Diabetes affects more than 100 million Americans and men and women have very different experiences with the illness.
The signs of diabetes are more recognizable in men and they are diagnosed earlier. However, women a few unique challenges that they face with their disease.
Development of diabetes in men and women
Men develop type 2 diabetes at a younger age and at a lower weight than many women do.
Women let the disease develop further before they are diagnosed making them more susceptible to complications
Common symptoms of diabetes in men and women:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss or gain
- Darkening of skin creases.
Diabetes symptoms specific to women:
Frequent urinary tract infection, vaginal infection (often fungal), polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility, vaginal dryness…
It is the leading cause of death worldwide and prevalent in women with diabetes and is six times more likely than women who do not have diabetes
The studies also show the risk for heart disease in women with diabetes is 50% higher than for men.
Women's hormones can also affect diabetes - menopause can cause changes in blood sugar levels and some women find it difficult to keep their blood glucose stable around their periods
Women with diabetes are more likely to suffer from depression compared to men. In general, women experience diabetes twice as often as men.
Women need to pay closer attention to health complications with diabetes. Often they are not treated as quickly as they should and women with diabetes should be reaching out to their doctors more often to make sure their medications are keeping their blood pressures and blood sugar levels on target.