Joslin Answers Your Questions

Joslin Diabetes Center experts answer commonly asked questions about diabetes monitoring, treatment, self-care, meal planning, and more.
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Topic: General Concerns
Question: My blood glucose seems to be higher than usual right before I get my period. I'm not eating more than usual-although I do get chocolate cravings at that time of the month. Is this normal? Do other women experience this?

Answer: It's actually fairly common for women to notice changes in blood glucose levels right before their periods. Some women may have lower glucose, but most notice an increase. The thinking is that higher levels of estrogen and progesterone lead to a rise in glucose levels at this time. And blood glucose may stay high for up to five days.

Other factors may cause higher glucose readings before menstruation, too, including cravings. Cravings can lead you to eat more than you normally might, resulting in high glucose. An excellent way to identify how your diabetes affects your blood glucose is by keeping a log of your glucose readings, food intake, and menstrual cycle for a few months. You and your healthcare provider can then use this information to make any necessary adjustments in your diabetes treatment plan, based on your menstrual cycle.

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