Diabetes in women: What should I know?

Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar due to issues with the production and utilization of insulin. The condition can affect any individual regardless of race, gender, age or lifestyle.

What are the indications among women?

Women diagnosed with diabetes might experience many of the same symptoms as men. Nevertheless, some symptoms are unique to women such as:


Women diagnosed with diabetes might experience many of the same symptoms as men.

  • Oral and vaginal yeast infections and vaginal thrush – the excessive growth of yeast by the candida fungus can lead to vaginal yeast infections, vaginal thrush and oral yeast infections. The increased levels of glucose in the blood allows the growth of fungus.
  • Urinary infections – the risk for these infections is higher among women with diabetes. These are common among those with the condition due to poor circulation and inability of the white blood cells to move through the bloodstream and eliminate the infections.
  • Female sexual dysfunction – high level of glucose impairs the nerve fibers which leads to diabetic neuropathy. This can trigger tingling and loss of sensation in various parts of the body. This can also affect sensation in the vaginal region and lower the sex drive.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – the condition arises once the adrenal gland releases large amounts of male hormones.

What are the risk factors?

Women are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes if the following factors are present:

  • Older than 45 years old
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • High blood pressure
  • If Native American, African-American, Native Alaskan, Asian-America, Hispanic or Native Hawaiian
  • Having an infant with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds
  • History of stroke or heart disease
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle or exercising less than 3 times in a week
  • High cholesterol
  • Having other health ailments that are associated to issues with the use of insulin such as PCOS


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