Diabetes presents itself similarly between men and women in many ways. However, there are several symptoms more specific to women.
The most common diabetic symptoms among men AND women are:
- Increased urination
- Always thirsty
- Always hungry
- Significant weight loss
- Dry/itchy skin
- Dark patches
- Wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurry vision/loss of sight
- Yeast infections
The following are symptoms more often seen in women:
1. Increase in Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and often result in painful urination, burning sensation and/or bloody or cloudy urine. If these symptoms go untreated, there is an added risk of a kidney infection.
2. Oral and Vaginal Yeast Infections
Candida is a fungus that normally lives on and inside the human body. It typically can be found in the mouth, through, gut and vagina without causing any issues.
However, elevated levels of glucose in the blood often result in the excessive growth of Candida in the mouth and can often be seen as a white coating on the tongue. This can also cause vaginal yeast infections that may include itching, soreness, vaginal discharge and painful sex.
3. Lower Sex Drive
Beyond yeast infections, a lack of sensation caused by diabetic neuropathy may also develop due to the high glucose in the blood damaging nerve fibers, and this can often affect sensation in the vaginal area, resulting in a lowered sex drive.
4. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
This is a condition when a woman produces higher levels of androgens than normal and may also contribute to insulin resistance. Androgens are male sex hormones that are usually found in women in small amounts. Common signs of PCOS include irregular periods, acne, weight gain, depression and infertility.
5. Pregnancy and Diabetes
Diabetic women can have a healthy pregnancy. It is important, however, to manage your condition to avoid any potential complications. Some complications may include developmental delays, high blood pressure, and cognitive impairments. Monitoring and managing blood glucose levels before and during pregnancy can help avoid these complications.
Hormones from being pregnant may affect how insulin works on the body, and may result in the body making more of it. For some women, however, this may still not be enough insulin, resulting in gestational diabetes. This often happens later in pregnancy and usually goes away after the pregnancy.
Help is Available
Managing and treating diabetes in women can include careful diet planning, medication management, weight loss, and other lifestyle changes, as well as alternative remedies.
LWell’s Succeed! Type 2 Diabetes Medical Concierge Program supports women who want to improve their diabetes, reduce their reliance on medications, lose weight, gain back their energy, and live the best life possible.