Diabetics' irregular periods signal excess hormones
Women with diabetes have been shown to have more menstrual problems than other women and a recent study suggests that an excess of male hormones could be involved. Higher-than-normal androgen levels may increase the risk of heart disease in women, a condition that also strikes more commonly in diabetes.
The researchers found that women with type 1 diabetes were more likely to experience acne than women without it, and women with type 2 diabetes were more likely to report long stretches without menstruating. Both acne and long menstrual cycles could be signs of excess androgens in the body. According to the researchers the possible relationship among diabetes, irregular cycles and excess androgens might come from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder characterised by high levels of male hormones, and a tendency toward obesity, diabetes and male attributes such as excess body hair. Researchers have shown that PCOS can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and the presence of that condition in women with diabetes could be one reason why the blood sugar disorder increases the risk of heart disease. The researchers added that this remains an 'emerging area' of research, and further studies are needed to determine the relationship between androgen excess, PCOS, diabetes and heart disease.
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