How to navigate life changes as a female living with Diabetes

Understanding Change WILL Happen

“When it’s time to change, you have to rearrange, who you are and what you’re gonna be”.

If anyone is a Brady Bunch fan, you’ll know this line from the song where Peter is going through puberty, and his voice changes. As a female, I wished they had focused on what was going to happen for girls in this time of change in life.

Life brings a lot of change, sometimes more subtle than other times. Through all the years I have had the opportunity to work with females navigating life with diabetes, I have found there is not a different line of education for them. I do not mean in the general sense of how to do the basics of diabetes management – like carb counting, or how to take insulin.

I mean that education for females needs to be tailored from the start to represent the number of changes one may go through in life. Information about what to expect through the life cycles can mean less confusion as things shift and change.

female life stages

We all age, going from baby to childhood and then into teen years to adulthood. However, the shift in hormones that impact a female through growth will differ considerably from a male of the same age. Not to say males have no impact from hormone shifts through growth stages, but females experience a lot more shift and it moves well into late adulthood.

A focus on what to expect ahead of that stage of life should be discussed along with how these changes will impact glucose management when living with diabetes.

When will a female expect variability, and how will it shift along with the other 40+ variables we may deal with daily? All the education given to those with diabetes reflects a baseline. We all have different variables and as a female, the variables will be hormone specific at times. This may also impact how we adjust for the other non-hormone-specific variables at different times in a lifecycle.  With solid education, someone with diabetes should be able to evaluate and adjust around changes and if a person can prepare to know a variable is coming it would help ease confusion as there would be an understanding of “why” a shift is happening.

I like to have a plan to work from myself. While there is not always a reason for what I call a “Bad Diabetes Hair Day”, many times there is a cyclic reason specific to female hormones.

Consider the following as stages of female life cycle change.

Do any of these points in life make sense for what you are or were seeing happen with diabetes management at that time?

If it seems to make sense, remember, you may be the one who must bring it up with your care team to find the best plan of action. Adjustment of doses, new technology, or sometimes it may mean a new medical caregiver who meets your needs better to help you navigate life with diabetes in the stage you are in.

Life with diabetes as a female means a lot of change and rearranging what you know into what you need it to be to meet your needs.

If you are at a stage in life where you feel there is extra support needed, reach out to our team at Integrated Diabetes Services. We have years of experience and have navigated all the cycles of life to provide personal experience with clinical knowledge for each person we have the opportunity to help.