Impact of Diabetes on Women – Symptoms, Risks, Treatment, Prevention

Overview Overview Overview :

Diabetes is a chronic disease that impairs the regulation of blood sugar in our body. Both women and men can develop diabetes, but some symptoms are more likely to affect women.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 62 million people in India live with the disease, and it is estimated that there will be about 70 million diabetics by 2025.

A secondary study shows that more than 1 in 10 women between the ages of 35 and 49 suffer from diabetes, leading to an increased incidence of diabetes in women in India.

Compared to diabetic men, diabetic women have:

  1. High risk of heart disease, the most common complication of diabetes
  2. Poor survival and poor quality of life after a heart attack
  3. High risk of blindness
  4. High risk of depression (affects twice as many women as men).Depression also increases the risk of diabetes in women

Unfortunately, almost one-third of diabetic women do not know they are ill. And they are not receiving proper treatment to control diabetic complications.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease caused by high levels of glucose (blood sugar) in the body. This can happen if the body does not produce insulin (a hormone made by the pancreas) or if insulin is not used properly.

Insulin helps glucose from food enter the cells of your body for energy. If your body does not produce enough insulin, or if your body does not use insulin properly, glucose will stay and accumulate in your blood.

There are three types of diabetes.

  1. Type 1 diabetes: A chronic disease in which special cells of the pancreas produce little or no insulin. It can be both genetic or environmental. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but most often in children and young adults.
  2. Type 2 diabetes: Known as adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes is the most common type and is common in people over the age of 40. This type of diabetes occurs when the body cannot use insulin efficiently. This can be due to some genetic reason, lack of exercise, or overweight.
  3. Gestational diabetes: This occurs in pregnant women and can be resolved after the baby gives birth.

Whatever the type of diabetes, it increases the sugar content in your blood and can cause serious health problems.

Diabetes symptoms in women

Women may experience many of the same symptoms as men with diabetes, but some are specific to women. A better understanding of these symptoms may help identify diabetes and receive early treatment. Symptoms specific to women are:

1.1. Vaginal yeast infections and oral yeast infections, and vaginal thrush:

Infections caused by overgrowth of yeast (Candida) can cause oral yeast infections, vaginal yeast infections, and vaginal tsugumi. Fungal growth is caused by high levels (common in women) when it occurs in the vaginal area:

  • itch
  • pain
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Painful sex
  • Burning sensation and irritation of the vulva / vagina

White coatings are common on the tongue and inside of the mouth in oral yeast infections.

2. Female sexual dysfunction

Diabetic neuropathy occurs when hyperglycemia damages nerve fibers. This can cause loss of sensation and tingling in different parts of the body.

This condition can also affect the sensation of the vaginal area, which reduces a woman’s libido.

3. Urinary tract infection (UTI):

The threat of UTI is higher in diabetic women. UTI occurs when bacteria invade the urinary tract. These infections can cause:

  1. Cloudy or bloody urine
  2. Burning sensation
  3. Painful urination
  4. heat

If these symptoms are not treated on time, there is a risk of kidney infection

UTIs are common in diabetic women because their immune system is impaired primarily due to hyperglycemia.

4. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

The signs of PCOS are:

  1. Acne
  2. Irregular menstruation
  3. infertility
  4. depression.
  5. Weight gain

PCOS can also cause a type of insulin resistance that raises blood sugar levels and increases the risk of developing diabetes.

Other Symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in Women:

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are usually more severe and develop more rapidly than type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may not show symptoms rapidly, but it develops over time and is difficult to notice at first. The common symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:

  1. Frequent urination.
  2. Maximum hunger
  3. Increased thirst
  4. Malaise
  5. Vaginal dryness (the most common sexual problem for diabetic women, which affects lubrication and makes sex uncomfortable for women)
  6. Lack of interest or desire for sex
  7. Weight gain and loss
  8. Blurred vision
  9. Decreased sensation in the hands and feet
  10. Hypersensitivity
  11. Reduced wound healing
  12. Skin infections and skin patches

Pregnancy and type 1 and type 2 diabetes

If you’re wondering if a diabetic woman’s pregnancy is safe, the good news is that a woman with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can have a healthy pregnancy. However, it is important for diabetic women to manage their pre- and post-pregnancy conditions to avoid serious complications.

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant with diabetes, it is best to bring your blood sugar as close to your target range as possible before you become pregnant. Check with your doctor about your target range during pregnancy as it may differ from your non-pregnant range.

Talk to your doctor about the best way to manage the health of both you and your baby. Track blood glucose levels before and during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, ketone bodies and blood sugar levels move through the placenta to the baby. Like you, babies need energy from glucose. However, if the blood sugar level is too high, the newborn is at risk for birth defects. The transfer of hyperglycemia to the fetus increases the risk of conditions that may include:

  1. Delayed development
  2. Cognitive impairment
  3. High blood pressure

Risk Factors for Diabetes in Women

Most risk factors for diabetes are the same for both men and women. These include:

  1. Give birth to a child who weighs more than 9 pounds (lb)
  2. History of gestational diabetes during past pregnancy
  3. Family history of diabetes
  4. History of PCOS
  5. Have high blood pressure
  6. Hypercholesterolemia
  7. Get moderate intensity physical activity (walking, etc.) less than 150 minutes a week,

Anyone with any of the above risk factors should consult a doctor and be screened for diabetes.

Diabetes treatment

Diabetes can be treated with medication. Some of these drugs are pills and some of them are injections. The medicines and medicines your doctor prescribes will depend on the type of diabetes.

  1. Type 1 diabetes: To treat this type of diabetes, you need to take insulin via a shot or an insulin pump. Insulin cannot be taken as a pill.
  2. Type 2 diabetes: The goal is to maintain blood sugar levels, which can be done via oral antidiabetic drugs or insulin.
  3. Gestational diabetes: To treat this type of diabetes, you need to use insulin to lower your blood sugar. This is also safe for growing babies.

Diabetes prevention:

You can prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes by making some lifestyle changes. Type 1 diabetes is thought to be due to autoimmunity and genetic factors and cannot be prevented.

Some of the lifestyle-oriented prevention methods are:

  1. Regular exercise such as cycling, walking and jogging
  2. Eat little by little
  3. Avoiding junk food
  4. Eat fruits and vegetables
  5. Lose weight
  6. Don’t say sugar or processed foods
  7. Reduce stress


Before being diagnosed with diabetes, there are periods when blood sugar levels are high but not enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. This is called prediabetes.

It is estimated that up to 70% of people with prediabetes will later develop type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, the progression from prediabetes to diabetes is inevitable. There are some factors that cannot be changed (age, genes, past behavior, etc.), but there are many actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of diabetes.

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