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Question:

From California, USA:

I'm a 16 year old diabetic on the insulin pump. My numbers run very good (75-155) most of the time. About a week or two before I start my period my blood sugars run crazy. They go from high to low and then back and even supplemental doses of insulin don't always help. I am wondering if it would help if I went on birth control pills to help regulate my period. Would this help my blood sugars at all?

Answer:

Oral contraceptives are used by diabetic women with apparent safety. By preventing ovulation and maintaining a steady hormonal state in your body, birth control pills may prevent monthly episodes of poor glucose control, but I cannot promise anything.

Most birth control pills contain progesterone and estrogen. Progesterone is associated with increased insulin resistance. However, estrogen appears to increase tissue sensitivity to insulin. Thus, the effects of each of these hormones are somewhat balanced. Nevertheless, the recommendation is that women on birth control pills should have an evaluation of weight, blood pressure, lipid levels, and HgA1c after the first cycle and every 3-4 months after, along with the usual blood glucose monitoring.

OWJ

Original posting 21 May 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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