Diabetes is a condition that’s affecting more and more Americans with every passing year. The reasons for this are not well understood, but it’s clear it’s tied to the growing epidemic of obesity. Even as the overall occurrence of this condition increases, there remain specific concerns for women related to diabetes. While this condition impacts men and women equally, the results are not the same. Men and women experience the condition differently and have different concerns. We’re going to explore the occurrence of diabetes and how women are affected by this condition.
How The Different Types Of Diabetes Affect Women
Any discussion of diabetes starts with building an understanding of the condition and how it works in the body. Two types affect both men and women. These conditions are appropriately called Type I and Type II diabetes. These forms of diabetes have the following properties:
- Type 1 Diabetes – Those with this condition do not naturally produce insulin. Insulin is critical to your body’s ability to convert sugars into the energy you need to live. These patients have to take insulin daily to live.
- Type 2 Diabetes – The body’s ability to produce insulin is impaired in those with Type 2 Diabetes. It’s common for patients with this form of diabetes to take supplement pills or injections to provide the additional insulin required for daily living.
In addition to these common forms of diabetes, one form strictly affects women. This is known as gestational diabetes and occurs during pregnancy. In most cases, this form will pass once the child is born. Even so, those who experience gestational diabetes in pregnancy are more likely to develop diabetes later in life. Their children are also at an increased risk of diabetes.
Women who live with diabetes have higher health risks than men. They see an increased risk of heart disease and a reduced risk of surviving a heart attack. When they experience a heart attack and survive, their expected quality of life is much lower. Diabetes also produces a greater risk of blindness in women than in women. They’re also at an increased risk of depression. In a circular case, those women who have depression before developing diabetes are more likely to do so.
There is also a racial element to women’s concerns with diabetes. Those of certain ethnic backgrounds experience greater concerns than others. Amerindian, Alaskan Native, African-American, and Mexican-American women represent the highest cases of diabetes in the United States. It is slightly less common in women of Asian descent. Women of these ethnicities should be more vigilant about watching for the signs of diabetes and work closely with their physicians.
Your Women’s Health Care Specialist Can Help
Contact your women’s health care provider to get specific information about your risks of diabetes. They’ll walk you through a medical and family history to identify your risks. Once these have been established, they can evaluate your lifestyle and help you develop a life plan that will reduce the chances that you’ll develop diabetes in your lifetime. If you already have diabetes, they can help you take steps to treat the condition and avoid the more serious consequences.