Diabetes Symptoms in Women
Diabetes is one of the biggest lifestyle diseases in today’s world. In just 25 years, the global incidence of diabetes has doubled, according to the World Health Organization. Diabetes is often referred to as a “silent disease” mainly for two reasons:
1. Many people with Type 2 diabetes walk around with symptoms for many years, but are not diagnosed until there is some other complication.
2. There are no specific physical manifestations in individuals with diabetes. Unless a person chooses to disclose, it is possible that even family members may be unaware of the diagnosis.
Types of Diabetes
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. A person with type 1 diabetes needs to take insulin to survive because the body makes little/ no insulin on its own. In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced, but it does not work as it is supposed to.
Risk Factors for Diabetes in Women
- Age greater than 45 years old
- Diabetes during a previous pregnancy
- Family history of diabetes
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Given birth to an overweight baby
- High blood pressure
- History of heart disease or stroke
- Impaired glucose tolerance
While many signs and symptoms of diabetes are common in both men and women, women experience certain unique symptoms.
Weight gain or weight loss without an obvious cause is a common symptom of diabetes. The body is unable to efficiently utilize the food leading to sudden weight loss. Unexplained weight loss can happen for lots of reasons, and diabetes is one of them. Generally, doctors recommend visiting the doctor if you unintentionally lose between 5 to 10 percent of your body weight over the course of six months.
Since diabetes can cause damage to the nerves, different parts of the body can get affected. Women may lose sensation in their legs, hands, and the vaginal area thus leading to sexual dysfunction.
Increased thirst and hunger
High blood sugar robs the cells of fluid thereby increasing thirst. The hunger rises in diabetic women due to the body’s inability to convert blood sugar to energy. One of the typical type 2 diabetes symptoms in women is excessive eating (polyphagia). Too much insulin in the body may make the person feel hungry and also make her eat more.
Slow-healing cuts and wounds
The wound healing process is extremely slow in people with diabetes. Feet are especially sensitive. High levels of sugar in the blood can damage the body’s nerves and blood vessels, which can impair blood circulation. As a result, even small cuts and wounds may take weeks to heal.
Whilst a diagnosis of PCOS does not mean you have diabetes, it is linked with a higher risk of diabetes. There is a higher chance of having PCOS if a person has diabetes. In PCOS, a hormonal imbalance means the ovaries are unable to release eggs properly which affects fertility.
Urinary tract infection/ Skin infection
Another symptom of diabetes that is seen in women is the occurrence of skin infections as well as a vaginal yeast infection. Women with diabetes may also experience urinary tract infections frequently. If you’re having two to three yeast infections every few months and if the standard treatments aren’t working, it’s time to visit the doctor.
Other symptoms of diabetes in women include frequent urination, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, blurred vision, neuropathy, and itching. While type 2 diabetes can’t be cured, prevention is possible when you practice healthy eating and regular physical activity.
Well-controlled blood sugar levels:
- can help menstrual cycles become more regular
- increases libido (sex drive)
- reduces the risk of miscarriage
- reduces the risk of delivering an overweight baby
- better health
If not correctly managed, diabetes can lead to many serious health complications. These include amputation, neuropathy, retinopathy, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.
Complete diabetic care at Prashanth Hospitals
If you show some of the early signs of diabetes, take home some of the pearls shared above and get a grip on your glucose levels as early as possible. Prashanth Hospital brings complete diabetic care under one roof while a holistic approach. We have the best diabetes specialists in Chennai providing total care for the patients with diabetes such as managing diabetic foot ulcers, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic neuropathy. Book an appointment with the best diabetologist in Chennai at Prashanth Hospitals.