Diabetes is a health condition that makes your body stop producing enough insulin or can’t use the produced insulin or both. When you have diabetes, the sugar level rises and causes health complications if left untreated.
The main problems of uncontrolled diabetes are potential health issues such as cardiovascular problems, problems with your kidneys, skin and eyes. The disease affects different groups of people differently, like it causes problems of erectile dysfunction men, issues during pregnancy in woman, etc.
In this blog we have discussed diabetes symptoms in men, women and children, along with the best food for diabetes that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Diabetes symptoms in men
Let’s start from the symptoms of diabetes which is common for all men, women and children. The early symptoms if the health issue include:
- Unusual fatigue
- Frequent urination
- Unexpected weight loss, without dieting
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling sensations in hands and feet
If you left these condition untreated, these early symptoms might lead to severe health risks related to your skin, eyes, nerves, kidney, etc.
You must also protect yourself from bacterial infections in your hair follicles, eyelids, toenails or fingernails.
Symptoms of diabetes in men
The most common symptoms of diabetes in men relates to their sexual health:
1. Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction is a sexual problem where a man fails to achieve or maintain an erection. It can be an effect of various other health problems like kidney disease, high blood pressure and nervous or circulatory system issues.
Men having diabetes are at a higher risk of Erectile Dysfunction. Following the numbers of a meta-analysis of over 145 studies, more than 50% of diabetic men have erectile dysfunction.
If you notice ED, think about having a diagnosis for diabetes.
2. Damage to ANA (Autonomic Nervous System)
Diabetes can affect your autonomic nervous system and give way to sexual problems.
Your autonomic nervous system is responsible for the constriction and expansion of the blood vessels. If your blood vessels and nerves in the penis gets affected by diabetes, you might have ED.
Diabetes can probably damage your blood vessels that slows down the blood flow to your male organ. This one is yet another cause of erectile dysfunction in diabetic men.
3. Retrograde ejaculation
Men having diabetes might also encounter problem of retrograde ejaculation. It is a condition when your semen is released into the bladder, resulting in release of less semen during ejaculation.
4. Urologic issues
Urologic issues in diabetic men are the result of diabetic nerve damage. The most common urologic issues in men with diabetes include UTIs (Urinary Track Infections), overactive bladder and inability to hold urination.
5. Seek help from your doctor
If you notice any of these symptoms, seek an appointment with your doctor and discuss these conditions frankly. Norma blood tests can diagnose diabetes and when you are diagnosed for ED, your doctor can discover various undiagnosed issues as well.
Diabetes symptoms in women
Most type and type 2 symptoms of diabetes are common in both men and women. However, there are some early signs and symptoms that show up only in women.
1. 2Vaginal Yeast Infections
Vaginal pain and itching are some usual symptoms of vaginal yeast infections. Some symptoms of vaginal yeast infections are:
- Vaginal pain and itching
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Vaginal discharge
Symptoms of oral yeast infections include
- Redness and soreness
- Trouble swallowing or eating
- Swollen inner cheeks or red gums
- White patches inside the mouth
- Decrease in sex drive
Women having diabetes experience less libido, have blood flow issues to the genital parts, which is responsible for decreased orgasm and sexual response, and diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), which aims leads to decreased sensation and vaginal dryness.
2. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common reason behind insulin resistance and infertility in women. The main signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregularities in menstrual cycle, thinning scalp hair, acne and excessive hair growth on the body and face. The high levels of insulin in a woman can also result in the risk of diabetes. According to several studies, 50% of all the women who have PCOS develop diabetes.
3. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
UTIs or urinary tract infection occurs when a bacteria neters directly to the urinary tract, including areas such as ureters, urethra, kidneys and bladder. The condition is more common in woman as compared to men. Mostly UTIs is seen in woman who have diabetes as the sugar in their urine makes for a perfect breeding ground for the growth of bacteria
Diabetes symptoms in children
Today, with the changing lifestyle, people of any age can have diabetes, including infants and children. We have discussed about the common symptoms of diabetes in children, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes symptoms in children
The most common type 1 symptoms in children and teenagers are:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Weight loss
- Fruity smell on the breath
Girls might have a kind of yeast infection. However, weight loss is mostly the common symptoms showing up before diagnosis.
Diabets U.K ask people to look for 4 Ts in children to identify diabetes in children:
- Thirsty: Your child is consuming more fluids than usual but doesn’t feel satisfied
- Toilet: The child is using the toilet more often, infants are bedwetting or having heavier diapers frequently.
- Thinner: The child starts shedding weight unexpectedly
- Tired: The child feels more tired than usual
Type 2 diabetes symptoms in children
- Frequent urination, specifically at night
- increased thirst
- unexplained weight loss
- itching around the genitals, possibly with a yeast infection
- slow healing of cuts or wounds
- blurred vision, as the eye’s lens becomes dry
Other related signs are of insulin resistance, which include:
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Dark, velvety patches on skin, known as acanthosis nigricans
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes in kids are seen developing very fast over a period of a few weeks. However, the type 2 symptoms develop slowly in comparison to type 1 symptoms. It takes months or even years to get a positive diagnosis.
Being a parent, you should take your child to a doctor, when you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms
Some warning signs you shouldn’t avoid
According to a Diabetes U.K study in 2012, only 9% of parents could identify the four major symptoms of type 1 diabetes. By the year 2013, the number increased to 14%.
