Early signs of diabetes in men and women: Do symptoms differ with gender?

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Type 2 diabetes makes up 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases and there is a higher rate of this form of diabetes in men than women. However, women tend to get diagnosed earlier than men and are at risk of more severe complications. But, is there any difference in the symptoms experienced? Express.co.uk scoured the web to find out everything you need to know about diabetes and the sexes.

Two-thirds of type 2 diabetes cases in children and young adults are diagnosed in females.

This could be because the changes of puberty happen earlier in girls than boys, and the fact that the numbers reverse as boys reach puberty suggests that this is the case.

In fact, statistics show that 2.4 percent of men in England aged just 35 to 44 have diabetes compared to only 1.2 percent of women of the same age.

Knowing the warning signs and looking out for them from a young age is important because the condition can go undetected for 10 or more years.

For this reason, more than half of people diagnosed with diabetes already have complications by this point.

So, what are the early signs of diabetes and are they different in men and women?

General diabetes symptoms

Most diabetic symptoms are the same in men and women. The general symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:

  • peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling thirsty all the time
  • feeling very tired
  • losing weight without trying to
  • itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • blurred vision

Do diabetes symptoms differ with gender?

Diabetes symptoms are generally the same in men and women, but there are a few differences between the genders to start with and as the condition progresses.

According to News-Medical Net, men experience loss of muscle mass and genital thrush.

Both men and women can experience serious health complications such as amputation, neuropathy, retinopathy, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease if they don’t manage the condition.

In fact, 45 percent of males with diabetes also develop erectile dysfunction due to nerve, muscle and blood vessel damage.

The fact that men can develop diabetes at a lower BMI with additional complications such as erectile dysfunction and muscle mass loss could be down to the loss of testosterone in later life.

Women have a much greater chance of heart disease, kidney disease and depression, which the medical site says makes it far more life-threatening for women in comparison to men.

Women also get a few different early symptoms such as genital yeast infections, urinary tract infections and oral yeast infections.

Some females get sexual dysfunction and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Diabetes symptoms also change alongside menopause for women because the condition affects how their bodies use insulin.

The combination of the condition with a change in hormones can lead to a further increase in blood glucose, weight gain and problems with sleeping.

Older women, therefore, have a higher risk of developing diabetes than their male counterparts and have a higher risk of life-threatening complications.

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