Diabetes occurs quite often in both men and women. But women are given this diagnosis more often. In recent years, the number of cases when diabetes mellitus is given to pregnant women has increased. What is the reason for this change? Are there any differences in the course of the disease in different sexes?
What is diabetes in women?
There are twice as many women with diabetes as men. This fact is explained by the fact that the female body is physiologically prone to abdominal obesity, when fatty deposits are concentrated in the abdomen. That abdominal obesity is considered one of the causes of diabetes. The risk of getting sick is also associated with hormonal changes during of pregnancy and menopause, which are an additional provocative factor.
Symptoms of diabetes in women and men are almost the same. But there are specific problems that are peculiar only to the weaker sex. Diabetes is the cause of the development of fungal infections and vulvovaginitis, since elevated sugar violates the vaginal microflora. Treatment with conventional methods first gives a result, but then the disease recurs, and the drugs no longer work. The infection can spread beyond the vagina, and then the woman appears cervical erosion.
In addition, diabetes can be the cause of hormonal infertility, when ovarian dysfunction, polycystic disease develops and ovulation problems develop on its background. Excess insulin in diabetes of the second type, when the body continues to synthesize it, and the cells can not absorb, leads to an increase in ovarian testosterone production. This leads to a violation of the menstrual cycle and the appearance of acne on the background of oily skin.
Diabetes during pregnancy
Diabetes mellitus that began during pregnancy is called gestational. If diabetes was diagnosed in a woman before pregnancy, it is not classified as gestational. The disease is associated with hormonal changes in the body of the future mother, due to which the amount of glucose in the blood increases. The body is unable to dispose of it, and this has a bad effect on the health of the woman and the unborn child.
What is dangerous gestational diabetes?
Statistics show that the number of cases of gestational diabetes has increased significantly. This is due to the adoption in the Russian Federation of the National Consensus on gestational diabetes mellitus, where the rate of glucose during pregnancy is much less than in the normal state.National consensus is consistent with global studies that also set a lower rate of blood sugar in pregnant women. Therefore, women who, according to the old standards, had an acceptable level of glucose, have now moved into the category of diabetics. The revision of indicators at the global and Russian levels is explained by the fact that new research in this area has proved the negative impact of high blood sugar on the organism of the mother and child.
What can happen if the expectant mother has gestational diabetes? First, the risk of developing macrosomia (large mass) in the fetus and, as a result, birth injuries increases. Injury occurs also due to dystocia (sticking) of the baby’s shoulders , which are excessively large in diabetes. Jamming of the shoulders, neck and head is extremely dangerous, because the child suffers from severe pain and oxygen starvation, and the mother gets breaks in the perineum and cervix.
In addition, gestational diabetes mellitus can cause premature birth and pre-eclampsia, when a pregnant woman’s blood pressure rises and does not get off, internal and external edemas, protein in the urine appear.
What tests need to pass?
The national consensus on gestational diabetes has established the following standards for glucose levels: it should be no more than 5.1 mmol / l in plasma taken from a fasting vein. Even a single excess of the indicator serves as the basis for the diagnosis. In order to identify patients with gestational diabetes, when registering for pregnancy, expectant mothers pass blood test for glucose.
In addition to the fasting blood test, at the period of 24-28 weeks, all pregnant women are given a glucose tolerance test, or a glucose load test. To do this, the expectant mother should drink a glucose solution on an empty stomach, and then she will measure her blood sugar level. An hour after taking the solution, the sugar should be no more than 10 mmol / l, and after 2 hours – no more than 8.5 mmol / l. If the rate is higher, it also indicates the development of gestational diabetes.
Blood tests for glucose during pregnancy must pass, as the symptoms of diabetes may be absent. If they still exist, they do not practically differ from the signs of ordinary diabetes: future mothers complain of increased thirst, excessive urination, long healing wounds and cracks in the skin.
Treatment of diabetes in pregnancy
Treatment of diabetes begins with non-drug methods: the expectant mother is prescribed a diet and exercise. Dietary nutrition must comply with the treatment table number 9 and involves the exclusion of “fast” carbohydrates. The load should be gentle, but effective: the best options are swimming and walking. Swim and walk need between meals. In this case, obtained with food glucose will be split and completely absorbed by the body.
To control blood sugar, assess the effectiveness of the diet and physical activity, patients should measure glucose several times a day – after waking up, before bedtime, and also before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner. If proper nutrition and exercise do not bring the desired effect, and the blood glucose figures exceed the norm, the woman is given insulin injections. Only this drug is allowed during pregnancy. Studies have proven that it is harmless to the body of mother and baby, and the benefits of medication are obvious. Endocrinologist helps to choose the optimal dosage of insulin and controls the process of treating diabetes.
After delivery, sugar returns to normal, but the woman still has the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
Complications of diabetes in men
Diabetes in men, although it is twice as rare as in women, is accompanied by the development of severe complications. As a rule, this is associated with a late visit to a doctor and the rapid progression of the disease because of this. Many men prefer to ignore the symptoms until they become too obvious, while diabetes treatment needs to be started as soon as possible.
In addition, representatives of the strong half more often abuse alcohol, and this aggravates the course of the disease. As a result, according to statistics, heavy diabetes complications (polyneuropathy, retinopathy, diabetic foot, trophic ulcer) in men appear 5 years more often than in women.
Another feature of “male” diabetes is the development of sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are due to the fact that produced ketone bodies inhibit the synthesis of testosterone. In addition, the developing complications of diabetes in the form of vascular lesions and a decrease in the conductivity of nerve fibers lead to a deterioration of blood flow and a decrease in the sensitivity of the genitals.