Some children do not get proper diagnosis until the symptoms get severe or fatal (in rare cases).
Good foods for Diabetes
No matter how healthy lifestyle you maintain, when you are diagnosed with diabetes, you need to check your food habits to control the symptoms.
We have listed some good food for diabetes that you can include in your daily diet for having a healthy lifestyle.
1. Non-starchy vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables contain fewer carbs in each serving, These food types include asparagus, artichokes, beets and broccoli.
Eating non-starchy greens keep your hunger satisfied for longer period of time, increasing the amount of minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and vitamins you consume every day.
Moreover, these kinds of vegetables are low in carbohydrates and calories, which makes them a perfect food for diabetics.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) categorizes most of the non-starchy veggies as low Glycemic Index (GI) foods at a rank of 55 or less.
In a study of 2011, researchers advised that people having a low-calorie diet including non-starchy vegetables can reverse the symptoms of type 2 diabetes successfully
2. Unsweetened Greek Yogurt
As per some studies, people consuming unsweetened Greek yogurt everyday were at a 14% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Having a low GI score, unsweetened Greek yogurt is replete with healthy probiotics, protein and calcium. It can be a great option to consume Greek yogurt in place of regular yogurt for its low-carbs and higher protein content.
Always check the nutrition labels on the pack before buying Greek yogurt. It is because there are some brands that have higher carbohydrates content as compared to other brands. The reason is added syrup flavorings, fruit preserves, toppers and sweeteners.
The most popular unsweetened Greek yogurt having low GI fruits and nuts include blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
No matter how you consume it, both raw and cooked tomatoes have high amount of lucopene. It is an amazing ingredient that can reduce the risk of heart disease, macular generation, cancer (mainly prostate cancer) in diabetics.
Like various other non-starchy fruits, tomatoes have low GI index.
In a study of 2011, researches inferred that eating around 250gms of raw tomato everyday can reduce blood pressure in people having type 2 diabetes. They also claimed that consuming tomatoes regularly can lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders in people with type 2 diabetes
4. Blueberries and other types of berries
Blueberries are the best antioxidants for people having diabetes as it contains everything healthy, from Vitamin C to fibers. They have most of the highest antioxidants levels of any vegetable or fruit, and can lower the risk of anti-inflammatory properties.
Other kinds of beneficial berries for diabetics include strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
5. Citrus fruits like oranges
The pulpiness of grapefruit and oranges offer a perfect source of fiber. To get the maximum benefits of these fruits, eat the whole fruit in place of having a glass of juice.
In a 2008 study, researchers concluded that consuming citrus fruits can minimize the risk if diabetes in females, but consuming fruit juice, can double the risk.
An average orange has a GI score of 40, whereas unsweetened orange juice has the GI score 50.
The citrus fruit having the lowest GI score is grapefruit, 25.
6. Wild Salmon and fishes rich in omega 3 fatty acids
Wild salmon is replete with omega-3 fatty acids, which lowers the risk of cardiac issues. It is also rich in selenium and vitamin D for healthy skin, hair, bones and nails. Other fishes rich in nutrients are sardines, herring and mackerel.
Since fishes do not contain carbs, they don’t tend to increase your blood sugar levels. Add salmon to your meal for slower digestion or foods, leading to longer period of fullness.
Fish oil is another important source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, seek advice from your doctor before including fish oil into your balanced diet.
7. Walnuts and flax seeds
Walnuts and flax seeds consists of fiber, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. The former consists of alpha-linolenic acid, which is an important fatty acid that enhances heart health and reduces cholesterol levels. These are replete with folic acid, Vitamin E, protein and zinc.
Many other types of nuts offer healthy fats and curbs hunger, but walnuts and flax seeds are most powerful.
In some studies, researchers inferred that consuming nuts on a daily basis can lower the risk of developing diabetes.
Beans are one of the most nutritious foods you will find in nature. High in protein and fiber, beans are a great option for people who are diabetic, but began or vegetarian. They deliver all the essential minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
Having a low GI score, soya beans stands at 16, while chickpeas at 28 and kidney beans at 24.
Based on a 2012 study, beans can be a healthy way to balance the glycemic levels in people having type 2 diabetes. They can also lower the chances of coronary heart disease.
9. Kale and leafy greens
Kale is one of the super healthy greens, which provides around 100 percent of the suggested daily intake of vitamin K and A.
Another kind of leafy greens for diabetics is collard greens than consists of a ton of nutrients.
Kale has chemicals such as glucosimolates that neutralizes substances responsible for cancer. It alsi has potassium which helps managing the blood pressure, thus making it a perfect food for people having diabetes.
10. Lentils, Barley and other whole grains
Whole grains large amount of antioxidants, along with insoluble and soluble fibers. It helps in metabolizing the fats, keeping the digestive track healthy.
People eating barley regularly show lower blood cholesterol levels as compared to people who don’t consume barley. It also keeps you blood sugar levels balanced.
Another good source of Vitamin B, proteins, iron, complex carbohydrates is lentils, which makes it perfect food for diabetes.
As per studies, whole grains can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
In a Nutshell
Diabetes is a serious health condition affecting all age groups. Although most symptoms of diabetes is common for both men and women, there are some diabetes symptoms in men, women and children, that you should know.
When diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential to maintain healthy food habits to control your blood sugar levels. If you are diagnosed with the condition, tell us which of these foods for diabetes works best for you.