T1D and your period

My name is Katie. I’m 17, and I’ve had type 1 for 10 years now. I have two older brothers who are type 1, but I’ve never had anyone to talk about how to manage my blood sugar on my period. It seems like every week of my life I need a different amount of insulin at different times. It’s really hard to manage and understand. I anyone knows anything about this I’d love to talk about it. I’d really appreciate some advice.

Hi @pudgesifter and if you’re new here welcome to the forum. It’s been several years since I’ve had to deal with periods, but if you use an insulin pump you could set a profile to activate during that time of the month to handle your body’s different needs.
Check out the Resources tab on the forum - there may be local groups for you - and your brothers - to check out. You might meet other young ladies there that you can talk with.
You might also be interested in summer camps for kids with Type 1. I know you’re 17 but I believe some go up to age 18. I went a few summers as a child and it was great.

Hi Katie @pudgesifter! According to my doctor, surges of estrogen can make you insulin resistant. This happens when you ovulate (around day 15 of your cycle) and during pms (up to a week before your period). I increase my basal during these times. If I have a high estrogen surge during pms(usually I am very cranky), then I have to also lower my insulin carb ratio (1:7 to 1:5). This works for me. I use trial and error to figure out what works. I hope this helps!

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Hi! Girl, first off you’re definitely not alone. I didn’t even realize how my cycle affected affected my blood sugar until literally last year and this is after having a period for 15 years and diabetes for 18. What really helped me is downloading a period tracking app. I personally use flo and I started creating notes in there of when I was IR, when I was sensitive and if I made changes what helped. Like you, I find each week a new challenge. I have an iud which makes it even more challenging because my periods are not as consistent but my body I’ve noticed does follow roughly the same patterns. I tend to need less basal the week of my period, the week after I can return to normal basal, but need less for IC ratios so I push those all back. Then a day or so before I ovulate, I have to put on a temp basal like I would for pms. After I ovulate I tend to get really sensitive again and have to adjust my ratios again and then during pms week I usually have to start with my ICs and then 4ish days or so before my period I need to crank up that basal. I’m not perfect at it and there’s obviously times no matter what I do the diabetes decides to do it’s own thing, but knowing this is my general pattern has taken some of the frustration out. I hate to say it but my experience with endos has been they give pretty blah advice about hormones. You’ll get a generic 5 or so days before your period you’ll likely need 20-40% more basal. Okay that’s great, but what’s hard is like everything else your hormones vary each month. I literally have some months where pms lasts like two days and it’s very little resistance. Then I have months where it seems like I’m running a temp basal for a week that’s quite aggressive. But tracking definitely has allowed me to look at patterns and know if what I’m doing for me is the right call or not. Good luck but you’re definitely not alone!

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Thank you! This was really helpful!