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Diabetes risks in women

Does Type 2 diabetes cause breast cancer?


Does Type 2 diabetes cause Breast cancer in women?

“Post-menopausal women with Type 2 diabetes have a 27% greater risk of developing breast cancer”, says the British Journal of cancer. This was after a team [International Prevention Research Institute (i-PRI)] compared 40 separate studies involving 56,000 women with breast cancer and studying the link between diabetes and breast cancer. However, no link between breast cancer and pre-menopausal women or those with type 1 diabetes has been established. Both type 2 diabetes as well as breast cancer are linked with obesity. So, women need to keep themselves fit with a correct BMI by exercising and taking healthy foods to maintain a proper body weight.

Another study result is quite encouraging in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that says Metformin, a widely prescribed insulin-lowering drug for diabetes, may reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in post-menopausal women with diabetes.

Who is under risk?

The incidence of diabetes is at least 2 to 4 times higher among African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, and Asian/Pacific Islander women than among Europeon women. The risk for diabetes goes up with age. So, the number of women at high risk for diabetes and its complications are showing an upward trend.

Diabetes and Women's body

A woman’s hormone keeps on fluctuating throughout the menstrual cycle and just before periods the blood sugar value increases; that is when the estrogen levels are high. Premenstrual symptoms cause food craving especially chocolates and sweets; that is during when the progesterone hormone is high. So, it becomes important to check blood sugars often, find the pattern and adjust the insulin dosage and type of food intake accordingly.

Pregnancy resulting in a diabetic woman, type 1 or type 2, is considered a high-risk pregnancy; means special care is to be taken. It is important to maintain the blood glucose level as near to normal before and during pregnancy. At each stage of pregnancy, the body undergoes a lot of changes and so also diabetes management ways may differ. Meal plan and physical activities need adjustments. Glucose in a pregnant woman's blood passes through to the baby. If the blood glucose level is too high during pregnancy, so will be the baby's glucose level before birth. An uncontrolled blood glucose level during pregnancy may result in still births or birth defects in babies.

Similarly, it is quite a challenging time for a diabetic woman going through menopause (peri-menopause) because of the hormonal imbalances that trigger menopausal health issues like weight gain, moodiness, sleep problems, low libido, infections, hot flashes, incontinence etc can also raise or lower blood glucose levels.

Diabetes symptoms to watch

Extreme thirst, Need to urinate often, Tiredness and lethargy, Blurred vision, Slow or inadequate healing of cuts or sores, Itchiness and discharge from the vaginal area, Decreased libido, Thrush, yeast infections are some common symptoms to be watchful.

Other than these there are two important conditions to be aware of;

1. Gestational diabetes: (form of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy) whose symptoms are same as type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This is notable in 3% to 5% of pregnancies. Though this vanishes after childbirth, the individual is likely to develop diabetes later in life.
2. Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS (a condition in which the ovaries have a larger number of cysts than normal). The cysts are under-developed follicles containing eggs. PCOS may be linked with higher levels of insulin in the body, that is more common in people who are overweight and people with type 2 diabetes. Whilst a diagnosis of PCOS itself does not mean a person has diabetes, it is linked with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

So, women at any stage of life, by remaining active, eating right, and keeping fit with an appropriate BMI, can keep their blood glucose under control and hence keep the complications arising due to diabetes at bay!!.

Watch the Video: Diabetic Retinopathy

Life is not over ...


“Life is not over because you have diabetes.
Make the most of what you have, be grateful.”

~ Dale Evans Rogers

Disclaimer: The above content is provided for information and awareness purpose only. It is not prescriptive or suggestive or meant to replaces your qualified physician's advice or consultation.