Diabetes and Women

Diabetes is the ninth leading direct cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year, most of them were pre-mature! Diabetes is different for women than it is for men, despite affecting women in men in almost equal numbers! Compared with men with diabetes, women with diabetes have

  • A higher risk for heart disease. (4 times in women, 2 times in men)
  • Lower survival rates and a poorer quality of life
  • A higher risk for blindness
  • A higher risk for depression. (2 times than the men)

But why diabetes affects women and men differently?

  • Some of the complications of diabetes in women are more difficult to diagnose.
  • Women often have different kinds of heart disease than men.
  • Hormones and inflammation act differently in women.

Which are the major risk factors for diabetes in women?

If you -

  • are older than 45
  • are overweight or obese
  • have a family history of diabetes (parent or sibling)
  • are Asian-American
  • have had a baby with a birth weight of more than 4 kg
  • have had gestational diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have high cholesterol
  • exercise less than three times a week
  • have other health conditions linked to problems using insulin, such as PCOS
  • have a history of heart disease or stroke

Many symptoms for diabetes are the same in men and women. however, few symptoms are unique

Vaginal yeast infections and vaginal thrush - These infections are common in women. When an infection develops in the vaginal area, symptoms include:

  • itching
  • soreness
  • vaginal discharge
  • painful sex

Urinary infections - The risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI) is higher in women who have diabetes. UTIs develop when bacteria enter the urinary tract. These infections can cause:

  • painful urination
  • burning sensation
  • bloody or cloudy urine

Female sexual dysfunction – Damage to nerves may also affect sensation in the vaginal area and lower a woman’s sex drive

Polycystic ovary syndrome – Occurs when the female produces a higher amount of male hormones and is susceptible to getting PCOS. Signs of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) include:

  • irregular periods
  • weight gain
  • acne
  • depression
  • infertility

At all stages of life, women’s bodies present obstacles for managing diabetes and blood sugar. Timely intervention to prevent or delay diabetes, avoid complications and manage symptoms are necessary.


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