Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms in Women

This chronic illness causes an excessive amount of sugar to circulate in the bloodstream. Learn how to treat type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms in Women

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms in Women

Diabetes mellitus is the most common endocrine disease, affecting over 200 million people worldwide. It is characterized by insufficient insulin secretion and increased cellular resistance to insulin. It results in hyperglycaemia and other metabolic disturbances. Diabetic patients often suffer from increased morbidity and premature death associated with cardiovascular, microvascular, and neuropathic complications.

Diabetes can affect anyone regardless of lifestyle, age, ethnic group, sex, or gender. The condition can often more severely affect women than men. Compared to male diabetic patients, females are likely to experience the following:

  • 13% increased risk of death from any causes

  • 30% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease

  • 58% increased risk of death from coronary heart disease

Read on to learn more about diabetes and how they affect women.

General symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. A person can live with type 2 diabetes for years without even realizing it. Signs and symptoms that characterize type 2 diabetes are:

  • Blurry vision

  • Darkened areas of skin, usually in the armpits and neck

  • A dry mouth due to dehydration and frequent urination also drains moisture from your mouth.

  • Fatigue. Your body may not be able to use energy from food. It makes you feel weak and tired, the same way dehydration does.

  • Frequent urination is a response to your kidneys getting rid of extra sugar in your system.

  • Headaches

  • Increased hunger. Diabetes can prevent glucose from getting to your cells, making you feel hungry even after you've eaten.

  • Increased thirst. As sugar builds up in the blood, the kidneys must work overtime to remove it, pulling fluids from your tissues and making you dehydrated and thirsty.

  • Infections or wounds that don't heal due to slowed blood flow.

  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands or feet as type 2 diabetes nerves in these areas.

  • Red, swollen, and sensitive gums as these become quickly infected with diabetes. Infected gums may get pulled away from teeth, resulting in loose teeth.

  • Unintended weight loss. As sugar is lost from frequent urination, calories are also lost, which makes you lose weight despite your usual diet.

Symptoms of diabetes in women

Male and female diabetic patients may experience many of the same symptoms, some of which are unique to females.

Candida infections

Hyperglycaemia, or high blood sugar levels, can trigger the growth of fungus, for instance, the Candida fungus, whose overgrowth may result in vaginal or oral yeast infections, commonly referred to as thrush. Symptoms of vaginal infection can include vaginal itching, vaginal discharge, and painful sexual intercourse. On the other hand, oral yeast infections often cause a white coating on the tongue and inside the mouth.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

UTIs develop when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Diabetic women have a higher risk for infection. UTIs are commonly associated with diabetes since hyperglycaemia compromises the immune system. UTIs can cause pain and burning sensations when urinating and bloody or cloudy urine. Kidney infection may also become a complication if these symptoms are left untreated.

Vaginal dryness

Diabetic neuropathy occurs with a high blood sugar level, which damages your nerve fibres. This damage can cause tingling and numbing sensations in various body parts, including the hands, feet, and legs. Diabetic neuropathy may also influence sensation in the vaginal area, leading to symptoms like vaginal dryness.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Although the exact cause of PCOS remains obscure, it is known to emerge a high amount of androgens (male hormones) is produced by a woman's body and has certain risk factors, such as a family history of PCOS. Symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, weight gain, acne, depression, and infertility. It is also linked to insulin resistance, elevating blood levels and increasing your risk of developing diabetes. Insulin resistance may be either a symptom or a cause of PCOS.

Pregnancy for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes

Although there is no treatment for type 2 diabetes, research indicate that it is reversible in some cases. Get the information here.

Type 1 diabetes typically begins during childhood, while type 2 diabetes occurs in adulthood. Either type of diabetes that emerges before you're pregnant is referred to as pre-gestational diabetes.

A healthy pregnancy after getting a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes is still attainable, given that you properly manage your condition before and during pregnancy to avoid complications. It is best to track your blood sugar levels and general health before and during pregnancy and to have regular consultations with your doctor about the best ways to manage your and your baby's health.

Before conceiving, it is advisable to get your blood sugar levels close to your target range, which may differ from those when you're not pregnant. During pregnancy, blood sugar and ketones travel through the placenta to the baby. Babies need sugar energy like humans, but some risks await them if their parents' blood sugar levels are too high. The transfer of high blood sugar to unborn babies puts them at risk for premature birth, cognitive impairments, and developmental delays.

Causes of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body produces deficient insulin for proper functioning, or the body's cells become resistant to insulin. This means glucose stays in the blood and fails to be utilized as energy fuel. Obesity seems to influence type 2 diabetes and used to be more common in older people. Due to increased obesity, type 2 diabetes has become prevalent in young people of all ages. It is more common than type 1 diabetes.

Risk factors for diabetes in women

Your chance of getting type 2 diabetes is higher if you are at least two years old or overweight. Other risk factors can include:

  • a diabetic family member

  • giving birth to a baby with a birth weight of at least 9 pounds

  • history of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or PCOS

  • physical activity fewer than three times a week

  • being an African American, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander

The exact basis for some ethnic and racial groups having a higher risk of type 2 diabetes is yet to be unfolded. Possible factors may include but aren't limited to:

  • biological risk factors, such as weight status and the location of fat deposits on the body

  • cultural attitudes and behaviours toward diabetes prevention

  • inequities in healthcare

  • lack of access to healthcare

  • socioeconomic status or other social determinants of health

Treatment for type 2 diabetes

Remedies for type 2 diabetes may include dietary changes, tablets, and insulin therapy, depending on your blood glucose level response. In early type 2 diabetes, intentional weight loss can reverse the disease.

Complications of type 2 diabetes

Diabetes can lead to severe long-term health issues. It is considered the number one cause of vision loss and blindness in working-age people. Everyone with diabetes aged 12 or over should have their eyes screened yearly for diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation, other than accidents.

Preventing type 2 diabetes

If you're at risk for type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes may help prevent it. These include:

  • drinking alcohol in moderation

  • eating a healthy, balanced diet

  • losing weight for those who are overweight, and maintaining a healthy weight

  • quitting the smoking habit

  • taking plenty of regular exercises and physical activities

Living with type 2 diabetes

If you already have type 2 diabetes, the tips above may help control your symptoms. This also minimizes the risk of developing complications.

It is imperative you watch your blood sugar level and change any lifestyle that may trigger the condition. For further reading about type 2 diabetes, click here.

 Learn more about diabetes here

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