The sex/gender difference plays an important role in certain lifestyle-related disorders like diabetes. The bodies of men and women are biologically different due to genetic changes caused by difference in sex chromosomes and their effects on organs. A female body undergoes many changes due to hormones and reproductive factors during her lifetime.
A study published in the journal – Endocrine Society “Sex and Gender Differences in Risk, Pathophysiology and Complications of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus”, states that women with diabetes show a higher burden of risk factors and comorbidities especially relating to cardiovascular and renal disease, as compared to men with diabetes. While biological factors are important, there are other factors which impact diabetes management as well. Busy with their daily chores at home or at workplace, most women are either too busy or not comfortable enough to visit a clinic and monitor their diabetes regularly. Even if they are not able to meet their healthcare provider, they should closely observe their bodies for the below mentioned symptoms:
• Vaginal yeast infection and thrush: it causes itching and thick white vaginal discharge
• Oral yeast infection: it causes ulcers in the mouth
• Urinary tract infection: it causes frequent urination and burning sensation while urinating
• Sexual dysfunction: it causes lack of sexual desire or interest in sex
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): it causes irregular periods; condition affecting ovulation
Diabetes can be especially difficult for pregnant women. The burden of diabetes on women is unique because the disease can affect both mother and her unborn child. Diabetes during pregnancy is called Gestational Diabetes (GDM). It can cause difficulties during pregnancy such as a miscarriage or birth defects. It also serves as an independent and strong female risk factor for eventual development of Type 2 diabetes.
Women with diabetes should be tested for high blood sugar level and heart disease risk factors, like high blood pressure or impaired lipids, regularly and should be treated proactively. There are lifestyle choices women can make, like exercising regularly and eating well, to improve their health. Good communication with a health care professional about the effect of diabetes and related complications is very important.
At Diabetacare, we have diabetologists, nutritionists and specialised nurses who are always ready to consult, guide and help manage diabetes better.