Women and Type I Diabetes
While diabetes strikes men and women about equally,
the disease poses specific challenges to women.† For example, heart disease
risk is greatly increased in men and women with diabetes, but even mores in
women.† Men with diabetes double their risk of heart disease over men who don't
have diabetes.† Women with diabetes quintuple their risk of heart disease
over women who don't have diabetes.
Women with diabetes also tend to have higher blood
pressures and more problems with cholesterol than men with diabetes.† In addition,
women have to deal with wider blood sugar swings exacerbated by hormonal changes.†
Some women have more low blood sugars right before their periods start, whereas
other women have more high blood sugars.† This is yet another reason that blood
sugar control has to be monitored so frequently, carefully and individually.†
In many instances, women must make adjustments in either their diet or their
insulin dose during the week before their menstrual periods.
Tight glucose control is also crucial before and during pregnancy in
order to prevent harm to the fetus and to the mother.† Other steps women--and
men--with diabetes can take to help prevent heart disease include maintaining
a healthy weight, watching their diet and exercising.
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Created: 8/3/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.
Reviewed: 6/30/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.