Diet & Nutrition 4 MIN READ 91 VIEWS April 21, 2022

Telltale Signs of Diabetes in Women

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Signs of Diabetes in Women

Diabetes mellitus refers to a metabolic disease that causes high glucose levels or commonly called blood sugar levels. Glucose is the main source of fuel for your brain and is also a vital source of energy for your cells. This is because your cells use glucose for carrying out various processes in the body. Diabetes can lead to serious health issues owing to the presence of  too much blood sugar. Chronic diabetes includes type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic conditions such as gestational diabetes and prediabetes are reversible diabetes conditions. When your glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be tagged as diabetes, then the condition is known as prediabetes. While gestational diabetes may occur during pregnancy and can be resolved after the child is delivered. If you want to understand other common signs of diabetes in women, read on.

Signs of Diabetes in Women 

Symptoms or signs of diabetes are not the same for everyone, they depend on the level of your elevated blood sugar levels. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes may seldom not experience symptoms of diabetes. However, symptoms tend to be clearer and more specific when it comes to type 1 diabetes. Signs of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in women are:

  1. Frequent urination
  2. Increase in thirst 
  3. Unexplained or sudden weight loss
  4. Feeling extreme hunger 
  5. Exhaustion or fatigue 
  6. Restlessness, depression
  7. Injuries not healing quickly 
  8. Blurry vision
  9. Experiencing frequent infections such as skin, gum, repeated urinary infections, or vaginal infections 
  10. Presence of ketones in the urine. Ketones are automatically produced with the breakdown of muscles and fat that occurs when there is not much insulin. 
  11. Dry mouth and itchy skin 
  12. Numbness or pain in your feet or legs 
  13. Vaginal Yeast infections 

Even though type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it usually develops in childhood or adolescence. While the more common type 2 diabetes can occur at any age but is more common for women older than 40. 

Diagnosis of Diabetes 

Even though symptoms of type 1 diabetes are straightforward there are still many types of diabetes whose symptoms may not be gradually evident. Therefore, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) have come up with some guideline that people can screen for diabetes:

  1. Regardless of age, any woman with a body mass index that is higher than 25 (which is 23 for Asian Americans)  
  2. Women older than the age of 45 should get their initial blood sugar checked. Their level must be screened every three years thereafter. 
  3. Women who have or have had gestational diabetes need to get their glucose levels checked every three years.   
  4. Women who have been diagnosed with prediabetes also need to get their blood sugar levels checked every year. 

Tests for Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes

Given below are some of the essential tests that you must take: 

1. Glycated Haemoglobin (A1C) Test

The Glycated haemoglobin (A1C) test shows your glucose levels for the last three months and does not require you to fast. The test measures the percentage of glycated haemoglobin which is formed when excess blood sugar binds with haemoglobin which is the protein in your red blood cells (RBCs). If the Glycated haemoglobin (A1C) test is either inconsistent, not available to you, not coming accurate in cases of pregnancy, or has a rare haemoglobin variant, then your doctor can also use multiple other tests to diagnose diabetes. 

2. Random Blood Sugar Test

Regardless of the time you last ate, your blood sample will be taken at a random time. If your blood sugar level comes at 11.1 millimoles per litre or higher, then it suggests diabetes. 

3. Fasting Blood Sugar Test

You have to fast for a night and if your blood sugar level after fasting comes less than 100mg/dl, then it is normal. However, if your blood sugar level after fasting rests between 100mg/dl and 125 mg/dl, then it is prediabetes. A blood sugar of 126 mg/dl or higher on two different tests is considered diabetes. 

4. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

The oral glucose tolerance test is another test where your blood sugar level is measured after overnight fasting. In this test, however, you need to drink a sugary liquid and then your glucose is measured accordingly for the next two hours. If your blood sugar level is less than 140 mg/dL, then the reading is normal. However, a sugar level of more than 200mg/dl after two hours indicates diabetes. Moreover, a reading between 140 and 199 mg/dl means prediabetes. 

Conclusion

By now, we believe you have sufficient idea regarding the signs of diabetes in women. As diabetes affects men and women differently, women need to understand the reasons behind it. Women receive considerably less aggressive treatment for conditions related to diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. Some complications of diabetes are quite difficult to diagnose in women. Moreover, hormones and inflammation act differently in them. 

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