Diabetes is an acute and chronic disease that affects the blood sugar level of patients. The problem arises due to abnormal production and processing of insulin in the body. Diabetes can strike anyone despite gender, race, age or lifestyle.
What is Diabetes?
The food that we eat turns into glucose or sugar in our digestive system. The pancreas plays its role at this moment by producing insulin in a healthy body. Insulin allows utilisation of glucose which supplies energy to the body. However, the diabetic patient goes through a different story where pancreas either produces a little or no insulin and sometimes the body does not properly use insulin.
There are two kinds of diabetes.
It is known as autoimmune conditions when the immune system of body mistakenly attacks its pancreas and destroys its insulin-producing cells. No or very little insulin is produced that causes the quick rise of glucose in the blood.
It is the most common form of diabetes in which the body cannot utilise insulin properly or produce insufficient amount. It builds up sugar levels in the blood.
Diabetes symptoms are so mild that majority of people are unaware of the disease in its early or middle phases. Here are some general symptoms and signs:
- Lots of bathroom breaks
- Thirstier than usual
- unexplained weight loss
- Shaky and hungry feel
- Ongoing fatigue
- Grumpy and moody
- Blurry vision
- Scrapes and cuts heal slowly
- Feet tingle
- Recurrent UTI and yeast infections
Symptoms Unique to Women
If you are a woman with diabetes, many symptoms you experience are same as a man. Still, there are some symptoms unique to women.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Skin and vaginal yeast infection
- Sexual Dysfunction
In gestational diabetes, the pregnancy hormones hamper with the way insulin works. As a result either more insulin is produced, or it is deficient. Some leading causes of gestational diabetes are:
- Overweight before pregnancy
- Diabetes in family history
- Gestational diabetes in past
- a baby delivered weighing more than 9 pounds
- Stillbirth in past
- Asian, Native American and Hispanic women have high risk
Age and Risk Factors
Diabetes is hard on women. Around 13 million women across the globe are suffering from this chronic disease. According to Office on Women’s Health you are at risk if you have:
- Type 1 in family history
- Some genes indicate increased risk
- Older than 45
- No physical activity
- Type 2 in family history
- High blood pressure
- Low levels of HDL
Women have a unique and complex body system that present hurdles for managing blood sugar and diabetes at all stages of life. Fortunately, you can adopt certain measures to control symptoms, avoid complications and prevent or delay diabetes.
- Insulin treatment
- Metformin that reduces blood sugar
- Meglitinides that stimulate pancreas to produce more insulin
- Sulfonylureas that increase pancreatic secretion of insulin
Living and Managing with Diabetes
Living with diabetes is hard, so it is crucial to administer the disease. Although coping with diabetes is not easy yet lifestyle changes help a lot in managing diabetes. Many patients deal with it by adopting following lifestyle changes:
- Blood Sugar Monitoring
- Walk and Exercise
- Focused diet plan of vegetable, fruits and whole grains
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
Every day with diabetes is a challenge especially for women who have to keep a lot of variables in mind. It is important to work together and make healthy lifestyle choices to improve overall health. Always consult with a doctor before trying new treatments.