Diabetes In Women : Symptoms and Risk Factor

Diabetes is a group of diseases in which the body either doesn’t produce enough or any insulin, does not properly use the insulin that is produced, or a combination of both.

Updated: August 15, 2020

Diabetes is a group of diseases in which the body either doesn't produce enough or any insulin, does not properly use the insulin that is produced, or a combination of both. When any of these things happens, the body is unable to get sugar from the blood into the cells. That leads to high blood sugar levels. Lack of insulin or resistance to insulin causes sugar to build up in your blood. This can lead to many health problems.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Women:

Woman with diabetes will experience many of the same symptoms as a man. However, some symptoms are unique to women. Understanding both will help you identify diabetes and find early treatment. 

Unique Symptoms for Women with Diabetes include:

Vaginal and oral yeast infections and vaginal thrush:

Vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections, and vaginal thrush are common in women because of overgrowth of yeast caused by the candida fungus. The symptoms include itching, soreness, vaginal discharge, and painful sex, when the infection develops in the vaginal area. A cottage-cheese coating on the tongue and inside of the mouth is due to oral yeast infections. Main cause of growth of fungus is high glucose level in women with diabetes.

Urinary infections:

The risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI) is higher in women with diabetes. When bacteria enters the urinary tract, UTIs are developed which can cause painful urination, a burning sensation, and bloody or cloudy urine. There is a risk of a kidney infection if UTI is left untreated. Because of poor circulation and the inability of white blood cells to travel through the bloodstream and kill infections, UTIs are common in women with diabetes.

Female sexual dysfunction:

Diabetic neuropathy is  damage of nervous system because of prolonged high glucose level in blood. High glucose level can injure nerve fibers throughout your body including sensation in the vaginal area and lower a woman's sex drive.

Polycystic ovary syndrome:

When the adrenal gland produces a higher amount of male hormones PCOS occurs. Signs of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) include irregular periods, weight gain, acne, and depression. It can also cause infertility and a type of insulin resistance resulting in diabetes in women.

Symptoms Common for both women and men includes:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Reduced sensation in hands and feet
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Recurring skin infections
  • Cuts and wounds that heal slowly
  • Breath with sweet or fruity odor
  • nausea
  • irritability

Risk Factors for Diabetes in Women:


Risk of developing diabetes in women include:

Obesity:

The primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes is obesity. If you are overweight, the fatty tissue will make your cell insulin resistance, developing a risk for diabetes in women.


Lack of physical activity:

Physical activity helps you control your weight. Regular exercise uses up the stored glucose in your body as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin. lack of exercise increases the risk of  diabetes in women.

Genetics:

The risk of diabetes in women increases if you have a family history.


Dietary factors:

Consuming more junk food and sugar-sweetened drinks increase the risk of  diabetes in women. The type of fat you are consuming in your daily life plays a major role in the risk of diabetes in women. Saturated fat and trans fats increases the risk and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat decreases the risk.


Gestational Diabetes:

If you developed diabetes while you were pregnant, that increases your risk for developing diabetes in women later on.


Other Health Problems:

High blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol (the bad LDL cholesterol) and PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) increase your risk of having diabetes in women.


Age:

If you are 45 or above the risk of developing type 1 diabetes is more.



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