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Diabetes and Stroke are Related in Women But Not In Men

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Diabetes is becoming more of a common condition nowadays. Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders which can give rise to high levels of blood sugar levels.

Facts on Diabetes

The problem in diabetes is that blood glucose levels remain high in the blood due to either low or inadequate insulin production, poor response of the body cells to insulin or both. Because of this, a person with diabetes can have signs and symptoms such as frequent urination, thirst and frequent hunger.

There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition wherein the body produces insufficient or no insulin. This is also termed as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes because it usually starts during teenage years or your adulthood. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes is a condition wherein the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells in the body do not react to insulin, a condition known as insulin resistance. This is the most common form of diabetes. This type of diabetes can be prevented by losing weight, consuming a healthy diet, getting adequate exercise, and monitoring blood glucose levels. This type of diabetes is usually progressive and it usually worsens over time if not treated. Another type of diabetes is gestational diabetes, which usually affects women during pregnancy. During pregnancy females with gestational diabetes are unable to produce enough insulin that will transport increased glucose levels into the cells, thus increasing glucose levels in the blood. Gestational diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease, which means that it is a disorder that affects the way nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins and fats are being assimilated and broken down in the body. We take in food which is later broken down into glucose that finds its way to the bloodstream. Cells utilize the glucose which is from the food that we eat, however glucose cannot enter the cells when insulin is not present; insulin is the hormone responsible for letting in glucose into our cells. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and gets released after eating, when food reaches the stomach and the intestines.

Diabetes is diagnosed through fasting blood glucose, A1C tests and oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT). A fasting blood glucose of 126 mg/dl means diabetes while a fasting blood glucose of between 100 mg/dl and 125.99 mg/dl means prediabetes. A A1C test of at least 6.5% means diabetes while a level between 5.7% and 5.99% means prediabetes. A OGTT result of at least 200 mg/dl means diabetes while a result between 140 and 199.9 mg/dl means prediabetes.

Diabetes can give rise to eye complications such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy and others. It can also lead to neuropathy, ulcers, gangrene, skin infections and skin diseases. Heart problems can also ensue such as ischemic heart disease; kidney problems, eye problems, heart attacks and stroke can also ensue. Other complications include depression, anxiety, some mental health problems, hearing problems, gum disease, gastroparesis, ketoacidosis, neuropathy, peripheral artery disease, infections, erectile dysfunction, and impaired wound healing.

Diabetes and Stroke in Women

New research by researchers from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA has shown that diabetes in women is associated with an increased risk for stroke in women, but not in men. The results of this study are published in the Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes). The researchers investigated the associations of different levels of HbA1c with incident stroke risk among 10,876 male and 19,278 female patients with type 2 diabetes in the Louisiana State University Hospital-Based Longitudinal Study (LSUHLS). After 6 years, 2,949 incident cases of stroke were identified. Stroke is more common among men but is more severe in women. Thus diabetic women should take precautions against stroke.

You can find out more about stroke and diabetes in the other articles on this site.