your blood sugar levels. For example, taking a 10-15 minute walk after a meal can help your body cope with the influx of sugars.

If you have to take insulin to manage your condition, make sure to have routine blood work and keep your physician up-to-date with other health and lifestyle changes, like hormonal imbalances or menopause.

Does estrogen therapy help regulate diabetes?

Additionally, studies show that estrogen therapy can help regulate your production and use of insulin.[3] While you should only have estrogen hormone replacement therapy if you have low estrogen, one of the benefits is that it mitigates the increased risk of diabetes that comes with menopause and estrogen deficiency.

If you have symptoms of an estrogen imbalance or are approaching menopause and can feel your body changing, it might be time to consider hormone replacement therapy. Our team of physicians take your concerns seriously and will never brush them off as “something you need to deal with as you age.”.

We begin with an online questionnaire to start the screening process. If your survey indicates a potential hormone imbalance, we schedule a private telehealth session and order extensive blood tests to measure your hormone levels. Then, depending on your needs, we prescribe hormone replacement therapy.

Our doctors monitor your health and symptoms while you have hormone replacement therapy to help you regain your health and vitality while minimizing any risks. Fill out the online questionnaire today and start the process of restoring your wellness.

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Additionally, studies show that estrogen therapy can help regulate your production and use of insulin.[3] While you should only have estrogen hormone replacement therapy if you have low estrogen, one of the benefits is that it mitigates the increased risk of diabetes that comes with menopause and estrogen deficiency.