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Diabetes Symptoms in Women – Know the Signs!

Written by hana

Women, the backbone of any family, require great care regarding their health to be the nurturer they are. Several health issues like PCOS, diabetes and hypertension are disorders that creep in slowly and affect women’s health. It can happen to anyone, anytime.

Although, one can easily tackle diabetes in its budding phase. But before embarking on it, it’s essential to know the early symptoms of diabetes in women.

Overview: Diabetes in Women and Its Symptoms

Diabetes is the presence of too much blood sugar levels in our bodies. Everybody needs some energy to do certain activities; thus, glucose comes into the spotlight to get that energy. The food we eat breaks down into glucose and helps us maintain it in our body as per the requirements. 

So how does this glucose reach our cells and help us get energy? Well, that’s where insulin comes in, and we must thank our pancreas for making this hormone. So, this insulin hormone ensures that the glucose produced out of food gets into our cells and later gives us energy. Hence, if this whole process goes as well as it should, then there’s no chance of diabetes; it will be entirely out of the picture.

That is where India’s leading health and wellness app HealthifyMe can come into the picture. Through its HealthifyPRO 2.0 offerings, you can measure your blood glucose levels in real time if you feel out of sorts.

In addition, you will know the food and activities affecting your blood glucose levels through a connected device. After that, you can book a consultation with a coach, who will devise a healthy meal and activity plan to help you reverse the condition. 

A 3-monthly metabolic panel test will showcase the improvement you experience after you follow the program. The panel is extensive and looks at every aspect of your metabolic health minutely, which helps the coaches to enable you to embark on a fitness journey. 

Genesis of Diabetes in Women

When our pancreas cannot make sufficient insulin, this insulin hormone somehow dysfunctions in helping the glucose combine with our cells. There comes the issue known as diabetes, as per this study.

Diabetes usually has a trait that affects the heart, sight and kidneys in us, as per the study of WHO. Those who have diabetes are two times more prone to experience a heart stroke than those who don’t.

Coming to women, when compared to men, their probability of suffering a stroke is almost four times more. And that isn’t the only thing. Women with diabetes may also have a high chance of observing kidney failure, depression and blindness, too, more than men. So, it’s safe to say that diabetes is a great enemy of women.

How does Diabetes Affect Women?

Women, famous for their high-spirited nature, inner beauty and kindness, can face a hard time with diabetes. This illness makes females weak both mentally and physically. In addition, they are more at risk of heart disease to kidney issues than males. Most of us must know that this disorder isn’t curable, but one can put it in check. 

When women get diagnosed with diabetes, after suspecting that they might, they must take some extra care regarding certain things. Diabetes most commonly affects the urinary system and all things associated with a woman’s endocrine system. 

So, below are some things that women with diabetes can experience:

Irregular Menstrual Cycle:

Anovulation can happen to women with diabetes. It means the non-occurrence of ovulation. The menstrual period occurs when an ovary releases the egg in a woman’s fallopian tube. But, this releasing of an egg does not happen, and that is anovulation. It is because androgen, the hormone in females, works along with insulin, which plays a crucial role in diabetes. 

UTI and Yeast Infection:

Most women around us commonly suffer from yeast infections and UTIs in their womanhood. However, those with diabetes face this issue more often and also earlier.

According to a study, more than 50% of women face urinary tract infections their whole life. And that ratio becomes more when we speak of women with diabetes.

Women with this chronic condition need to urinate more often, and poor hygiene can be the culprit. Also, unattended levels of high blood sugar in our body and their poor circulation can lead to yeast infections and urinary tract infections in women. In some cases, a few diabetic women’s bladders may not empty up all the contents making them an excellent abode for bacteria to survive.   

Fertility:

In the long term, anovulation can make it hard for people to get pregnant. Moreover, uncontrolled vaginal bleeding is also the cause of diabetes.

Imagine this bleeding in the middle of pregnancy. It could lead to an unfavourable situation. So, in a nutshell, Type 2 diabetes can affect a woman’s ability to become fertile or have a safe baby delivery.

Menopause:

Menopause and perimenopause do not lead to diabetes. However, hormonal changes in certain women can lead to changes associated with menopause, such as an increase in weight around the midsection and higher blood pressure. These are both risk factors for type 2 diabetes, in addition to age and ethnicity.

