Diabetes is a chronic disease that is characterized by high blood sugar levels. The increase in serum blood glucose can result in numerous signs and symptoms in a person’s lifetime. Although the condition affects both men and women alike, specific symptoms are unique to women only. Naturally, because of the physical structure and hormonal reasons, this article will present these unique symptoms and how to manage them once detected.
Women with diabetes are more likely to have complications later in life, and the mortality rates are much higher compared with men. Women with diabetes have more chances of developing heart disease and hypertension, kidney disease, depression, high cholesterol, and obesity. If women get pregnant, the situation gets more complicated. Gestational diabetes can compromise both the health of the mother and the infant.
Dr. Elizabeth Waterman, PsyD said “Self- compassion and gratitude exercises to increase appreciation for life in the face of obstacles and challenges that arise daily.”
What To Watch Out For
The four cardinal signs of diabetes include increased thirst, always hungry, increased urination, and weight loss. Other symptoms are fatigue, blurring of vision, skin infections, getting irritated, tingling sensation in the fingers and toes, and poor healing conditions of wounds.
In women, there are other objective manifestations that you need to watch out if you already have diabetes.
- Candidiasis – both in vaginal and oral forms. The most common complaint is pain and vaginal itching and discharge. If the yeast infection is in the mouth, the presence of oral thrushes like white patches, difficulty in eating and swallowing, and gingivitis.
- Problems with sexual intercourse – decreased sex drive, and vaginal dryness due to nerve damage.
- Signs of polycystic ovary syndrome-like excessive hair growth on the body, irregular menstrual periods, and severe form of acne.
- Recurrent urinary tract infections because high blood sugar levels tend to leak in the urine making the urinary tract system more prone to bacterial growth.
Dr. James Shaw, PsyD said “Getting told one has diabetes or pre-diabetes could be very stressful and lead to anger, depression and anxiety.”
What to do
The moment you have these signs and symptoms, go to your doctor to determine your blood sugar levels. Your doctor will prescribe medications, lifestyle modification such as watching what you eat and regular exercise.
Oral hypoglycemic medications help lower blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetes, while insulin injections work best for type 1 diabetes. Persons with diabetes should adhere to a strict low carbohydrate, low fat, and low sugar diet. Engaging in activities like regular exercise and preventing from being sedentary can help in the uptake of glucose by the cells for utilization thereby lowering the blood sugar levels.
Controlling your blood sugar should be the primary aim of managing diabetes. The complications are far more dangerous if it’s not being watched. Some complications are eye problems like cataract, stroke, renal failure, peripheral neuropathy, amputation of limbs due to poor healing process, coma and even death.
Being informed and aware of your medical condition is the first step to managing one’s health. If you know what you have and the implications that go with it, you are most likely going to take measures or actions that will prevent you from having the complications, thus prolonging your life. There are lots of health information on the Internet to help you with your condition. Make sure that you also consult with your doctor if you intend to try alternative treatments in managing your diabetes.
According to Dr. Paul DePompo, PsyD, ABPP, “Take one or two steps from that plan in real life to build that confidence further. It is important to face these fears and hold them accountable or else the brain will be tricked in believing that you cannot cope .. which we know you can, because you are still here!”