Q:

How do men and women's blood sugar levels differ?

A:

Quick Answer

Women tend to have lower fasting levels of blood sugar than men, explains Anish et al. in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. Blood sugar levels fluctuate more for women and stay elevated longer for women than for men, perhaps due to differences in body mass, according to Diapedia.

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Full Answer

The lower levels of fasting blood sugar for women are correlated with higher levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, notes Diapedia. Estrogen and progesterone affect how the body responds to insulin, the chemical that regulates blood sugar levels, states Mayo Clinic. Women with lower levels of these sex hormones, most frequently postmenopausal women, show higher variability and unpredictability in glucose levels.

Men, lacking these hormones, are more likely to have higher insulin resistance, and therefore higher fasting blood sugar levels, according to Anish et al. After being administered a glucose serum in a study, women had higher glucose concentrations for longer periods of time than men, says Diapedia. This may be explained by the general differences in body mass between men and women and not by other physiological factors. When blood sugar is unregulated in women, it is more likely to lead to long-term health consequences, such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease, than it is for men.

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