A chronic, lifelong metabolic disorder of which there is no cure, diabetes is a condition that causes blood glucose (often referred to as blood sugar) levels to spike. This is known as hyperglycemia. Our bodies use glucose for energy, and we get it from the foods that we eat. When consumed, glucose is broken down into energy by insulin, a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. Once glucose is broken down, it is transferred to the cells of the body and used for energy. Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce any insulin, it does not produce enough of it, or the cells do not respond to glucose.
There are two primary types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes is another form of diabetes, which only affects women when they are pregnant, but it does not affect all pregnant women.
There is not one specific cause of diabetes, rather, there are several factors that can lead to the development of diabetes, including a genetic predisposition, poor diet, lack of exercise and pregnancy.
Though many of the symptoms of diabetes are the same for men and women, there are specific symptoms that are unique to women.
1. High incidence of urinary tract infections
Women who have diabetes are more prone to developing urinary tract infections. Infections of the urinary tract develop when bacteria enters into the urinary tract and start to colonize, resulting in an infection.
The signs and symptoms that are associated with a urinary tract infection include increase need to urinate, pain or a burning sensation while urinating and cloudy urine. If severe cases, a fever can also develop. Heightened glucose levels, poor circulation and a weakened immune system that cannot fight off bacteria are all reasons why UTIs are common among women with diabetes.