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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.

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