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What does Diabetes mean for Women?

What does Diabetes mean for Women?

Diabetes

Studies show that diabetes is more commonly diagnosed in men. However, some risk factors such as obesity are more likely to occur in women. Women also seem to have more severe complications of this disease. 

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body either can’t produce insulin or can’t use the insulin it produces. When the body can’t use insulin, the sugar in the blood stores up and cannot be converted to energy that the body needs. This sugar build-up slowly but surely starts affecting different parts of the body including the eyes, kidneys, heart, and even the feet.

Types of Diabetes

There are three main types. They are: 

Type 1 

The body cannot produce insulin because of some injury or defect of the pancreas. People affected by this type of diabetes have to take insulin injections every day to control their blood sugar.

Type 2 

The body cannot use the insulin that it has to lower the blood sugar level. People with type 2 Diabetes usually have to take tablets and change their lifestyle to control their blood sugar levels. 

Gestational Diabetes

 This typically occurs during pregnancy and disappears soon after the baby is born. Unfortunately, women who suffer from this and their babies have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes sometimes does not present with symptoms at all. But when it does, these are the typical symptoms a person can experience include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Increased hunger and feelings of tiredness
  • Increased thirst and frequency of urination 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Itchy skin

Risk Factors

Diabetes is a chronic disease that doesn’t have a specific cause. However, there are some risk factors that could increase the chances of a person having it. Some of these risk factors can be lowered with a lifestyle change, while others cannot be changed at all. These risk factors include:

  • Obesity or being overweight. 
  • Genetic makeup
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Older than 45 years of age
  • Hypertension
  • Past history of stroke
  • Injury to the pancreas
  • Viral infection

Complications

Diabetes is a disease that can affect many systems in the body if it is either not diagnosed early or not managed well. Some of the complications of this disease include: 

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  • Cataract
  • Kidney failure
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke 
  • Diabetic foot ulcer 

Conclusion

Diabetes doesn’t work differently or necessarily mean a different thing in a woman’s body compared to a man’s body. In spite of the increased risk of more severe complications and even death, there are a number of lifestyle changes that can be made to limit or reduce the risk of getting the disease as much as possible.

If you have any risk factors for diabetes, it is important that you see your healthcare provider explain further the next steps you can take to limit your risk of managing the disease if you already have it. 

Diabetes may not have a cure, but it is also not a death sentence. If managed properly, you can live a full and healthy life with it. 

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