What affects my blood sugar #52,789,234. Just kidding, but not really. If you thought you already had a laundry list of things that affect your blood sugar I’m going to throw one more at you; ovulation. Ovulation and blood sugar are not the best of friends. Now unless you’re tracking your ovulation you may or may not have noticed this pattern; I certainly didn’t, nor was I ever told about it. It wasn’t until I threw my birth control pills in the trash and started using fertility tracking as my main source of birth control that I noticed the grim reaper of good blood sugar control – otherwise known as ovulation.
How Ovulation and Blood Sugar Mix (hint: not well)
The hormone that triggers ovulation is called the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – often referred to as the LH Surge because of how fast and strong it comes on. This LH surge tells the body to release an egg and amps up its production of progesterone. Progesterone is important for fertility because it increases libido, improves the lining of the uterus (allowing for better embryo attachment), helps prevent immune rejection of the fetus, and supports new bone formation. But progesterone also has a dark side (at least for type 1 diabetics).
Progesterone is a hormone that, although great for a developing embryo, promotes insulin resistance. Most women see a rise in insulin requirements once this surge starts (usually around day 14-16 of your cycle). If you notice a decrease in your insulin needs around this time it could be a sign of a hormonal imbalance – estrogen dominance.
When Ovulation Strikes…
The resistance can last anywhere from one to two weeks (ending shortly before your period). During this time I personally
- increase my basal by about 40%
- lower my insulin to carb ratio from 1:10 to 1:7
- lower my correction factor from 1:60 to 1:45.
Oy-vey! And the best part… every month it’s a little bit different. Typically when ovulation strikes it takes me 1-2 days to narrow in on the correct ratios for that month’s surge.
When a low carb dish like veggie soup spikes me to 378 (even with a pre-bolus) I know I’ve been struck by the surge!
If you’re currently being struck by the surge and are looking for a good low carb breakfast you need to try my low carb pancakes.