Introduction to Diabetes Diabetes is a chronic incurable disease that occurs when blood sugars levels are high This happens because either the production of a hormone by the pancreas known as insulin is inadequate or the body's cell does not respond appropriately to insulin or both It is a serious complex condition which affects the whole body There were an estimated 422 million adults that were living with diabetes from 2014 compared to 108 million that was reported in 1980 according to the global reports from the World Health Organization Diabetes is a metabolic disease which can affect anyone irrespective of their age gender and lifestyle Types of Diabetes There are two main types of diabetes They are Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition wherein the body is unable to produce insulin because the body's immune system attacks insulin producing cells from the pancreas called the beta cells It is formerly known as juvenile diabetes Type 2 diabetes is a condition where cells cannot efficiently utilize blood sugar

This happens when blood sugar levels are high and the cells become insensitive to insulin Women with Diabetes Between 1971 and 2000 a major achievement reflecting the many advances in diabetes treatment can be seen where the death rate for men with diabetes came down drastically according to a study However there were no signs of improvement to the death rate for women with diabetes according to the study Additionally the difference in death rates more than doubled between women who had diabetes and those who did not Some of the reasons for the gender difference could be due to factors such as less aggressive treatment is provided to women for cardiovascular risk factors related to diabetes diabetes complications are more difficult to diagnose in women women often have different heart diseases than men hormones and inflammation act differently in women These findings highlight how diabetes affects men and women differently Risk Factors for Diabetes in Women The following factors put women at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes Age above 45 Overweight or obesity A family history of diabetes Women who are African American Native American Native Alaskan Hispanic Asian American or Native Hawaiian are more prone to be at high risk Previous child with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds Had gestational diabetes Have hypertension or high blood pressure Have hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol Exercise less than 3 times a week History of heart disease or stroke Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Women Most of the signs and symptoms of diabetes that are experienced are the same for both men and women However there are some symptoms that are unique to women Some of those symptoms are Vaginal yeast infections oral yeast infections and oral thrush are witnessed because of an overgrowth of yeast caused by the candida fungus Vaginal infections are accompanied by symptoms like soreness itching vaginal discharge and pain during sex When the infection is oral a cottage cheese like coating is seen on the tongue and the inside of the mouth 

These infections are common in women Women who have diabetes are at a much higher risk of urinary tract infection UTI UTIs develop when bacteria enter the urinary tract These infections can cause dysuria a burning sensation and bloody or cloudy urine If left untreated it could lead to the risk of a kidney infection Kidney disease is another complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes that effects women more than men When high blood glucose damages nerve fibers diabetic neuropathy occurs This triggers numbness and tingling in hands feet and legs This condition may lower a woman s sex drive by affecting the sensation in the vaginal area Polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS occurs when the adrenal gland produces a higher amount of male hormones Signs of polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS are inclusive of irregular periods weight gain acne and depression It can also cause infertility and a type of insulin resistance As a result there is elevation of blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing diabetes It is noted that depression is noted to be twice as common in women with diabetes than amongst men with diabetes Women with diabetes are more likely to have poor blood sugar control which can lead to hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia obesity high blood pressure and high cholesterol than men with diabetes Women with diabetes are at a much higher risk of heart disease because of a drop in the HDL good cholesterol levels Gestational diabetes

This occurs in women during pregnancy due to being overweight or obese family history of diabetes previous gestational diabetes stillbirth or miscarriage PCOS etc It is diagnosed between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy Most of the time for most women gestational diabetes will go away after the birth of the baby Conclusion A women s body presents with hindrances for managing diabetes and blood sugar at all stages of life These hindrances may occur due to the fluctuating hormones associated with the menstrual cycle childbearing and menopause birth control pills can cause an increase in blood glucose yeast infections caused by glucose in the body etc It is very important to be aware of the symptoms to recognize it to prevent and treat it A variety of medications are available to keep diabetes in check Making healthy lifestyle choices like avoiding or quitting to smoke eating and maintaining a healthy weight eating a diet which mainly focuses on fruits vegetables and whole grains monitoring blood sugar at regular intervals taking plant supplements consuming supplements like chromium or magnesium including broccoli buckwheat peas etc to the diet regular consultation with healthcare professionals etc also plays a vital role in the management of symptoms of diabetes Once diagnosed with diabetes it is incurable and only its symptoms can be managed With the help of appropriate symptom management overall health can be improved

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