Dear Aunt Flo
This is a post for my female readers, and those old enough to experience their monthly cycles. To all my male readers, this post may be a little TMI, but it’s your choice to read on….
I want to talk about dear Aunt Flo (aka your period or “that time of the month”) because it really does affect all women living with type 1 diabetes. Hormones levels are all over the place prior to Aunt Flo’s arrival and while she’s here for the visit, so of course your blood sugar numbers will be skewed.
I am lucky enough that my monthly cycles are on the lighter side. I don’t typically get cramping and pretty rarely have bloating during that time of the month. My blood sugars however tend to tell me that she is due to arrive.
Last week, my sugars suddenly went high…. like that CONSTANTLY-HIGH-NO-MATTER-WHAT-I-DO kind of high. What the hell? Diabetes, you suck. Hormones, you suck too!
I knew AF was due to arrive, so I changed the settings on my pump. My OmniPod has options to save basal levels, and I have one saved for that special time of the month. This basal setting gives me more insulin throughout the day to cover my awkwardly high blood sugars, and about the same insulin overnight so that I wouldn’t crash. These are the settings that work best for me.
I have been using this period tracker app on my phone. It’s generally used for those who are trying to conceive (TTC) so they can track their ovulation, the dates of their last period, possible symptoms of pregnancy and more. The little app also has a “notes” box that I have been using to track how my blood sugars have been. It’s making my life easier to be able to track exactly when my blood sugars go hay-wire and how long after does Aunt Flo actually arrive.
Thus so far, for me at least, it seems as though my blood sugars get higher about two days before I actually start my period. That is when I change my insulin pump settings. Then my blood sugars will start to be low/normal around cycle day 2-3. That is when I change my pump settings back to normal.
However, everyone is different and your body could be differently effected by Aunt Flo. Click here to read Daley’s post about having lows with her period.
It is strange to think that diabetes affects every aspect of my entire life. Thank you female hormones for making t1d even harder to predict and control!