Menopause and Diabetes – Do Menopausal Women Have Increased Risk for Diabetes?

by Laura Ramirez on July 26, 2011

Menopause and diabetes – does going through mid life transition make women more susceptible to diabetes? A new study says no. These findings are surprising because it was previously believed that the opposite was true because testosterone has been linked to diabetes. Since falling estrogen and progesterone levels mean a women’s body is higher in testosterone, it was thought that menopausal women might have a higher risk for this disease.

This is good news for women who have a family history of diabetes.ᅠ

Postmenopausal women had no higher risk for diabetes whether they experienced natural menopause or had their ovaries removed, according to the national clinical trial of 1,237 women at high risk for diabetes, ages 40 to 65.

“In our study, menopause had no additional effect on risk for diabetes,” says study lead author Catherine Kim, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of internal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Health System. “Menopause is one of many small steps in aging and it doesn’t mean women’s health will be worse after going through this transition.”

The women who participated in the study did suffer from glucose intolerance which is often a precursor to diabetes. This describes the condition that occurs often in later years when the body has a tough time converting blood sugar into energy.

The study shows that even if you are in a pre-diabetic stage, with proper education and dietary changes, glucose intolerance does not necessarily lead to diabetes after menopause. Taking the drug Metformin also helps stop women who have glucose intolerance from becoming full blown diabetics. Since diabetes is a chronic, degenerative disease, it’s important to do all you can to prevent it.

What are your questions about menopause and diabetes. Leave your thoughts below.

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