Diabetes in WomenThe years between 1971 and 2000 proved to be an important period for the field of medicine. According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the death rate for men with diabetes fell while women with diabetes showed no signs of improvement. Adding to that, the difference in death rates between women who had diabetes and those who didn’t more than doubled.
Some of the reasons for the gender differences include the different kinds of heart disease that women suffer from compared to men, how the complications of diabetes in women are more difficult to diagnose, and how hormones and inflammation act differently in women.
While women may experience many of the same symptoms as a man with diabetes, there are however, some unique symptoms. Having a clear distinction between both can go a long way in identifying diabetes and finding preventative treatment. Some symptoms unique to women include urinary infections, female sexual dysfunction, and vaginal and oral yeast infections.
According to the Office on Women's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you may be are at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:
1. are older than 40
2. are overweight or obese
3. have a family history of diabetes (parent or sibling)
4. have had a baby with a birth weight more than 9 pounds
5. have had gestational diabetes
6. have high blood pressure
7. have high cholesterol
8. exercise less than three times a week
9. have other health conditions that are linked to problems using insulin, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
10. have a history of heart disease or stroke
The importance of getting yourself checked for diabetes cannot be understated. Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there is no cure, only the medical management of your symptoms. A recent study has found that women with diabetes are 40 percent more likely to die because of the disease.
While there is no cure for diabetes, there are a wide range of medications you can take and lifestyle changes you can pursue to help fight it off and improve your overall health. Consult your doctor if you feel like you’re feeling any symptoms or feel like you’re at risk.