As women age, they often experience hormone changes before and during menopause, leading to hot flashes, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. These hormone fluctuations can cause instability in blood sugar levels, and people with type 1 diabetes may find that their blood sugar dips more frequently as they approach menopause.

It is essential to differentiate between low blood sugar and other perimenopause symptoms, and adjusting insulin dosage can help to manage these changes. Consulting with a doctor is the best way to determine what is best for your specific situation.

During Pregnancy:

Many of you might have come across the word gestational diabetes. Well, it is nothing but a woman who hasn’t had any diabetes suddenly gets it when she’s in the middle of her pregnancy.

It’s more or less common to have gestational diabetes, although some can face a pretty much hard time, like gaining weight leading to obesity.

Sex:

Women with diabetes may feel dryness in their vaginas. Now, this dryness could make intercourse highly painful and mostly uncomfortable. In addition, this affects their interest in making love with their partners.

It can be primarily due to the poor circulation of blood sugar levels in the nerves or hormonal changes due to insulin malfunction. Additionally, those women on their medication to treat their diabetes can also face this issue.

The HealthifyMe Note

Pay attention to your body and notice any changes you feel. Diabetes can show some signs that you can quickly identify. Obesity or inactivity can be the root cause of the illness. If you are a woman, whether a homemaker or a working person, take 45 minutes to switch off, go for a walk, including some gentle stretches and eat well. Frequent small meals and maintaining a good sleep cycle can help you. 

Symptoms of Diabetes

Before starting to treat diabetes, one must be aware of its symptoms. Generally, women with diabetes can show specific symptoms. 

From increased hunger pangs, weight loss or weight gain to fatigue, the symptoms vary significantly in women.

  • Feeling extreme fatigue due to high blood sugar levels and poor circulation in the body.
  • Polyphagia is feeling very hungry even after a good meal. The reason could be due to the incapability of insulin to acquire glucose and later give it to the cells. The inability to produce insulin can also be the reason here.
  • Frequent urination is due to the malfunctioning of the kidneys. It is, in popular terms, known as Polyurea. Kidneys may not be as efficient as before in taking in glucose; hence, they will excrete the remaining glucose through the urinary bladder. It leads to frequent urination, which also has nocturia that makes one wake up at night to urinate.
  • Let’s know about Polydipsia, another common symptom of diabetes. It means the need to drink more water or other liquids. It can mostly be the consequence of frequent urination. 
  • Insufficient insulin or no insulin can deprive the body of glucose. It can lead to the burning of muscles and fat. Over time it can thus lead to unhealthy weight loss.
  • Kidneys’ inability to absorb all the glucose leads to excess remnants of glucose in our bodies. And the presence of unattended glucose levels in higher quantities leads to osmosis in our eye lenses and swelling. Thus, leading to blurred vision or blindness.  

Symptoms of Diabetes in Women

The symptoms of diabetes in women can be more or less similar to those that prevail in men.  

  • Feeling more and more thirsty due to frequent urination.
  • Seeing ugly sores on the body due to infections can take a lot of time to heal.
  • Infections associated with womanhood, skin, gum, etc., take a toll due to poor circulation and high blood sugar levels. 
  • Feeling extremely tired or weak due to the lack of insulin or improper utilisation of glucose.
  • Unexpected weight loss due to insufficient glucose present in the cells or weight gain due to insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance
  • Mood swings, affecting hunger and mental health, also leading to depression. It can be due to abnormal androgen functioning.
  • Blurred vision or developing poor sight due to high glucose levels that affect the osmosis of eye lenses and their swelling

Risk Factors for Diabetes in Women

Women with diabetes have to be aware of the risk factors that they will face in the future. As mentioned earlier, there are some types of diabetes, which are as follows:

  • Type 1, where the body fails to make sufficient insulin primarily because of the dysfunction associated with the autoimmune system.
  • Type 2, where the body makes insulin but fails to use it.
  • Gestational Diabetes, where a woman gets diabetes during her pregnancy

All these types have common risk factors like the following:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

It may happen due to dysfunction in androgen and insulin. It can further lead to:

  • Irregular periods
  • Acne
  • Mood swings
  • Infertility
  • Weight gain
  • Dryness in the Vagina

High blood sugar levels mess up the nerve fibres and damage them, leading to dryness in womanhood. It can further lead to:

  • Painful intercourse
  • Itching and tingling sensation
  • Losing interest in sex
  • UTI
  • Painful urination
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Itching 
  • Bloody urine
  • Candida Infections
  • Pregnancy-related issues

Managing Diabetes With HealthifyPRO 2.0

You can download HealthifyPRO 2.0. The app will help you to devise a proper diet to keep blood sugar levels in check. In addition, the coaches help you to plan physical exercises.

