Fitness & NutritionHealthcare Tips

Women and Diabetes

May 28, 2021

About 15 million women in the United States have diabetes, which equates to about one in nine. And that means that one in nine women are faced with making major lifestyle changes to maintain good health. 

Making the changes is not easy, but it’s doable. Learn more about diabetes and how to live with it.

The basics 

Type 1 diabetes (often called juvenile diabetes, as it’s usually diagnosed in children and young adults) occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin, which allows your body to use sugar from carbohydrates for energy and moderates your blood sugar level. 

Type 2 diabetes is a more common type and occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or resists insulin. It is most often diagnosed after the age of 35. Unhealthy life choices like not exercising, poor diet, or carrying too much weight can contribute to a diagnosis of Type 2.


Common symptoms of high blood sugar include:


Without treatment, too much blood sugar causes damage to blood vessels, and that’s why diabetics are prone to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, neuropathy, eye disease, and wound issues. As with many diseases, diabetes-related complications are higher for women than men, largely due to their biochemical makeup, including hormones.

Diabetes and women 

Diabetic women are four times more likely to have heart disease, and experience worse outcomes after a heart attack than those without diabetes. Women are also at higher risk of other diabetes-related complications such as blindness, kidney disease, and depression. 

What to look for 

While there is no cure, diabetes is manageable, and we know that proactive prevention is key to chronic issues that take a toll on the body. Some of the preventative measures are listed below.

Current guidelines from the American Diabetes Association recommend regular screening for diabetes from the age of 45—earlier if a person has other risk factors. Women should ask about screening if they have polycystic ovary syndrome or if they are or plan to become pregnant. As always, a proactive approach to chronic conditions can lead to a healthier, longer life. But it is a lifestyle that a diabetic must embrace.

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