Diabetes Related Problems in Men

Men with diabetes suffer more from some diabetes-related health problems than women. The American Diabetes Association reports that:

  • In people who develop diabetes before the age of 30, men develop retinopathy (a vision disorder that can lead to blindness) more quickly than women.
  • Having the main symptoms of peripheral vascular disease (pain in the thigh, calf, or buttocks during exercise) is linked to a two- to three-fold increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or cardiac failure in men with diabetes.
  • Amputation rates from diabetes-related problems are 1.4 to 2.7 times higher in men than women with diabetes.

Men with diabetes also face special concerns like impotence (not being able to have or keep an erection). Men with diabetes can help prevent impotence by:

  • controlling blood sugar levels
  • not worrying (fear of becoming impotent can sometimes be the cause)
  • not drinking large amounts of alcohol, which can cause impotence
  • not smoking, (smoking causes blood vessels to narrow, which can lead to impotence)

Sign of Diabetes

  • being very thirsty
  • weight loss
  • blurry eyesight
  • recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
  • sores that heal slowly
  • dry, itchy skin
  • loss of feeling or tingling in your feet
  • feeling tired
  • frequent urination (especially at night)

Risks That Can Lead  Men to Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Men can develop it at any age-even during childhood. Type 2 diabetes begins when the body can’t use insulin right. There is too much sugar in the blood.

It’s important to find out early if you have type 2 diabetes or if you are at risk of developing it. To find out if you’re at risk, check off each item that applies to you.

  • Men overweight or obese.
  • Men with parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
  • Family background is African American, American Indian, Asian American, Latino, or Pacific Islander.
  • Blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.
  • Cholesterol not normal.
  • Men not very active. Exercise less than three times each week.

Talk to your health care provider about the risks that you checked off. If you are age 45 or older, also talk to your health care provider about getting tested for type 2 diabetes. If your test result is normal, you should then be tested every three years. People younger than age 45 who are overweight or obese and checked off any of the items above should also talk to their health care provider about getting tested for diabetes.

Source: National Women’s Health Information Center