Diabetes and the Importance of Hormone Replacement

Written by SottoPelle

The Alarming Statistics

Diabetes has become a serious epidemic in the U.S. Approximately 86 million adult Americans (one out of three) have prediabetes.1 And according to 2014 statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29.1 million Americans have actual diabetes. That’s 9.3% of the population!1 These numbers include both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases. That’s right—many people don’t even know they have it. Nor do they realize that diabetes increases their risk of developing other serious health complications. These can include cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, eye damage, nerve damage, foot damage, skin conditions, hearing impairment, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Beyond the health threats that accompany diabetes, the effect of the rising incidence of this disease on our healthcare system and economy is staggering. The American Diabetes Association released a study in 2012 stating that the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity.3

What Do Hormones Have to Do with Diabetes?

Hormones regulate blood sugar. The pancreas, an endocrine gland, and secretes insulin and other hormones to help stabilize the amount of glucose in the blood stream. The thyroid and adrenal glands also impact blood sugar levels, helping to keep glucose levels within healthy range.

Over time, poor dietary and exercise habits, combined with hormone deficiencies, can sabotage glucose levels and cause increasing insulin resistance. This generally marks the stages prior to prediabetes and puts the individual at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Other hormone imbalances commonly accompany blood sugar issues. Research has shown that sex hormone levels are linked to type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders. According to a 2014 summary of existing longitudinal studies, lower levels of testosterone in men increase the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.4 It is also thought that low progesterone levels can lead to insulin resistance in both men and women.

 Does Menopause or Andropause Impact Blood Sugar?

The imbalanced hormone levels of menopause and andropause create the perfect environment for a body out of sync. All hormones need to exist in beneficial levels and ratios to do their work properly. It’s known that the hormone deficiencies accompanying menopause and andropause reduce glycemic control in men and women with diabetes. Proper hormone replacement helps support healthful glucose levels. In a cohort study of 15,435 women with type 2 diabetes, those using HRT showed significantly lower A1C than those who were not on hormone replacement.5,6 Likewise, it was found that postmenopausal women receiving estradiol therapy improved their whole-body insulin sensitivity.7

Research has also shown that the lipid profiles of sex hormone deficient men and women can be significantly improved using HRT.8,9 Many physicians prescribing bioidentical hormone therapy find that restoring the proper balance of vital hormones (especially thyroid, testosterone, estradiol, progesterone and vitamin D) can make a profound impact on patients with diabetes.

Balanced Hormones for Better Health

If you have been diagnosed with a metabolic disorder, prediabetes, or type 2 diabetes, SottoPelle® would welcome the opportunity to join your medical team. Please give us a call for a consultation. Our expert BHRT practitioners can review your health and medical status to see if SottoPelle® is the right fit for you.


1 http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/index.html
2 https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/data/statistics/national-diabetes-statistics-report.pdf
3 Kim C, Halter JB. Endogenous sex hormones, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes in men and women. Curr Cardiol Rep. 2014 Apr;16(4):467. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24585109
4 Ferrara A et al. Hormone Replacement Therapy Is Associated With Better Glycemic Control in Women With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2001 Jul; 24(7): 1144-1150. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/24/7/1144
5 Ferrara A, Karter, AJ, Ackerson LM, Liu JY, Selby JV. Hormone Replacement Therapy Is Associated With Better Glycemic Control in Women With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2001 Jul; 24(7): 1144-1150. http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/diacare.24.7.1144
6 Stratton IM, Adler AI, Neil HA, Matthews DR, Manley SE, Cull CA, Hadden D, Turner RC, Holman RR: Association of glycaemia with macrovascular and microvascular complications of type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 35): prospective observational study. BMJ 321:405–412, 2000
7 Schwartz E, Holtorf K. Hormones in wellness and disease prevention: common practices, current state of the evidence, and questions for the future. Prim Care Clin Office Pract 2008; 35 (4): 669–705. http://www.holtorfmed.com/pdf/04-Hormones-in-Wellness.pdf
8 Saranyaratana W, Sakondhavat C, Silaruks S, Soontrapa S, Kaewrudee S. Effect of hormone therapy on lipid profile in menopausal women. J Med Assoc Thai. 2006 Oct;89 Suppl 4:S37-41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17726808  

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