Signs of Diabetes in Women vs. Men – What to Pay Attention to?

Signs of Diabetes in Women

Diabetes is a condition that is becoming increasingly more common, currently affecting nearly one tenth of the United States population. Men are thought to develop diabetes more easily than women, but that is not the only gender specific difference when it comes to diabetes. From prevalence to type to symptoms, men and women should have slightly different expectations about the now common condition. Perhaps the most intriguing of these relates to the signs of diabetes in women and men, which are similar yet different in some situations.

Generally explored signs of diabetes in women and men vary little depending on gender. They include feelings of thirstiness and an increase in urination frequency. Weight loss and fatigue are also common symptoms. No one of these occurs more in women than in men, although it is worth noting that it is not uncommon for women to urinate frequently, and so this particular symptom may be easier to overlook when affecting women than men. In terms of fatigue, the symptom can be very vague and easily explainable, and therefore can be a poor indicator of the presence of diabetes in the first place.

Where the differences between the signs of diabetes in women and men can differ is in terms of the early signs of diabetes. These signs are very important to pay attention to, because they can be indicative of pre diabetes symptoms. Pre diabetes is the precursor to the full blown condition and provides a window of opportunity to prompt corrective measures that can delay or outright prevent the formation of the condition. But, identifying the early signs of diabetes is not always easy, and differences in symptoms between men and women can further compound the issue.

In general, early signs of diabetes in women and men together can include dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, and tingling or burning in the lower extremities. Men exclusively may encounter erectile dysfunction, itching around the penis area, thrush in the genital region as well as a reduction in muscle mass resulting in reduced strength. It is not uncommon for men to ignore or brush off many symptoms, especially those that they may find embarrassing to discuss with a health care provider. However, early symptom detection and disease identification are imperative to successful treatment and management.

Signs of diabetes in women can differ as well. While the characteristic symptoms like dizziness, blurry vision, increased urination and increased thirst may also be present, there are additional diabetes symptoms in women that are not found or not often found in men. One of these is an increase in vaginal infection or recurring yeast infections. Women may also be more susceptible to fatigue associated with the development of diabetes and this symptom may be more exacerbated in women. Hormonal changes and an increased feeling of depression are also more likely to appear in women than men.

Women are also exclusively subject to the development to gestational diabetes. This temporary form of the condition occurs when a shift in hormones prompts a change in the way the body responds to insulin. The signs of diabetes in women when the gestational form of the condition is present may not be as easy to identify or may merely be brushed off as related to the pregnancy and not an underlying problem. Tiredness, swollen ankles, nausea, feelings of extreme hunger or thirst, urinating more, hormonal changes and depression, sweet cravings and feeling tired following meals are all symptoms easily attributed to being pregnant. Unfortunately, they are all also considered early signs of diabetes in women or may also be indicative of gestational diabetes blood sugar levels. This is why paying attention to symptoms and changing symptoms is very important.

What is not different between men and women is the importance of identifying early pre diabetes symptoms or full blown diabetes symptoms as quickly as possible and seeking medical advice promptly. The sooner diabetes or pre diabetes is identified, the more successful treatment and management methods become. Additionally, early and proper management also reduces the risk of developing complications of the disease, such as diabetic neuropathy. In this serious complication that is unfortunately very common, the nerve fibers of the body (typically the lower extremities) are severely damaged and can lead to pain and numbness and eventually even paralysis.

The signs of diabetes in women and men are not always easy to identify. Many are easily explained or attributed to lifestyle or other ailments. However, their importance cannot be stressed enough. As symptoms worsen and become more apparent, so therefore progresses the disease. With a healthy diet, regular exercise, a loss in body weight and a reduction in other risk factors, modern medicine has ensured that diabetes can be a very well managed condition. Part of the problem however, is determining that it exists in the first place.