Being called sweet can be extremely flattering, especially for girls, but when that level of sweetness (glucose) increases in your blood, it makes life bittersweet. The disease in which your body doesn’t make insulin or doesn’t properly make use of it and leads to an increase in the level of glucose in the bloodstream is known as diabetes.
Diabetes can affect both men and women, but the side effects of diabetes on women are more severe. One out of nine women can be affected by diabetes. Three main types of diabetes can affect you in your lifetime:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
What are the Rish Factors in Type 1 Diabetes?
It is an autoimmune disease wherein the body’s immune system attacks the pancreatic cells producing insulin. You would need to take a daily insulin shot to combat this pressing issue.
- It afflicts mostly during your childhood and adolescent years.
What are the Rish Factors in Type 2 Diabetes?
- Older than 45 years of age.
- High blood pressure of 140/90 mm of Hg.
- High cholesterol.
- Family history.
- Having a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
- Women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Inactive lifestyle
- Lack of adequate sleep
- Having an African, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islands background.
What are the Symptoms Of Diabetes?
- More urination
- Always hungrier even after eating
- Sores and infections that take more time to heal
- Blurry eyesight
- Infections like vaginal yeast infections and UTIs
- Dry and itchy skin
- Weight loss
- Sexual difficulties
Prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but lower than the diabetes level. Few lifestyle changes can save you from life-long problems. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes develop more rapidly than people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
How Does Diabetes Affect Women?
Here are some of the side effects of diabetes:
1. Vaginal Infection
Diabetic women have an increased chance of catching yeast infection in the vagina, as it creates a conducive environment for the fungus Candida to breed. Increased vaginal discharge, vaginal itch, and painful intercourse are some symptoms.
2. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
UTI-burning and painful sensation while urinating, cloudy urine and blood in the urine are the symptoms- and it can happen to any woman. This is one of the most common side effects of diabetes, those with diabetes have a higher risk of developing it. If you have UTI, you should immediately consult a doctor, as there is a greater chance of it becoming a much more severe kidney problem.
Side effects of diabetes affects women who have a family history of prediabetes or diabetes have a greater chance of having PCOS, which causes irregular menstruation, infertility and a lot of other related symptoms.
4. Problems During Menopause
Menopause can increase a woman’s chances of having diabetes, or those already diagnosed with hyperglycemia can have the symptoms of menopause manifold. Also, a change in hormone levels can erode the blood sugar level.
5. Cardiac Problems
The side effects of diabetes are more prone in women and diabetic women have twice the chance of having cardiac problems compared to men. Heart attacks and strokes are extremely common due to the narrowing of blood vessels because of inflammation. Lower survival rates and poorer quality of life post-cardiac problems are common among females.
Nerve damage is the common side effects of diabetes in people, which leads to tingling sensations in the hands and feet. It also makes sex painful and difficult as there is a loss of sensation down there.
7. Loss of Libido
Vaginal dryness, fatigue, and pain in the vagina make a woman lose interest in having intercourse. Many women complain of not climaxing.
Women are more likely to have mental health problems than their male counterparts. One side effect of diabetes are that it increases the chances of depression.
9. Oral Problem
Dental thrush is one of the earliest symptoms of diabetes. You might notice white patches inside the mouth, redness, trouble eating and swallowing, and swollen gum.
The body needs to produce increased glucose to sustain the growing fetus when a woman is pregnant. About 10% of women develop a case of gestational diabetes. Often this kind of diabetes ceases after delivery, but it also increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Women who are above the age of 25 are obese, have a predisposition to diabetes, and have any of the other risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Since the symptoms of pregnancy and diabetes are the same, it is often easy to remain undiagnosed. The problems that may arise when a pregnant mother has gestational diabetes are:
- Difficulty in labour
- Increased chance of having a C-section
- Heavy bleeding during delivery
- Vaginal tear
- Premature labour
The baby may be born with certain complications like:
- Respiratory issue
- Low blood glucose level
Pregnant Women and Diabetes
Regular check-ups must be done on pregnant women to determine whether they are susceptible to this condition. Consult an endocrinologist and your gynecologist, have a healthy diet, and maintain optimum body weight.
Post-delivery have regular check-ups for blood sugar, get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, and try to breastfeed your child as it will help to burn calories. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are looking forward to conceiving it, you should consult your doctor regularly. Proper diet, exercise, and prescribed medication can help you have a safe pregnancy.
Ways to Keep Blood Sugar Levels in Check
Amp up your external sweetness while you reduce the internal glucose content in the bloodstream. Medications should be your last resort since diabetes medicine can have a long-term effect on your body. So try some natural methods and dietary changes to keep diabetes at bay.
- Regular exercise
- Low carb and high fiber diet
- Drink 3 to 4 liters of water daily
- Portion control-smaller plate, chewing food slowly, and maintaining a food journal
- Meditate to keep stress in control
- Adequate sleep
- Incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar, fenugreek, and cinnamon extract into your diet
- Lose weight
- Have whole fruits in moderate quantity instead of juice of the same, apart from pineapple and melons.
- Legumes, leafy green vegetables, nuts, whole grains, oats, garlic, lean fish, and yogurt have a low glycemic index.