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Does Diabetes Affect Girls More?

Sustainable Health

Diabetes is probably the one disease most of us are quite aware of. This disorder comes in two flavours – Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 diabetes mostly affects those in childhood and adolescence though it can affect adults too, has no cure and treatment is about the maintenance of proper blood sugar levels through the management of insulin, diet and exercise. Initial symptoms include an increase in thirst, hunger and frequency of urination, bed-wetting without prior incidence, sudden weight loss, mood changes, low energy levels and blurriness of vision. While the exact cause is unknown, the usual reason is the destruction of insulin producing (islet) cells in the pancreas, which results in low/no insulin production, which results in the increased blood sugar, which in turn affects major organ systems and other metabolic processes in the body. Potentially affected areas include the nerves (neuropathy), the kidneys (nephropathy), eyes, feet, heart and blood vessels among others. [1]

Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1 and happens when our bodies don’t use insulin properly, called insulin resistance. Initially an increase in the production of insulin helps, but over time, the pancreas aren’t able to keep producing the amount of (ineffectively used) insulin required to keep blood sugar at normal levels, causing a build up of blood glucose. The outcomes of both types of diabetes are similar. [2]

Managing both types of diabetes requires precise nutrition and meal planning.

This article, published on the 3rd of June 2018, tested the theory that Type 1 Diabetes has a more aggressive disease process in girls than in boys through an analysis involving 4993 boys and girls between 2003 and 2016. The results showed that metabolic instability at diagnosis was greater in girls than in boys, and apparently independent of age. [3]

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20353011
  2. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-2/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29862628
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