DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH: How to Beat the Double-Whammy of Diabetes & Menopause According to Laurie Birkholz, M.D. with Lakeshore Health Partners

(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dealing with the vexing symptoms of menopause and struggling to keep diabetes in check can be doubly stressful for women ages 55-64. As diabetes increases so do the risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve disease.

Laurie Birkholz, M.D. with Lakeshore Health Partners says, “Symptoms of menopause can be overwhelming and can pose challenges when trying to keep diabetes under control. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and daily exercising diabetic women in menopause can ease symptoms with the following tips.”

  • DIET & EXERCISE Diet, exercise and weight control are crucial for menopausal women with diabetes. The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet bookhighlights menus for weight loss and control of blood sugar. By increasing fruits, nuts, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), low-fat dairy products and heart healthy fish into your diet, you’ll minimize risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure and high blood fats. And, follow a daily exercise regime like: yoga, walking, swimming, weight training and resistance bands.
  • BLOOD FLOW AND MOJO: Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to diminished blood flow “down there.” This can result in a decrease in moisture and lubrication. For a hormone-free option to improve moisture, Deborah Grady, M.D., M.P.H. confirmed Replens as effective as vaginal estrogen for menopausal women as stated in the Management of Menopausal SymptomsAnd to ease painful sex, try a long-lasting silicone lubricant like Replens Silky Smooth or Wet Platinum.
  • BONE HEALTH: Menopause and estrogen depletion are linked to osteoporosis. Consider talking with your health care provider about your individual risks and possible need for bone density testing. A healthy diet, weight-bearing exercises, dietary and supplemental calcium and vitamin D will help keep bones strong and healthy. Avoid smoking, take precautions against falls and seek medical help if bone loss is detected on routine screening.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO THE URINARY TRACT: The depletion of estrogen in menopause and poorly controlled diabetes can lead to urinary tract infections (UTI). A decrease in estrogen results in an increase in vaginal pH which can predispose to UTI’s. RepHresh Gel keeps the pH balanced to its optimum 4.3 and unwanted or pathogenic bacteria from overpopulating.
  • KEEP YEAST UNDER CONTROL: Yeast cells are nourished and multiply due to vaginal secretions containing elevated amounts of glucose, or sugar, in the blood. The vaginal strains of probiotic lactobacillus (flora), L. rhamnosus GR-1™ and L. reuteri RC-14™ in RepHresh Pro-B, will can help diabetic women maintain a healthy balance of lactobacillus, yeast, and other bacteria.

“Menopausal women with diabetes can take control of their health and well-being by making simple modifications now,” concludes Dr. Birkholz.