Over 40, female T1Ds

Hi. I’m new here, but I’ve been. T1D for 30+ years. I’ve had a pretty easy relationship with diabetes, until I turned 40. Now it’s a whole different ballgame!

Any women out there sharing this experience? I would love to connect, learn from your experiences or just chat with someone who “gets it.” Cheers!

Hi. I’ve been T1D for 50+ years. My relationship with diabetes has never been easy. I’ve been on a pump for about 18 years and that has helped a lot. But it seems like diabetes makes the stuff that goes along with getting older even more difficult than it would be otherwise. I recently had cataract surgery, which I believed would be no big deal based on what friends told me. But because my pupils no longer dilate with those drops due to diabetes. The Dr. had to use some kind of pupil stretcher to get to my retina. I was awake for the whole thing. It was not fun.

I’ve been T1 x 45 years and never had an “easy” relationship with it. I’m guessing at 40 you’re premenopausal. For me it started when I was about 48? But nothing prepared me for 50. When I was 12, everyone talked about and told me what to expect with puberty. Middle age however, is a big mystery, especially when you have T1. I’ve talked to my gynecologist, endocrinologist, pcp, and all I’ve been given is handouts to read. With T1, I know we have more challenges then non T1 women. Along with hot flashes, fatigue, and headaches, all of which I would mistake for lows, sleeplessness, unwanted weight gain, increased insulin doses, and roller coaster highs and lows, I’ll take puberty any day. For over 30+ years, I’ve followed a semivegetarian
diet; no red meat, white bread simple sugars, fried foods and sat fats. Lean chicken and fish, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, yogurt. The diet I followed for years now makes my bgs soar. I would be very interested to hear from other women who are pre, peri, and post-menopausal and how they handle these changes.

@janmosso…I never knew long term T1 impeded pupil dilation. I’ve noticed my pupils don’t dilate hardly at all and at my last eye exam, they dilated me without problems. It sounds painful what you went through with cataract removal. I hope you recovered without incidence.

@janmosso it is common to be wide awake during eye surgery - I’ve had 100’0 of eye surgery sessions since the time that I was in the first group of a half dozen PWD diagnosed with retinopathy to volunteer in 1966 for experimental treatment with a modified weapons grade ruby LASER. Very small eye pupils, which I have, are one of the several neuropathy; the same neuropathy that decreases ear canal size and coronary artery size.
I strongly doubt that the Cataract Surgeon was going anywhere near your retina - cataracts are on the front surface of the eyeball where as the retina is the rear. But yes, I do agree with you that at times there can be much discomfort with some of the necessary procedures needed to preserve our eyesight.

My pupils do the opposite in the past year, they stay dilated for 48 hrs. I’m 55, 26yr T1 and in peri about 2-3 mos now. I’ve had sporadic hormone changes for two years now but now it’s for sure. A T1 friend told me that I prob would have high sugars when that time came & it’s so true. I’ve settled into a pretty regimented routine to try to stay on top & feel that I’m in control, not my hormones. First of all, I now eat no carbs, no processed anything, very little meat, & a Mediterranean diet. I have to know that my highs & lows are from hormones not from what I ate. I check my bs every hour,( my Apple Watch timer is great,) because I can have a normal number & 30 min later be over 200. If I didn’t check hourly I can fly up to 250-300, all courtesy of hormones. So with hourly checks, I bolus (safely with the bolus wizard, Medtronic) and keep it in check. I’ll have a 3-4 hr window of time each day of 200-300bs during a two week or so period of time each month when my body would normally menstrate. And each day I never know at what hour my bs will start rising, so I can’t mess with basals much. I also have lows with this too. Bad lows like in 20 min I can drop to 45. There’s no rhythm to it, I can only test often, eat healthy Whole Foods, hit the gym daily to maintain my weight, not easy, and get through each day. I drop badly when I do cardio in the gym, but do fine with weight training, which burns more calories anyway. I check even every 15-20 min when I do cardio to catch myself because I drop so fast. I never used to be like this! Only in last couple yrs., I could go an hr on elliptical & maintain my bs in my first 25 D yrs. So far this is how I’m handling my bs with the crazy hormones. None of my drs., endo, pcp, gyn have had a T1 at my age dealing with peri to give me any advice. It all goes back to food for me, I eat combinations of plain yogurt, almonds walnuts, eggs, and seeds like flaxseed, chia, hemp, wht germ, agave to sweeten for breakfast, lunch is dried seaweed, edamame, apples, cheese, pbutter, salads, nuts, berries. Dinner is a lean protein & salad or veggies. I do allow on weekends a meal that is more relaxed to keep me sane! Like chips/guacamole/salsa & a beer, & I eat the toppings off of pizza if we have that out

