Managing Diabetes with Probiotics in Menopause

Managing Diabetes with Probiotics in Menopause

MenoLabs News | Tue, Nov 19, 2019

Menopause may be a challenge for women with diabetes. But it is hard to answer the question of whether menopause actually increases the risk of developing this disease. But it looks like hormonal shifts and changes in menopause might play a role in that. Women are also at higher risk for diabetes if they are overweight, have heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. We looked at a few studies on diabetes and probiotics to see if friendly bacteria could help. 

Managing diabetes in menopause is hard, but you can do it
Managing diabetes in menopause is hard, but you can do it

Diabetes at the age of menopause can affect your blood sugar levels. This happens because your sex hormones have an impact on the way your cells respond to insulin. Some women can also have weight gain in menopause, while others can also have sleep problems. Symptoms like night sweats and hot flashes might make it hard for you to fall asleep. And they also might make you wake up several times at night. When you are sleep deprived, you find it much harder to manage your blood sugar. 

There is also an increased risk for UTIs and vaginal infections because of high blood sugar levels. And because of lower estrogen, it is easier for bacteria to thrive in your vagina and urinary tract. Apart from that, diabetes can damage the nerves in the vagina resulting in vaginal atrophy. So there are many symptoms this disease could bring with it. As a result, taking control of your health is the key to feeling good in menopause. 

Natural Ways to Manage Diabetes in Menopause

Diabetes needs to be kept in check at all times, but menopause is not helping you with that. Just the opposite, it can make it harder for you to control your disease. You might think that at this point you will have to add more meds to the many you might already take. But there are several natural changes you can try to bring into your life. This way, you can manage diabetes as you grow older. 

Keep an Eye on Your Blood Sugar

As you age, you might need to check your blood sugar more often, both during the day and often even at night. It would be a good idea to keep a diary where you note the levels of blood sugar and any other symptoms you may have. Keeping a journal is an important part. Your doctor can use it to take a look at what you wrote down and adjust your meds to make sure you are on the right track.

Avoid sugary cravings – eat a fruit instead
Avoid sugary cravings – eat a fruit instead

Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

Easier said than done, you might say. But no matter how hard it is for many women, lowering your cholesterol is the key to preventing heart disease in women with diabetes. The risk for heart disease is higher at the age of menopause, so think about the ways you can keep your cholesterol levels at bay. Make healthier food choices and ask your doctor if you need cholesterol-lowering meds.

Pursue Healthy Lifestyle

Making small or larger changes in your lifestyle would have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels and as a result of managing your diabetes in menopause. Eat healthy foods and work out regularly so that you support your health on all levels. Apart from providing relief from some symptoms and helping you manage diabetes, exercise is also ideal for keeping you healthy after menopause. 

Treat Your Diabetes Symptoms with Probiotics

One of the reasons why your diabetes gets harder on you as you age is other symptoms you may have to deal with, such as weight gain, hot flashes, skin problems, and so on. If those symptoms bother you, you can always turn to natural remedies, probiotics, or medical help. For example, your doctor might suggest Hormone Radiation Therapy (HRT). If you have your concerns about it, you can try using probiotics for your symptoms. 

Potential of Probiotics for Managing Diabetes

Gut microflora plays an important role in your body. It supports your immune system, helps you control weight, and generally has a positive effect on your health. Apart from that, probiotics also seem promising in managing diabetes, which is very important to know for women in menopause. A study (1) has shown that probiotics can reduce insulin resistance and glucose levels, which means that they can help you manage type 2 diabetes.

Probiotics could help you manage diabetes
Probiotics could help you manage diabetes

From the results of another study, you can find that certain species of probiotics (such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii) are beneficial against type 1 diabetes (2). As found in the study, probiotics work by improving gut microflora. As a result, they restore the balance in your gut, thus decreasing inflammation and improving your gut health. 

Probiotics have a positive effect on your body mass index (BMI), inflammation, glucose levels, and liver function (3). Those taking probiotics could notice weight loss and decreased risk of heart disease. The friendly bacteria in your gut could also improve the distribution of fat and body composition. Different probiotics seem to help you absorb and digest sugars and fats, improve microflora of the gut, metabolism of bile acid, and the function of the gut barrier. 

Where to Get Probiotics for Diabetes

As you have read above, diabetes becomes harder to manage in menopause, because you have other symptoms going on at the same time. But probiotics seem to offer low-cost help without side effects of common meds. You can find probiotic foods at your local grocery store if you look for live yogurt, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha, or miso. But if you do not eat enough of those foods, it would be a good idea to use a probiotic supplement. 

(1) Kecheng Yao et al. “Effect of Probiotics on Glucose and Lipid Metabolism in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus…”

(2) Sidharth Mishra et al. “Probiotics and Prebiotics for the Amelioration of Type 1 Diabetes: Present and Future Perspectives.”

(3) Hana Koutnikova et al. “Impact of bacterial probiotics on obesity, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease related variables…”

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