Women and Diabetes

This is the story of Manisha, who's just celebrated her 34th birthday and is a mother of 2, she works in an MNC as an accounts executive.  She works for long hours and is constantly under stress to manager both her professional and personal responsibilities. She visited Total Care Control- Diabetes Care Centre three months ago, complaining of frequent urination and excessive hunger, weight gain and excessive fatigue. I advised her to get the blood glucose level checked. She was hesitant at start, saying she cannot develop this endemic disease. Also, her family had no history of diabetes. When, Diabetologist in Delhi Dr Rajesh Kesari saw her report, her blood glucose level were alarming. She immediately had to start medication along with strong lifestyle modification that included diet plan, physical activity and stress management. After 3 months, she stills follows all the medication and diet, but has her Blood Sugar level under control.
Our country has many such Manisha’s who are not aware that they are suffering from diabetes. India presently has 62 million diabetic patients out of which 29 million are women. People are not even aware that they are suffering from a disease that exposes them to:
  •          Heart attack
  •          Stroke
  •          Amputations      
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  •          Nerve damage
  •          Blindness
  •          Kidney disease

Thus, it becomes imperative to raise awareness about diabetes in Indian women.
Women in India with diabetes die at an average age of 57.4 years. Thus, Indian women with diabetes have an average life of 9.5 years shorter than women without diabetes.

Women more at the risk of diabetes are those

·         who lives in poverty
·         obese/overweight
·         less physical active
·         Stress

As hormones and inflammation respond differently in women it is very difficult to diagnose symptoms of diabetes in them. The unique symptoms of diabetes seen specifically in women are:

                     vaginal infections and vaginal thrush
                     urinary infections
                     female sexual dysfunction
                     polytheistic ovary syndrome

Diabetes specialists  in Delhi and NCR recommend both men and women to watch out for these symptoms of Diabetes:

                     increased thirst and hunger
                     frequent urination
                     weight loss or gain that has no obvious cause
                     blurred vision
                     wounds that heal slowly
                     skin infections
                     patches of darker skin in areas of the body that have creases
                     breath that has a sweet, fruity, or acetone odour
                     reduced feeling in your hands or feet

Pregnancy and diabetes

Preexisting diabetes in pregnancy is also called pregnancy complicated by diabetes. In these cases, women already have diabetes and then become pregnant. Careful monitoring of blood glucose level are to be tracked before and during pregnancy which will results in good outcomes for both mother and child. It is consider as high risk pregnancy      
Pregnancy induced diabetes is called as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs in latter stage of pregnancy, generally develops around 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. This increases the risk to both the mother and the foetus. Women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.

Preventive measures

There are certain lifestyle modifications which can be adopted to prevent or delay diabetes.

·         Lose weight/ exercise
·         Don’t smoke
·         Good nutrition
·         Say no to stress
·         Do meditation
·         Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels
·         Knowledge about symptoms and complications of diabetes.

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