Women and Personal Risk Factors
Women and Personal Risk Factors: Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar due to problems processing or producing insulin. Diabetes can affect people of any age, race, or sex. It can affect people with any lifestyle.
Between 1971 and 2000, the death rate for men with diabetes fell, according to a study in Annals of Internal Medicine. This decrease reflects advances in diabetes treatment.
But the study also indicates the death rate for women with diabetes didn’t improve. In addition, the difference in death rates between women who had diabetes and those who didn’t more than doubled.
The death rate was higher among women, but there has been a shift in sex distribution of type 2 diabetes showing higher rates in men.
The findings emphasize how diabetes affects women and men differently. The reasons included the following:
- Women often receive less aggressive treatment for cardiovascular risk factors and conditions related to diabetes.
- Some of the complications of diabetes in women are more difficult to diagnose.
- Women often have different kinds of heart disease than men.
- Hormones and inflammation act differently in women.
Global reports from 2014 by the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source state that there were an estimated 422 million adults living with diabetes, up from 108 million reported in 1980.
If you’re a woman with diabetes, you may experience many of the same symptoms as a man. However, some symptoms are unique to women. Understanding more about these symptoms will help you identify diabetes and get treatment early.
Symptoms unique to women include:
Vaginal and oral yeast infections and vaginal thrush
An overgrowth of yeast caused by the Candida fungus can cause vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections, and vaginal thrush. These infections are common in women.
When infection develops in the vaginal area, symptoms include:
- vaginal discharge
- painful sex
Oral yeast infections often cause a white coating on the tongue and inside the mouth. High levels of glucose in the blood trigger the growth of fungus.
The risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI) is higher in women who have diabetes. UTIs develop when bacteria enter the urinary tract. These infections can cause:
- painful urination
- burning sensation
- bloody or cloudy urine
There’s the risk of a kidney infection if these symptoms aren’t treated.
UTIs are common in women with diabetes mostly due to the immune system being compromised because of hyperglycemia.
Women and Personal Risk Factors can include Female sexual dysfunction
Diabetic neuropathy occurs when high blood glucose damages nerve fibers. This can trigger tingling and loss of feeling in different parts of the body, including:
This condition may also affect sensation in the vaginal area and lower a woman’s sex drive.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
This disorder occurs when a person produces a higher amount of male hormones and is predisposed to getting PCOS. Signs of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) include:
- irregular periods
- weight gain
PCOS may also cause a type insulin resistance that results in elevated blood sugar levels and increases the risk of developing diabetes.
Both men and women may experience the following symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes:
- increased thirst and hunger
- frequent urination
- weight loss or gain with no obvious cause
- blurred vision
- wounds that heal slowly
- skin infections
- patches of darker skin in areas of the body that have creases
- breath that has a sweet, fruity, or acetone odor
- reduced feeling in hands or feet
It’s important to keep in mind that many people with type 2 diabetes have no noticeable symptoms.