Healthcare professionals consider menopause a natural life stage that all women who live into their late forties or early fifties will experience. During this phase, women’s reproductive and sexual organs cease to produce hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Eventually, a woman will no longer be able to bear children.
Early menopause might increase a woman’s chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Medical experts opine that early-onset menopause occurs in women who experience the condition before turning 40. Though premature menopause occurs at an earlier age, the physical and mental manifestations are the same and can include irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, fatigue, night sweats, irritability, decreased sex drive, and mood swings.
Subjects might enter premature menopause for a variety of reasons. In many cases, this is fueled by some kind of damage or ailment to a portion of the reproductive tract. Conditions that might serve as a culprit include chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer or other serious illnesses, the presence of various autoimmune system disorders, a family history of premature menopause and certain questionable lifestyle choices like alcohol or substance abuse and a poor diet.
The Correlation Between Early-Onset Menopause and Type 2 Diabetes
Decreased systemic concentrations of vital female reproductive hormones can impact how the body’s cells respond to the important digestive hormone called insulin. This could precipitate serious fluctuations in a person’s blood sugar levels. Should these fluctuations become pronounced, diabetes can ensue.
A team of Dutch researchers opted to study this phenomenon. In 2017, they released their findings after studying the medical records and deciphering questionnaire results of more than 4,000 women over a nine-year period. Those whose menstrual cycles ceased between ages 40 and 44 had an increased risk for developing diabetes by more than two percent.
While these scientists suggest that the findings are significant, more research still must be done before any firm conclusions can be drawn. Moreover, the researchers do not believe such data guarantees that a definitive correlation exists between premature menopause and the eventual development of diabetes.
Diabetes prevention is not simple or even always possible. However, certain actions may decrease an individual’s chances of being stricken with this metabolic disease, and they might be even more beneficial for those with increased risk factors for becoming menopausal at a younger age.
These activities include the following:
- Exercise – Regular physical activity is considered vital to ensuring the body’s cells gain insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity means that a person’s system is less reliant on the hormone to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
- Maintain Proper Weight – Obesity is among the most significant factors contributing to diabetes development. Excessive body fat is thought to precipitate diabetes-inducing problems such as insulin resistance and systemic inflammation.
- Practice Specific Dietary Habits – Diet can play a significant role in diabetes prevention. Healthcare professionals and nutritionists claim that people can curtail the risk of developing the potentially serious ailment by avoiding the consumption of beverages with high sugar content, significantly reducing ingestion of processed, canned and fried foods and limiting one’s intake of carbohydrates. Additionally, they recommend limiting portion sizes and increasing fiber consumption.
- Drink Coffee or Tea More Frequently – Both of these popular beverages are said to contain substances known as polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are said to have the capacity to inhibit the liver from releasing sugar into the blood stream.