Diabetes is a group of diseases in which the body is unable to use the sugars and starches (carbohydrates) it takes in to make energy. The body either doesn’t make any insulin or produces too little insulin or in some cases, cannot use the insulin it makes for changing those nutrients into energy. Diabetes can affect people of any age, race, or sex, having any lifestyle. However, it’s a known fact that diabetes affects both men and women very differently, mainly because;

  • Hormones and inflammation act differently in women
  • Women often receive less hostile treatment for cardiovascular risk factors and conditions related to diabetes.
  • Some of the complications of diabetes in women are more difficult to diagnose.

 

Symptoms of Diabetes in Women:

Many symptoms of diabetes are common in both men and women however, a few are unique to women only. These include;

  1. Vaginal and oral yeast infections and vaginal thrush

When infection develops in the vaginal area, symptoms include:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Itching
  • Soreness
  • Painful intercourse

Oral yeast infections often cause

  • White coating on the tongue and inside the mouth.
  • High levels of glucose in the blood trigger the growth of fungus.
  1. Urinary infections

The risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI) is higher in women who have diabetes. When bacteria enter the urinary track, several types of UTIs develop which can cause:

  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Painful urination
  • Burning sensation while urinating

UTIs are very common in women with diabetes because the immune system is often being compromised (because of hyperglycemia).

  1. Female sexual dysfunction

The damage of nerve fibers due to high blood glucose causes Diabetic neuropathy. This can trigger tingling and loss of feeling in different parts of the body, including:

  • Legs
  • Hands
  • Feet
  1. Polycystic ovary syndrome

PCOS may cause a type insulin resistance that results in elevated blood sugar levels and increases the risk of developing diabetes.

Signs of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Infertility

Symptoms common in both men and women

Both men and women may experience the following symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes:

  • Nausea
  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss or gain with no obvious cause
  • Skin infections
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Wounds that heal slowly
  • Patches of darker skin in areas of the body that have creases
  • Irritability
  • Breath that has a sweet, fruity, or acetone odor
  • Reduced feeling in hands or feet

Risk factors for diabetes in women

According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, following women have a higher chance of developing diabetes;

  • Those Who are older than 45
  • Those Who are overweight or obese
  • Those Who have a family history of diabetes (parent or sibling)
  • Those Who are African-American, Native American, Native Alaskan, Hispanic, Asian-American, or Native Hawaiian
  • Those who have had a baby with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds
  • Those who have had gestational diabetes
  • Those who have high blood pressure
  • Those who have high cholesterol
  • Those who exercise less than three times a week
  • Those who have other health conditions linked to problems using insulin, such as PCOS
  • Those who have a history of heart disease or stroke

Treatment of diabetes

Medications

There are plenty of optional medications to manage the symptoms and complications of diabetes. The most common starting medications include:

  • Insulin therapy for all people with type 1 diabetes
  • Metformin (Glucophage), which reduces blood sugar

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes can help manage diabetes. These include:

  • Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoiding smoking cigarettes
  • Eating a diet focused on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Monitoring your blood sugar levels daily

Natural remedies for diabetes

Women with diabetes can try a variety of alternative, natural remedies to manage their symptoms, including the addition of some nutrients into their food. Such as;

  • Fish and shellfish, organic chicken or turkey
  • Healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados
  • Fruits and vegetables—ideally fresh, the more colorful the better; whole fruit rather than juices
  • High-fiber cereals and breads made from whole grains
  • High-quality protein such as eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, and unsweetened yogurt

The diabetics should avoid;

  • Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, desserts
  • White bread, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice
  • Processed meat and red meat
  • Trans fats from partially hydrogenated or deep-fried foods
  • Low-fat products that have replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yogurt

Precautions

Remember to consult with your doctor before trying any new treatments. Even if they’re natural, they can interfere with your current treatments or medications.