Saturday, 22 September 2007

When hormones come to play

Ridiculous blood sugar highs for around 10 days, coupled with a fat & frumpy feeling and cravings for all the wrong foods... it can only mean one thing: I have a period coming. (Sorry to anyone not interested in gal talk. You can click out if you must.. or hang around and learn a little about what we go through).

Every period screws with me - For 7 - 10 days beforehand my Lantus is nowhere near enough, I suddenly need twice the normal dose of short acting insulin with my meals and yet still need corrections afterwards. I feel tired - oh so tired. My hair looks grotty just a few hours after I've cleaned it, my pain threshold is way wonky - everything hurts. PMT sucks.

Then wham... a run of low BGs starting with one sudden drop that always catches me unaware. This time it hit overnight, and I woke from a weird dream at around 3.30 am with a BG of 2.4 (43mg/dl). That was the beginning ... since then I've been working to avoid lows almost all day every day.

At the peak of all this I went for a birthday dinner at a friend's house. I tested at 5.1 before dinner, took my injection with really conservative insulin estimates for spaghetti bolognese. I cooked it, so I know exactly what's in it. I also know there's Apple pie and cream for dessert but I decide not to inject for that yet considering my lower numbers of late.

Only about an hour after eating I'm feeling weird. I test at 2.2 (39). I get half a glass of coke, a large square of Nestle's 'heaven' chocolate, and decide to have dessert without an injection. I'm expecting a ridiculous high from this, but I just can't stand the lows any more! So I eat pudding - a good chunk of apple pie - that's gooey apple centre (vaguely carby), Pastry (heavily carby) and sugar sprinkled heavily on top (super carby). NO insulin. 30 minutes later I test again, 2.6 (48). I curse diabetes under my breath and just keep munching.

The day before, also at dinner time, I'd eaten hungrily knowing my BG was dropping a little. Dosed conservatively to avoid lows. Yet only one hour after eating my eyes were having trouble making sense of the world and I couldn't quite stay focused on the story my son was telling me. I'd dropped to 1.6 (29) and still had over an hours worth of insulin working to drop me lower. Bring on the coke, jellybeans and chocolate - say goodbye to losing any weight this week.

These two lows are bad enough, but I haven't even started telling you the full story. I'm low after breakfast, I'm low after having lunch with no insulin, I'm low when I *think* about exercising, Im nibbling all day. I'm getting this actually rather nice looking average BG reading in the 4s... but not nice in this situation.

Hormones suck. I'm never ready for this roller coaster ride - how can anyone ever be ready for it? It's not following a routine, it's not checking in with me before playing with my BGs! It's screwing up my patterns and giving me trouble - which in turn leaves me tired and sometimes moody.

All in all, that's 2 weeks out of a typical month with roller coaster BGs, and I can only try to keep up - so far no success. Sure I know I have 7 - 10 days of oddly high BGs. Then I drop and have 2 - 3 days of stupidly low BGs. That much I'm aware of - but I can't sort out a good carb to insulin ratio for either of those times because they change daily - no, hourly! I can't increase / decrease the Lantus to suit, because it takes Lantus a couple of days to show any effects from a change so I'd always be a few days behind. I have tried, but I end up with a bouncier ride. Easier to stick with my current dose of long acting and just play with the short acting insulin. Continually. You can imagine the number of test strips I go through!

I was much better off when I had no periods at all. Supposedly I'm going through early menopause, which started when I was 27 - but now I've had 6 months or so with a cycle - not regular, but nonetheless there, and no hot flushes. Perhaps it was never menopause to start with...? Or perhaps this is only a phase, my body's attempt at giving me normality before it finally takes my cycles away for good. If this is true, I'll never curse menopause again!! Diabetes is hard enough without hormones fiddling with the balance. I don't want early menopause, but I prefer it to this mess.

This is causing problems for my wish to lose one kilo before Sunday... with only one day to go, I think I'm out of luck! My week of high numbers brought on the munchies, my usual 1-2 kg weight gain from water retention (thankfully this drops off pretty fast too once it's all over), a couple of rebound lows from rage bolusing, and PMT cravings (read: home baked goodies and big blocks of chocolate disappearing without a trace!). My few days of repetitive lows have led to a lot of extra high carb munching, and a fear of exercise. This was a bad bad time to get serious about weight loss! No big deal, I'll try again once it's over.

I don't know if this is the norm for other diabetic women, or if I'm going through some weird menopausal phase, or if I'm allergic to trying to lose weight :P Whatever the case, it's been driving me nuts and I'm really glad it's nearly over!


Emm said...

I so get all of this! except my lows are not so low...
I'm constantly high for a few days beforehand, and then suddenly down to 4 after meals... not great! if I didn't test so much I would probably drop reaaally low before the next meal.
being female stinks.

Amylia said...

Oh, that really stinks! I hate hypos like that, where they just won't rise and you inject a nutty amount of calories and junk to ward off the lows. I can relate to the horomones, too. My period wreaks havoc on my diabetes, especially PMS a few days before...I tend to run high and notice that sugars are harder to control. Same with stress.
These bodies are tough machines, eh?

Cara said...

I have the same fighting the highs for several days and then a day or so of fighting the lows. It does suck. And it is very unpredictable. For me, one month the "highs" may never get over the 200's. Then one month I may struggle to get them below 350.
Hormones do suck.