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What are some causes of blood glucose changes during menstruation?

Some women find that the high levels of estrogen and progesterone about a week or so before menstruation affect their blood glucose levels. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but they have some clues.

Insulin works by binding to receptor proteins that sit on the surface of cells. Glucose can then enter the cell. When levels of progesterone and other progestin hormones are high, insulin action within cells is affected. This leads to temporary extra insulin resistance—the cells no longer respond to insulin the way they should. The result is that blood glucose levels may be higher than usual and then drop once menstruation begins. 

Not all women experience changes in blood glucose levels before menstruation. Some studies have shown no differences in blood glucose levels throughout the menstrual cycle. Some women experience bloating, water retention, weight gain, irritability, depression, and food cravings, especially for carbohydrates and fats. If you have a tendency to crave these foods, they could also be contributing to high blood glucose levels before your period.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.