New to this forum as well… not T1D. (30+ years, now in age 40’s). Lots of strange health issues and being premenopausal doesn’t help any of them one bit. Hopefully more will join in to share their experiences and we can learn from each other.
Thanks for opening the door to this conversation :wink:

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Hi! So this is the reason I joined the forum! I have had relatively great control for 30 years now. Suddenly, at 41 I feel like nothing is predictable. I am SO frustrated. A1cs are still good, but my CGMS shows my glucose going all over the map, all day long! I feel like my only hope may be to eat no carbs ever. What has your experience been since 40??

I would get sporadic, crazy blood sugars well before I went into peri menopause also. Basically I would be insulin resistant at times and it would just happen now and then. I’ve talked with two other T1’s, one going through peri now, like me, & the other has finished menopause. The key they found to leveling out their blood sugars was the estrogen patch; starting low & increasing to find what dose works to stabilize BS. I’ve had Breast cancer And am unable to use a patch. Started the Freestyle Libre CGM recently to watch BS really close which is a huge help and I love the system! I had an allergic life threatening reaction to the platinum in the transmitter wire dexcom & Medtronic have. The Libre is a plastic insertion, so thankful something came out that I could use

For me its been just way more difficult to manage sugars overall… certainly not as easy as it was in the past. Add to it a host of other auto immune health issues, a full-time schedule and family, changes in sleep, life stressors, etc… i guess no wonder, right? It can definitely get frustrating. Luckily i have had a couple of supportive endos through the last few years… surprisingly more so than the ones i had years ago when things ran smoother, lol. Middle age health issues alone are challenging enough…add years (decades) of T1D to the mix and it just becomes even more so.

I’ve hadT1D for almost 50 yrs. I’m 56 3 kids and a bit of a rollercoaster ride with my blood sugar.Overall pretty good health.problem is I like Sweets.I try to deal with it in moderation. Can anyone relate?

I can absolutely relate, my cravings come in spirts and sometimes I wonder if it is because the sweets look so good or if I am really bored and need todo something else. On the days that I over indulge I take my insulin accordingly. I take the insulin I need I do not have a schedule or routine or a standard amount, I take what I need as long as I stay pretty much in range, I am good. My range- I need to stay at above 140 and below 225, When I was diagnosed in 1954 the rules then were different, I didn’t test blood, tested urine (cooking urine with copper and sulfer )was not the best thing to cook in the house or anywhere else, but that is what I did. Back then things were different and I learned that as long as I did things correctly (insulin + BS) I could do pretty much what I wanted. Being a type 1 doesn’t mean you have to give up everything it just means you need to do it correctly. 1 unit insulin= 10 grams of Carbs, if you are going to eat something that is 30 grams that is 3 units of insulin, now do you want to take the 3 units, if it is not biggie then do it. You do not need to change your life for this disease you just need to work with it… Do not deprive your self and do not feel Guilty if you indulge, your human. Just do the best you can and enjoy life. Have a great life Jan ( diag.64 years last Feb)

You’ve certainly got it Janice @JaniceD. Just do what you need to do to survive this horrible condition. OK, I’m not female but I read every post made on this site as well as a few that don’t make it publicly onto this page.

Innovation, and looking positively at what you need to do to manage YOUR diabetes is probably [along with luck] brought you to celebrate 64 years. Yes, take insulin to cover your ORANGE color urine checks and now your BS/Bg excursions - in the 1970’s I began a method of what has become known as MDI even when medical journals thought I was crazy. But …

Hi Jan!

Wow you are an inspiration! Have you had any health issues because of the diabetes? I was 7 when I got it.How old were you? I do give in abit to my cravings but of course compensate with a few units.I realise now I have to take better care,I lost my brothers 34 and 49 and my mother 59 from heart attacks and diabetes type 1. I guess so far I was the lucky one. Enjoy life to the fullest!

Hi I am new to the forum. I have had type 1 for 6 years now. It has been over the past 4 months though that I have noticed some real struggles with weight. I have gained about 13 lbs, I had foot surgery and my exercise level went down but after further looking I realized I have been bumping my basal on my pump to be able to be more normal with my diet, like to mirror what my husband and family eat. So in hindsite I think I did it to myself but now I am frustrated because it is so hard to lose weight after age 40. I am in the diabetes burnout mode this week.

