Women with type 1 diabetes frequently report problems with blood glucose control around the time of menstruation. Although this issue has been extensively studied, the correlation between the phases of the menstrual cycle and blood glucose control remains to be established. This present study discusses the controversy that exists in the current literature regarding the effect of the menstrual cycle on metabolic control in women with type 1 diabetes. A search was made in the PubMed database in March 2008 of papers published in the last fifteen years that included the terms “menstrual cycle” and “type 1 diabetes”. Six articles were selected. In some women with type 1 diabetes, premenstrual hyperglycemia has been reported as being detrimental to adequate blood glucose control. Many factors have been attributed to this phenomenon. Some studies have reported elevated progesterone levels during premenstrual hyperglycemia. Other studies have suggested that premenstrual symptoms may explain the unsatisfactory blood glucose control found during this period. Despite conflicting reports in the literature, it would appear that premenstrual hyperglycemia does occur in some diabetic women. More studies with larger sample sizes and reliable methodology have been recommended. This review also took into consideration the registration of some recent patents.
Keywords: Menstrual cycle, type 1 diabetes, insulin sensitivity, blood glucose control
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