Diabetes is a metabolic disease that manifests when an individual’s insulin levels are irregular. The symptoms of diabetes can have a considerable influence on the lifestyles of both women and men alike. However, while this disease afflicts patients of both genders, there are symptoms of diabetes in women that are unique to their gender. Many women wonder what they are, and also wonder, “how does diabetes affect a woman sexually?” Below we will answer these questions.
6 Common Symptoms of Diabetes in Women
In the U.S. alone, nearly 15 percent of the female population has a form of diabetes. While this disease may be common, it’s crucial to treat the symptoms of diabetes as soon as possible to lead a healthy and fruitful life.
Not sure whether or not you have diabetes? Here’s a list of the top 6 symptoms of diabetes in women to be on the lookout for to ensure an optimal sense of well-being:
1. Yeast Infections and UTIs
Research studies show that nine percent of patients with diabetes have a UTI at any given time compared to only six percent of those who don’t have diabetes. Yeast infections are also fairly common for women living with diabetes, too.
If you’re dealing with sudden urges to urinate, painful urination, or have a fever accompanied by chills, you may have a vaginal infection. Since diabetes reduces a patient’s circulation, their white blood cells in the body struggle to ward off infections. Any patient with diabetes should strive to obtain regulated glucose levels to reduce their likelihood of experiencing a yeast infection or UTI.
2. Sudden Weight Changes
While obesity is a top risk factor for diabetes, weight gain can also manifest as a result of this health condition. It’s also not uncommon for patients to notice sudden weight loss, too.
In some cases, low insulin impedes the body’s ability to transfer glucose into energy. When this occurs, the body starts to burn through fat and muscle rapidly. Gaining weight may even happen when a patient has their insulin under control because it means a patient’s body can now store sugar, protein, and fat — which all manifest as weight gain.
When a woman experiences poorly regulated blood sugar, she’s likely to feel unenergetic and worn out. This often happens as a result of many diabetes-related symptoms. In fact, fatigue may often be confused for dehydration, which usually occurs when a patient’s thirst levels rise, and they urinate frequently.
Since these are two common side effects of diabetes, diabetic women may experience dehydration regularly that leaves them feeling unenergetic and generally lethargic.
4. Depression and Anxiety
Did you know that the symptoms of diabetes in women can be mental, too? Although doctors aren’t entirely sure of the root cause that correlates mental illness to diabetes, depression and anxiety may manifest when the symptoms of diabetes become too taxing. For this reason alone, it’s vital to manage diabetes effectively. In doing so, a patient will experience an improved sense of health — both psychical and mental.
5. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS and diabetes are comorbid diseases — meaning they often co-occur in patients. Some of the top symptoms of diabetes in women often mimic those of PCOS, too.
Women living with PCOS often find themselves struggling with insulin resistance in addition to the various other side effects that occur with this hormonal disorder. Since weight gain can worsen both diabetes and PCOS, health professionals recommend that women eat a healthy diet and ensure regular exercise to manage their symptoms more effectively.
7. Impaired Sex Drive
When a woman experiences diabetes, she may notice a lower sex drive. But why? Since diabetes interferes with a patient’s blood flow, this translates into an impaired libido when the proper amount of blood flow doesn’t occur in the genital area.
How else does diabetes affect a woman sexually? Below, we’ll delve into the sexual side effects of diabetes that may interfere with a woman’s general health.
How Does Diabetes Affect a Woman Sexually?
Diabetes is one of the most common female health problems experienced by women throughout the world. But while you may be aware that diabetes can cause blood sugar dips or spikes that impact your daily sense of well-being, did you know that it can alter your sexual health, too?
But how does diabetes affect a woman sexually and what measures can you take to keep this unwanted side effect at bay?
When diabetes isn’t proactively monitored and treated, it can stimulate nerve damage, hormonal shifts, and a decrease in blood flow to the vaginal region. These issues, as a result, can cause the following sexual complications in women:
- Lowered sexual desire or libido
- Vaginal dryness that can cause pain or discomfort during intercourse
- An inability to orgasm or maintain sexual arousal
Any women experiencing sexual health issues or any other complications from diabetes should contact their primary care physician to develop a treatment plan that helps get their wellness back on track.
The key to managing diabetes with success is knowing the early warning signs in women to be on the lookout for and proactively striving to lead a healthy life. Diabetes may provoke a myriad of different symptoms, but many patients find it easy to lead a normal life with the proper treatment plan in place.