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I’ve been far too busy with summer vacation, moving to a new home and endless work projects to even look at the clock. But guess what time it is? The hour of perimenopause. (Moi? I’m too young for that!) Well, it’s been three months of blood sugar collapses and dangerous luteal phases. (Ok, that second part is not so bad. I’ll share my Ode to Ovulation another day.) About the blood sugar, it has not been this low since…puberty…

Now, because I’m already tuned into managing my hypoglycemia and I do pay attention to my body, I already spent some time monitoring my blood sugar levels closely, and under the supervision of an internist, trying to figure out why it gets so low during the first day of my period. The internist had no answers, but I was able to document a pattern and get ahead of the game. In the process, I became aware there are internet forum entries galore from women who have been suffering from fainting spells and other hypoglycemia symptoms for years, without any comfort other than a sneer from an MD and a few encouraging lines from fellow gropers in the dark. Many women are simply medicated into “normalcy” during menopause and never truly understand what is happening in their own bodies.

We all know that insulin – which regulates the usage and storage of glucose in your body – is a hormone secreted by the pancreas gland. Like any other hormone, it is bound to be influenced by changes in the body. Why are so few doctors making a connection between hormonal changes and hypoglycemia? If we know enough to prescribe synthetic and even “bio-identical” hormones, why are we in the dark about hypoglycemia and perimenopause?

Not satisfied with the lack of insight from the internist, I went to see an endocrinologist about my returning hypoglycemia symptoms. She congratulated me on my success managing long term hypoglycemia and reminded me most people in my situation would develop diabetes, which I’ve avoided for 30 years. Then she told me to try to reduce stress, and recommended I talk to a nutritionist to review my diet. The nutritionist was very helpful, reminding me of other protein sources to help balance my blood sugar. But zero out of three women docs (the gyn is also female) had anything to say about my hypoglycemia and the bumpy road ahead. Maybe they didn’t want to hurt my feelings by calling me perimenopausal. Maybe after centuries of overtreatment and manipulation, women still don’t know how to take charge of our own bodies, let alone how to help other women.