Link Between Diabetes and Early Menopause

 

 

 

 

Menopause occurs when ovarian function stops, usually around age 52. If it occurs before 40, it’s called early menopause. Menopause sets off a cascade of various hormonal and metabolic changes including a decline in estrogen. Because estrogen supports heart, bone, muscle, and bladder health, people who go through early menopause have higher health risks. Early menopause also increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes since estrogen helps regulate glucose levels. 

 

Understanding the association between age of onset of menopause and future health risks when screening metabolic health can alert healthcare providers to educate their female patients in ways to proactively improve glycemic control. Exercise, a healthy diet, and menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) are all ways to reduce the risk of diabetes post-menopause. 

 

 

 

 

Conversely, younger women with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes are more likely to go through menopause earlier in life, further complicating diabetes management. Diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) is not linked to early menopause, however, gestational diabetes in an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes later in life.

 

Menopause is not routinely discussed at medical visits. Women who are younger than age 40 and have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or are experiencing menopause symptoms, should discuss this with their healthcare provider. Partnering with the provider allows for early interventions to reduce the risk of future health issues and promote optimal health through the lifespan.

 

 

 


Tags

Diabetes Risk and Menopause, estrogen, health education, healthy lifestyle, heart health, hormone therapy, menopause, perimenopause, women's health


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