Research Article

Menstruation and control of diabetes.

Br Med J 1977; 2 doi: (Published 16 July 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;2:177
  1. C H Walsh,
  2. J M Malins


    Seventy per cent of the patients aged 45 years or under and suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis who were seen in one diabetic clinic over five years were women. The association of menstruation with ketoacidosis was assessed over two and a half years, and it was found that menstruation was associated with ketoacidosis more often than would be expected by chance (P less than 0-01). Two hundred women were interviewed and 76 observed that menstruation changed their diabetic control. Fifty-three found that control deteriorated and hyperglycaemia occurred, while 23 found that control improved and hypoglycaemia was a common problem. Menstruation appears to be an important factor in influencing control of diabetes. The mechanism of the changes observed has not yet been determined, but it seems to be a subject worthy of further investigation.