Why diabetes is deadlier for women than men; tips to manage
- Women with diabetes are more at risk of suffering from heart attack than men apart from several other complications from blindness to depression.
Diabetes may be more common in men than women but it can lead to more serious complications in case of women and a greater risk of death. Diabetes is capable of affecting a woman's overall well-being by putting her at risk of heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, depression, UTIs and infertility problem.
It is imperative for women to control their blood sugar levels and follow a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and being physically active to avoid health complications from diabetes.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder and it occurs when one’s blood sugar levels are high. The women with diabetes have symptoms like vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, pain, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), decreased sex drive, and frequent urination. Diabetes increases a woman’s chances of suffering from serious complications that need to be managed on time.
Women with diabetes are also more at risk of suffering from heart attack than men apart from several other complications from blindness to depression.
“Diabetes will raise a woman’s risk of heart disease that is the most common complication of it and causes a heart attack. Women may also see serious complications like blindness, kidney disease, and depression. Women with diabetes can get urinary tract infections (UTIs) and vaginal yeast infections, one’s periods can also become longer and heavier due to changes in the menstrual cycle," says Dr. Rajeshwari Pawar, Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Motherhood Hospitals, Kharadi, Pune.
"Diabetes can also lead to low sex drive, nerve damage, menopausal problems, insulin resistance can cause polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) inducing infertility, and high blood sugar levels during pregnancy also known as gestational diabetes can cause premature delivery, large baby, miscarriage, and birth defects in the babies," she adds.
Young women are increasingly being diagnosed with diabetes during their reproductive years owing to sedentary lifestyle and that can cause a variety of menstrual irregularities and lower fertility rates.
“Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are associated with menstrual irregularities and lower fertility rates. Now, even young women have been diagnosed with diabetes during their reproductive years owing to sedentary lifestyles. Diabetic women are more prone to infection and damage to reproductive organs like fallopian tubes. High blood glucose levels lead to miscarriage or congenital defects in the fetus. Increased blood glucose and excessive nutrition for the growing fetus can cause macrosomia (big baby syndrome)," says Dr. Nisha Pansare, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Pune.
“Owing to tiredness, depression, stress, and anxiety, many women with diabetes have low sexual desire. Due to less vaginal lubrication, women may experience pain and discomfort during intercourse," she adds.
Tips for women to manage diabetes by Dr Pawar
* Eat food loaded with fiber and include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lentils.
* Cut down on junk, oily, processed, and canned foods. Do not opt for juices, desserts, sweets, colas, and sodas. Also, reduce your salt intake.
* Exercise every day to control the blood sugar levels and maintain an optimum weight, and check the blood sugar levels daily.