Did you know that diabetes affects women differently than men? Although men are more likely to develop diabetes compared to women, serious complications related to diabetes are more likely to affect women. Here are some important considerations for women when it comes to controlling blood sugar and maintaining good health.
Women with Diabetes are at a Higher Risk of Developing Heart Disease
Heart disease is the most common diabetes-related complication. Men with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease and women with diabetes are four time as likely to develop heart disease. Plus, heart disease is likely to occur at a younger age in women with diabetes.
Women with Diabetes are at a Higher Risk for Certain Infections
About 50 percent of all women will experience a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lifetime, but women with diabetes are even more likely to suffer from UTIs due to high blood sugar levels and poor circulation. Vaginal yeast infections are another type of infection that women with diabetes are more likely to experience.
Menstrual Cycle and Women’s Hormones May Impact Diabetes
Monthly changes in hormone levels before and during menstruation can make blood sugar levels less predictable. Long, heavy and irregular periods are potential symptoms of diabetes. In addition, hormonal changes that can cause food cravings may make blood sugar control more challenging during certain times of the month.
Women with Diabetes May Face Challenges Conceiving and During Pregnancy
Diabetes can make it harder to get pregnant and elevated blood sugar can increase the risk of pregnancy-related complications including miscarriage. Diabetes that occurs as a result of pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes, affects up to 10 percent of pregnancies in the United States. Careful management of gestational diabetes is very important for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
More research is needed on the unique medical differences and health needs of women with diabetes. Here are important tips for women with diabetes to promote a longer, healthier life:
- Stay up-to-date with your annual well woman exam and other routine preventive health care services. Early detection and prevention is key when it comes to both heart health and diabetes.
- Choose low-sugar treats like Swee2ooth Super Blends to help satisfying food cravings.
- Practice stress management with activities like yoga, meditation, journaling, gardening, mental health therapy and deep breathing.
- Engage in a regular physical activity routine. Exercise can help support a healthy mind and positively impact blood sugar levels.
- Eat plenty of vegetables. Fresh and frozen produce is low in calories and rich in important vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients essential for women’s health.
- Carve out time for adequate sleep. Try using a smartphone sleep app to help unwind before bed and monitor your sleep habits.