The CGM BIOS is a wearable device that records the fluctuations in blood glucose levels in real time. With the help of the data, the coaches help you devise a meal and activity plan for the readings to normalise. 

Overall you must:

  • Medical treatments like oral medication or external insulin supply, as per condition and doctor’s advice
  • Leading a stress-free lifestyle
  • Ensuring to keep weight gain in check
  • Prohibiting any bad habits like smoking and drinking
  • Developing healthy lifestyle habits in terms of nutrition, physical activity, hydration level and sleep cycle

Conclusion

Diabetes is common in both men and women. However, women have a lot more risks than men. Thus, it’s essential to know what signs and symptoms of this chronic illness.

It can affect a woman mentally and physically. They are more at risk of infertility, skin issues, poor eye health, heart disease, and kidney issues than males. Most of us must know that this disorder isn’t curable, but one can put it in check. 

When women get diagnosed with diabetes, after suspecting that they might, they must take some extra care regarding certain things. Diabetes most commonly affects the urinary system and all things associated with a woman’s endocrine system.

Lifestyle management, paying attention to oneself, and a lot of support from near and dear ones can help a woman brave this condition successfully. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Does diabetes affect women more?

A. Of course, yes! Women have more significant risks of diabetes. They may face weight loss or gain, candida infections, PCOS and issues with pregnancy due to their diabetes. In addition, some women face gestational diabetes during their pregnancy and type 1 or 2 due to their family history. 

Q. What are the symptoms of diabetes problems in females?

A. Most women with diabetes problems can exhibit specific symptoms like weight loss or gain, fatigue, miscarriages, irregular periods, mood swings, and feeling hungry or thirsty. They can also need to urinate more often and may suffer from the urinary tract and yeast infections. 

Q. How does diabetes affect women differently than men?

A. Although most symptoms and risks of diabetes are similar to a man and woman, some effects put a woman more at risk. For example, the chances of getting heart strokes and kidney failures are higher in women than in men. Also, women with diabetes can be more likely to lose vision and suffer from depression than men. 

Q. How does diabetes affect the female reproductive system?

A. Insulin which results in high blood sugar levels leading to diabetes, plays a significant role in the ovary system. The female reproductive system, with the ovary system, has androgen, which is associated with insulin. Now, this insulin production can affect the ovary system’s growth and the increase in cysts leading to PCOS in women. Moreover, they also affect the release of eggs leading to anovulation in women.  

Q. Does diabetes affect your period?

A. Before knowing the answer, it is crucial to learn the types of diabetes- type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Now type 1 diabetes doesn’t usually affect a woman’s periods in most cases. However, type 2 diabetes plays a significant role in irregular periods. At the same time, gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and goes away after that. 

Q. Does diabetes affect intimacy?

A. Yes. Most women with diabetes face vaginal dryness, due to which their intercourse becomes painful and uncomfortable. Thus, they may not show much interest in intimacy. Moreover, some studies have found that people with diabetes can have low libido, which is sexual desire making them uninterested in intercourse.  

Q. Can my wife get pregnant if I have diabetes?

A. Diabetes and fertility are related but not totally. Many with diabetes can happily have children. Men with this chronic illness can have children without many complications. Although, it is essential to note that diabetes is generic. If you have it, your future generation may also have it. 

Q. Can a woman with diabetes have a baby?

A. People with type 1 diabetes can gladly have children with little medical attention. They will be fertile enough and can enjoy their motherhood. But, when it comes to type 2 diabetics, these women may have to seek medical attention to have a safe pregnancy without any intricacies. In both cases, mothers must take care so they can work on pregnancy and diabetes-related complications.

Q. Can diabetics drink alcohol?

A. Drinking alcohol messes with the blood sugar levels in people. In most cases, it is nearly impossible to control the blood sugar levels in people who drink alcohol. Moreover, as per a study, alcohol consumption leads to imbalanced fat metabolism, eye diseases and nerve damage in people with diabetes.

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hana

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