Happy New Year! We're three days in. and you may still be scribbling "4"s over the accidental "3"s on your checkbook dates. It's true – old habits die hard. But how about your new year’s resolutions? January is an ideal time to make up for all the sugar-laden treats you consumed over the holidays. We like to take it as an opportunity to focus on a disease that affects more than 300 million people worldwide: diabetes. For women in particular, this ailment requires knowledge, prevention, and maintenance.

 

Type 1 Vs. Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes occurs in two forms: type 1 and type 2. Here are some of the differences.

 

Type 1

Type 2

Definition

The body is unable to produce insulin, a glucose-regulating hormone, due to compromised cells in the pancreas.

The body has become less sensitive to insulin due to dietary habits, resulting in high blood glucose.

Symptoms

Frequent urination, thirst, weight loss, blurred vision, fatigue

Frequent urination, thirst, slow wound healing, fatigue, blurred vision

Causes

Genetic and environmental causes, autoimmune disorder

Genetic causes, obesity, lack of physical activity

Demographics

Commonly affects children and adolescents

Commonly affects adults and the elderly

Treatment

Insulin injections, exercise, a healthy diet

Weight loss, a healthy diet, exercise, medication, self-monitoring of blood glucose

 

Why Are Women More At Risk For Diabetes Complications?

With diabetes comes an increased risk for certain other medical problems, many of which affect women more frequently than men. 

Depression

Depression in women is twice as likely to occur as depression in men. Unfortunately, having diabetes increases that risk. Taking inadequate care of your diabetes may lead to depression-like symptoms, which in turn can cause a person to feel so lethargic that they do not properly eat to maintain their blood sugar levels. Because of the risk of this cycle, it is important for women with diabetes to take extra care with regulating their blood sugar and monitoring their mood.

Eating Disorders

According to research, women with diabetes are more likely to suffer from an eating disorder than women who do not have diabetes. Women with type 2 diabetes may be more likely to binge eat, while type 1 patients are more likely to be bulimic. Eating disorders can be life-threatening and become even more dangerous when combined with a disease that requires consistently healthy eating, so it is vital that diabetic women seek help if an eating disorder is suspected.

Pregnancy

Is it safe to become pregnant when you have diabetes? Doctors now say yes, but there is a third type of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy: gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes happens when a woman's body cannot produce and use the levels of insulin required for pregnancy. This form does not depend on a previous diabetes diagnosis and can occur in many women around 24 weeks into their pregnancy. Left untreated, it can cause infant weight gain and increase the baby's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Women with diabetes who become pregnant can be at risk for diabetic retinopathy, a sight-threatening disease. With proper diabetes care, however, the risk is dramatically lessened.

 

Living Healthy With Diabetes

It's not easy for a woman with diabetes. We are lucky to live in a world where most of the complications faced by diabetics are well-researched and treatable. Taking action as a woman with diabetes means a healthy diet, regular exercise, and careful blood sugar monitoring. Incorporating natural supplements into your diet, such as Royal Velvet, can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce mood swings. In taking care of your mind and body, you can face diabetes with knowledge and strength.
 
 
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