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Signs Of Diabetes In Women

Updated on August 17, 2014

Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people of all ages and genders around the globe. Signs of Diabetes In Women can be different than those seen in men. Many people experience minor symptoms at the onset of the disease that can easily go unnoticed.

What Is Diabetes?


According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. People with diabetes have problems converting food to energy. After a meal, food is broken down into a sugar called glucose, which is carried by the blood to cells throughout the body. Cells use the hormone insulin, made in the pancreas, to help them process blood glucose into energy.

There are 3 types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes. We will take a look at the 3 types of diabetes, along with the signs and symptoms of diabetes a woman needs to look out for. This is just a short list of all the symptoms and signs that a woman might have if they are possibly diabetic.

The Types of Diabetes

According to Livestrong.com there are three major types of diabetes....

Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent diabetes)

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease where the body's immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. This type of diabetes, also known as juvenile-onset diabetes, accounts for 10-15% of all people with the disease. It can appear at any age, although commonly under 40, and is triggered by environmental factors such as viruses, diet or chemicals in people genetically predisposed. People with type 1 diabetes must inject themselves with insulin several times a day and follow a careful diet and exercise plan.

Type 2 diabetes (previously known as non-insulin dependent diabetes)

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90% of all people with the disease. This type of diabetes, also known as late-onset diabetes, is characterised by insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. The disease is strongly genetic in origin but lifestyle factors such as excess weight, inactivity, high blood pressure and poor diet are major risk factors for its development. Symptoms may not show for many years and, by the time they appear, significant problems may have developed. People with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease. Type 2 diabetes may be treated by dietary changes, exercise and/or tablets. Insulin injections may later be required.

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)

GDM, or carbohydrate intolerance, is first diagnosed during pregnancy through an oral glucose tolerance test. Between 5.5 and 8.8% of pregnant women develop GDM in Australia. Risk factors for GDM include a family history of diabetes, increasing maternal age, obesity and being a member of a community or ethnic group with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While the carbohydrate intolerance usually returns to normal after the birth, the mother has a significant risk of developing permanent diabetes while the baby is more likely to develop obesity and impaired glucose tolerance and/or diabetes later in life. Self-care and dietary changes are essential in treatment.

Risk Factors

The risks and causes of diabetes for each type varies, but genetics do play a role. Many experts are not quite sure what cause type 1 diabetes, but the main cause of type 2 diabetes is obesity.

You might be at risk for type 2 diabetes if you are:

  • African-American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American or Pacific Islanders
  • Struggle with obesity
  • Over the age of 45
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • History of gestational diabetes during pregnancy

Warning Signs To Look For

Here's a list of warnings you can look for in regards to diabetes.....

  • Thirsty and wanting to drink a lot. This is one of the symptoms that tend to be very common. Women who often get this way should not avoid having some water and should get something to drink even if they just had a drink a few minutes ago.
  • Frequent bathroom trips. Women often urinate more and this could be as a result of drinking a lot and also as a result of diabetes. This is one of the most common diabetes symptoms in women.
  • Loss of Appetite or Weight gain. Some women might experience weight loss or either weight gain. During this time they could also experience extreme hunger or either a decrease in appetite.
  • Visual problems might occur.
  • Women might feel the loss of sensation in their hands or their feet.
  • The blood circulation might be poor.
  • Diabetes symptoms in women even include infections and sores might take a long time to heal.
  • Yeast Infection, a very common diabetes symptoms in women.
  • Extreme fatigue in the day and night time hours.
  • Dry Mouth
  • Vaginal infections might become frequent.
  • Vomiting
  • Skin might become itchy around or in the vaginal area.


Call a doctor right away whenever you are feeling weak, nauseated or if you are very thirsty because it's a known fact that these are signs of diabetes in women. When you are starting to urinate a lot or having pain in the abdominal area then the doctor should be notified. Sometimes patients might experience problems with breathing, when they experience rapid or slow breathing doctor should be contacted as soon as possible as it could be a very serious part of diabetes symptoms in women.

(Source: Warning Signs of Diabetes)

More Facts about Women and Diabetes

  • Among people with diabetes who have had a heart attack, women have lower survival rates and a poorer quality of life than men.
  • Women with diabetes have a shorter life expectancy than women without diabetes, and women are at greater risk of blindness from diabetes than men.
  • Death rates for women aged 25-44 years with diabetes are more than 3 times the rate for women without diabetes.

(Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

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Did You Know.....

  • That of the 20.8 million people with diabetes in the United States, 9.7 million are WOMEN.


  • The risk of heart disease, the most common complication of diabetes, is more serious among women than men.

Treatment

The good thing about diabetes, is it can be controlled and treated. If you do have diabetes, its advisable to have your blood sugar levels checked periodically. Even if there are natural remedies that have been developed for the treatment for diabetes, insulin injections and implantable insulin pumps are the most sought out ones.

Type 1 diabetes can be treated with exercise, insulin and a balanced diet. Type 2 diabetes is first treated with weight reduction, a diabetic diet and exercise. Weight reduction and exercising increases the body's sensitivity to insulin, thus controlling blood sugar elevations.

When these methods fail to lower the blood sugar levels, oral medications are used. If oral diabetes medications are insufficient and do not help lower the glucose levels in blood, insulin treatment is used.

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