Let’s talk about diabetes symptoms in men…So many articles seem to be geared toward women, but this website is all-inclusive, so let’s do this.
It’s not uncommon for men to feel uncomfortable discussing their health, especially about conditions such as diabetes, depression or sexual dysfunction. But, we now know that this results in shorter (and less healthy) lives for men in the U.S. compared to women.
A recent survey of diabetes experts concluded that the number one reason men don’t talk about or take better care of their health is the fear of getting bad news. This was true across the board, regardless of their race or ethnicity.
Men simply don’t want to hear bad news about their health because it makes them feel vulnerable.
The panel of experts state that the main barriers to good health (and this often is the case with both men and women) are lack of understanding and education of the disease, and the fear of having to change their eating habits, level of physical activity and for men, declining sex life due to developing impotence (a complication of diabetes).
Of course, we have to consider other reasons such as access to health care, limited time to visit their doctors as well as being unable to afford medical care.
BUT…listen up guys, it’s time to talk about diabetes symptoms in men.
Men are at higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes than women.
And Diabetes can lead to serious health complications.
- Unmanaged diabetes can cause heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage.
- The death rate from heart disease is much higher for men with diabetes.
- Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the eye with conditions such as retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, potentially leading to blindness.
- Neuropathy (nerve damage) is also very common. About 50% of diabetics have some sort of nerve damage.
Amputation rates from diabetes-related problems are 1.4 to 2.7 times higher in men than in women with diabetes.
- Many men with diabetes are also affected by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a breathing disorder in which the airway is blocked when the mouth and throat relax during sleep. Often the breathing stops for more than 10 seconds.
Try holding your breath without straining for that long, counting at a normal pace…
Being male puts you at greater risk for OSA. If your wives complain that you’re “snoring like a freight train,” it’s probably obstructive sleep apnea.
- The condition could increase your risk for high blood pressure or even heart attack and stroke if left untreated.
Men who have type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to have low testosterone.
Because of the low levels of Testosterone, men can experience a decreased sex drive, depression and lack of energy.
Other diabetes symptoms in men can cause problems such as:
Lowering of strength due to muscle mass loss.
- If your blood glucose level remains elevated for a longer time, your body will break down fat and muscles for their energy requirement, causing loss of muscle mass and strength.
While this is more noticeable in Type 1 diabetics, it also affects longer undiagnosed and untreated Type 2 diabetics.
Repeated thrush around your genitals and penis itching:
- Genital thrush is characterized by redness, swelling, and/or itching on or around your penis, an unpleasant odor with white curd-like appearance between your penis and skin, and soreness during sex.
And, diabetic men experience erectile dysfunction at earlier ages than men who do not have diabetes.
Another diabetes-related sexual dysfunction symptom in men is reduced amounts of ejaculation, called retrograde ejaculation.
- With this condition, the semen goes into the bladder, instead of out of the body through the urethra. This is due to damage to the blood vessels, which in turn causes nerve damage to the muscles that control the bladder and urethra.
Note: Certain medicines, such as those for high blood pressure (hypertension), depression, stomach ulcers or heartburn, may also cause ED.
If you have diabetes, ask your physician if there are different medications you can take.
Other lifestyle choices that contribute to heart disease and vascular problems also increase the chances of ED.
- Being overweight
- Being inactive
- Heavy Drinking
Experts believe that psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem and fear of sexual failure cause 10 to 20% of Erectile Dysfunction cases.
So, man up guys and take better care of your health.
➡ Find a health care provider you can trust, someone with whom you can have an open discussion.
➡ In addition to the doctor, try to find a friend or family member who can help you adopt healthy behaviors, such as an exercise partner.
➡ Try to increase your level of physical activity and modify your eating habits and portion control (small steps are better than drastic changes all at once).
➡ Last but not least, comply with your doctor’s appointments. Regular professional care is crucial for keeping your diabetes management on track.
Take the “modern man” challenge: Get out, Get active, Get informed.