Diabetes, Difficulties, and Women

Diabetes can be especially hard on women

Diabetes, Difficulties, and Women. Diabetes can cause difficulties during pregnancy such as a miscarriage or a baby born with birth defects. Women with diabetes are also more likely to have a heart attack, and at a younger age, then women without diabetes.



The rate of depression in people with diabetes is much higher than in the general population. Women experience depression about twice as often as men, and the risk of depression increases in women with diabetes.
Many hormonal factors may contribute to the increased rate of depression in women:

  • menstrual cycle changes
  • pregnancy
  • miscarriage
  • postpartum period
  • pre-menopause
  • menopause

Many women also face additional stresses, such as responsibilities both at work and home, single parenthood, and caring for children and for aging parents.
Previous studies have shown individuals who are insulin-resistant may have higher serotonin concentrations and may be more prone to depression and even suicide. Furthermore, women with diabetes may be more likely to suffer depression because of the clinical diagnosis. For more information please visit The American Diabetes Association.

Eating Disorders

The pressure to be thin can feel overbearing in our society. Eating disorders are common among women and girls in the general population. Research suggests that eating disorders are probably more common among women with diabetes than those who do not have diabetes. However, those with type 1 are twice as likely to suffer from disordered eating patterns. There is no data on eating disorders in men and boys with type 1 diabetes. However, disordered eating does occur among men and boys in the general population, so don’t ignore the warning signs.

Bulimia is the most common eating disorder in women with type 1 diabetes. Among women with type 2 diabetes, binge eating is more common.

Because both diabetes and eating disorders involve attention to body states, weight management, and control of food, some people develop a pattern in which they use the disease to justify or camouflage the disorder. Because the complications of diabetes and eating disorders can be serious or even fatal, responsible, healthy behavior is essential.

Eating disorders are illnesses with a biological basis modified and influenced by emotional and cultural factors. While eating disorders are serious, potentially life threatening illnesses, there is help available and recovery is possible.