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Type 2 diabetes is a health condition caused by imbalanced blood sugar. Type 2, is a specific type that occurs when the body loses its ability to use insulin to process sugar that a person eats.
It is important to be able to recognize changes in your body so that you can seek treatment before the condition gets worse. We are going to look at the general and specific symptoms of type 2 diabetes in women.
Early Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
Women who get diabetes tend to have a higher risk of severe complications. This is because they are less likely to notice their symptoms and seek treatment. Many women may go years without realizing that they have it.
In the early stages, excessive thirst and frequent urination is common theme. If you have diabetes, high levels of glucose pull fluids out of your cells, making you feel thirsty. People respond to this by drinking more, which just makes them have to urinate more. It’s a never ending cycle.
Another issue caused by the altered fluid levels throughout the body is blurred vision. High blood glucose causes fluid to collect in the eye, so the lenses begin to swell. This creates temporary blurry vision that comes and goes at random times.
You will also notice injuries take longer to heal. Even a small scrape or scratch may take weeks to heal in full. While healing, wounds tend to get infected more often in diabetic patients.
The body needs glucose for energy, but in diabetic patients, sugar sticks around in the blood instead of being metabolized for energy. This causes patients to feel constant fatigue even when they are well rested.
Because the body is craving energy, you may feel abnormal hunger even after eating. When the issue with glucose metabolism worsens, people might even begin to experience unexplained weight loss.
Dangerous Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar
Though diabetes is mostly a problem because it causes high blood sugar, diabetics who are on medication also risk dangerously low blood sugar.
This is a medical condition called hypoglycemia, and it can be extremely dangerous. If you are regularly noticing the following symptoms, it is best you seek medical treatment. These symptoms include:
- fast heartbeat
- increased hunger
Long-Term Symptoms Caused By High Blood Sugar
Diabetes symptoms are not just limited to the immediate effects of high blood glucose. Chronic high blood sugar causes damage to many regions of the body.
It can be rather problematic to the circulatory system, so people have an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots. Poor circulation can lead to blocked blood flow in the limbs, potentially resulting in tissue death that requires amputation.
Going without treatment will possibly result in a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, glaucoma, colon cancer, and bladder cancer.
Damage to the nerves can cause unpleasant tingling or numbness, and over time, nerve damage may result in blindness or other issues.
Ways That Diabetes Symptoms Are Different in Women
So far, the symptoms being discussed can happen in men and women. However, the disease can actually present itself differently depending on your body. Hormonal and physical differences mean that high blood sugar can cause different symptoms to develop. Here is how symptoms of type 2 diabetes in women are different.
Women with type 2 diabetes often have higher rates of yeast infection. This happens because the excessive amount of blood sugar encourages the overgrowth of the Candida fungus responsible for yeast infections.
If a woman has a yeast infection, she may notice itching in the vagina and vulva, thick white discharge, soreness, and painful sex.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Diabetes in women may be further complicated by polycystic ovary syndrome. This is a disorder that is caused by unusually high levels of male hormones, and it causes weight gain, irregular periods, depression, and insulin resistance.
Women who develop diabetes after having PCOS tend to suffer from more severe PCOS symptoms.
Urinary tract infections
Diabetic women are far more likely to get urinary tract infections than in men because women have a shorter urinary tract.
Type 2 diabetes compromises the immune system, making it easier for infections to flourish in the urinary tract. This leads to urges to pee, painful urination, and cloudy or bloody urine.
Women who are pregnant while they have diabetes suffer from an increased risk of pregnancy complications.
High levels of blood glucose and ketones can affect the development of the baby, resulting in cognitive impairment, birth defects, developmental delays, and increased birth weight.
Childbirth may become more dangerous for the mother too because diabetes causes high blood pressure that may result in strokes or heart problems.
If ever you’re in doubt of whether you should visit the doctor or not, go! It’s better to be safe then sorry.