Diabetes is the metabolic disorder that happens when your blood sugar or glucose is too high. Glucose is used by the human body for energy and the pancreas present in the body produces a hormone known as insulin that helps in converting the glucose from the food you eat into energy. If the body does not produce enough insulin or does not produce any insulin at all, your body can become resistant to the insulin and as a result of that the glucose will not reach your cells to be used for energy. This is the condition known as diabetes. There are two main types of diabetes-type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes signs and symptoms common in men and women
- Excessive thirst and hunger
- Frequent urination (from urinary tract infections or kidney problems)
- Weight loss or gain
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing wounds
- Skin infections
- Darkening of skin in areas of body creases (acanthosis nigricans)
- Breath odor that is fruity, sweet, or an acetone odor
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
Prediabetes (pre-diabetes) is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but a person is not yet diabetic. Prediabetes and high blood glucose levels a risk factor for developing diabetes and it can also result in other health problems like heart disease and other medical problems.
Warning signs and symptoms unique to men
- Erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence)
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Low testosterone (low-T)
- Decreased sex drive (decreased libido) and sexual dysfunction
Risk factors for diabetes in men
Men are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than women. There are some risk factors which may increase the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Family history: first degree relative with diabetes
- Ethnicity: increased risk for Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans
- Fat distribution: more fat around the middle
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise and/or not physically active)
- Excess alcohol intake
- Lack of sleep
- Low testosterone in men
- Unhealthy diet with high calorie content containing sugars and lacking beneficial compounds to increase wellness
How diabetes affect men differently
Men who suffer from type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to have low testosterone in comparison to men do not have diabetes. because of this low level of testosterone, men with diabetes may show unhealthy symptoms which are not seen in case of women. Because of low testosterone, men suffering from diabetes may find lower sex drive, depression, lack of energy and reduce muscle mass. Low testosterone can also result in male specific sexual problems and neurological problems. Erectile dysfunction or inability to get or maintain an erection is a common symptom in case of men suffering from diabetes. People who suffer from diabetes experience this sexual problem at earlier ages in comparison to men who do not have diabetes.
Men were suffering from diabetes may also display sexual dysfunction symptom such as reduced amounts of ejaculation, or retrograde ejaculation. This is a condition where the semen goes into the bladder rather than through the urethra. Men suffering from diabetes may also find that they are blood vessels are damaged, nerves are damaged and damage to the muscles that control the bladder and urethra.