Oh Debbie, I had Polio when I was 3, Diabetes at 9,( strange thing though,) I think the Polio protected me from the complications of Diabetes, I read somewhere that there may be a connection between the two. I now have RA, Autoimmune Hep, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, Insulin allergy, and others, these are not necessarily complications of Diabetes but they are all Auto-Immune diseases, My Endo tells me to stay away from anyone with auto immune diseases because she is afraid I’ll catch another one, of course she is kidding (cool Doc). No one in my family has or had Diabetes and at one time they thought Diabetes was the end result of a bad infection-possibly the Polio, anyway after 64 years with this disease, I don’t think I would know how to live without it. If you read part of my story you know that I am an amputee and I belong to a group called THE NEXT STEP-peer mentoring (see Facebook) I bought a new T-shirt really in Poor taste it says “This leg is taking a lot longer than expected to grow back” and actually I believe that in some point in time that this could be a possibility, some people aren’t too happy with my choice, they think it is in poor taste, Oh Well. The diabetes and I have come to an understanding, we are working together, neither one of us is the boss, we ( Diabetes and I )compromise, I have found that not all the rules are compatible with my body, and yes I run a higher blood sugar, the currant scale is too dangerous for me, and my doc’s agree, they ask me what am I going to teach them now (at my appts.) You need to find out where your body is the most comfortable, I know a lot of D’s and their comfort zone is not necessarily within the current scale. I expect the scale to change, it is changing for type 2. Have a great day, life. You know how to reach me, anytime Bye Jan PS: do you believe that my age of 72 I took up shooting and had my 5th class in JuJitsu last Sat. in a wheelchair. My poor husband( a Marine) was my “bad Guy” he was bruised, not me. still makes me laugh, I probably shouldn’t, but. Keep in touch . Bye again Jan

Hi! I’m not over forty, but I’m 38 (close enough!) I would love to talk to anyone(esp women) who wants to talk. I just started a new job today and met another type 1 who has an AMAZING network of diabetic friends. I don’t even have one. Kinda jealous…

I just joined the forum so I could chat with you ladies in this thread. I hope I’m not too late to the party! I just turned 50 and have been T-1 for 42 years. I’ve been on the pump for 22 years and now use the CGM (on and off for the last 8 years). I guess I’m in peri, but don’t really know since my hormones have always been a little crazy. I’ve never had any weight issues and recently dropped 5 lbs without even trying. I eat what I want and guesstimate insulin dosage the best I can. I really like craft beer and live in a big brewery town so that is my downfall like many of you say sweet treats are for you. I don’t exercise because my sugar plummets when I walk or do cardio and my remedy usually makes it soar later. My sugars are up and down all the time, but my A1c is usually pretty good. I have diabetic retinopathy and have had laser too many times to count, starting in my early 20s. My advice if you have the laser is… DO NOT get the numbing shot before. It hurts more than the laser and is not worth it (tho the laser itself is no picnic)! I took a hydrocodone I had leftover from a recent non-diabetic related surgery (but didn’t tell the doctor) and it helped greatly. No other complications so far, tho I am concerned I might be in the beginning stages of gastroparesis. Anybody been through this that can tell me what the warning signs were for them?

Hi! I’m new to the forum and new to being 40! I’ve had T1D for 18 years. March Of 2017 I went completely plant based. I had tried various low carb diets with no success. After going plant based I lost some weight and increased my insulin sensitivity. For a month now I’ve been raw vegan. My insulin:carb ratios are 1:45 and above. My nasal rate is below 8. I have more energy and better control than I’ve ever had. I feel like a new person!

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I just became aware of this website! I am 55, and have been T1D, since 1974. I was diagnosed as a “brittle” diabetic; my control isn’t any better now than it was then, because my response is unpredictable and can change daily. Anyone else dealing with that? I also have no concept of the feeling of hunger or fullness, either because of a hormone imbalance or lack of sensitivity, and have hypoglycemic insensitivity. Anybody else? I struggle with my weight, because of these things (plus the fact that I live in central Wisconsin, where fried foods are prelavant, good grocery stores are rare, and life events always involve copious amounts of alcohol.) I’m looking forward to connecting to other “middle aged” people who’ve been dealing with T1D for a large part of their lives!!