As diabetes has taken a majority of the world population under its grip, understanding how diabetes can impact women has become important. It is also proven that women are at a higher risk of diabetes complications. Diabetes may also cause pregnancy-related complications in women. Therefore, diabetes and women remain a widely discussed topic.
On this International Women’s Day, let us try to understand how diabetes impacts women, its symptoms, risk factors and possible treatments.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Women
It is only when you are able to identify the symptoms of a particular condition, you will be able to take preventive measures. While some symptoms of diabetes are common to both men and women, some symptoms are unique to women.
- Vaginal or Oral Yeast Infection
The symptoms of vaginal yeast infection might include vaginal discharge, itching, soreness, etc.
- Urinary Yeast Infections
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Sexual Dysfunction in Women
Diabetes and Women – Risk Factors
Diabetes in women might be caused because of the following reasons-
- Being overweight or obese
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Age is more than 45 years
- Inactive lifestyle
- Gestational Diabetes
- History of heart stroke
- Family history of diabetes
Diabetes and Women – Pregnancy
It is safe to have a child if you have diabetes. But it is also crucial that you manage your sugar levels while being pregnant. Blood glucose and ketones travel through the placenta to your unborn child. Having high levels of blood sugar may lead to birth defects in the child. Therefore, you need to manage your diabetic condition before and during your pregnancy.
Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy
Gestational Diabetes is different from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and is specific to pregnant women. The hormones during pregnancy affect the way insulin works. It causes the body to make more insulin. If the amount of insulin is insufficient, it will cause the pregnant woman to develop gestational diabetes.
Normally, gestational diabetes will go away after your pregnancy. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. You are recommended to get tested for diabetes and prediabetes for a few years after having gestational diabetes.
Diabetes and Women – Treatment
While there is no cure for diabetes, it can only be managed through various everyday practices. We have listed some measures through which diabetes can be managed in women-
Healthy lifestyle practices include a regular workout regime, eating a healthy and fiber-rich diet and avoiding the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
Regularly Monitoring your Sugar Levels
Being a diabetic, it is imperative that you monitor your sugar levels on a regular basis. Make sure you use the right glucometer for this purpose and optimize your diet and lifestyle according to your sugar level.
Although there is no medicine to cure diabetes, some medications can help you manage the symptoms and complications of diabetes. The most common medications for diabetes include insulin therapy for people with Type 1 diabetes and Metformin which helps reduce sugar levels. Please talk to your diabetes doctor before starting with any medication.
Complications Associated with Diabetes in Women
Diabetes can lead to a number of complications if it is not managed in the right manner and at the right time. Some of the complications include coronary heart disease, eating disorders, nerve damage, skin problems, eye damage, foot problems, etc.
Along with these complications, people with diabetes have a shorter life expectancy. Therefore, it is crucial that people with diabetes handle this chronic condition with the utmost care. If you have any doubts, you should always consult your doctor or health coach.