Diabetes – the world’s fastest chronic condition. It is common for people to know at least one person with diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), at least one in eleven adults has diabetes. In 2015, there were more than 415 million recorded cases of diabetes in adults. IDF projects a surge of 642 million adults with diabetes by 2040.
What must be considered is the fact that diabetes evolves into higher risks of heart disease, and a range of problems linked to impaired circulation like nerve damage and eye disease. With these possibilities, the given projection will lead to an alarming diabetes-related expenditure of over $ 802 billion.
The presented figures go beyond affecting the world economically. They also reflect the millions of families affected by the condition. More than lost productivity and income, these real-life diabetic rates reflect suffering and lost loved ones.
Proper knowledge of diabetes, its symptoms, and its prevention may lessen these projected numbers.
What You Need To Know About Diabetes In Men
Diabetes in men is the same as diabetes in women. The differences are set on the symptoms and effects.
The body uses different ways to accumulate and retain energy. One of its options is glucose, a form of sugar. The body breaks down food into glucose and sends the glucose into the bloodstream. At the same time, the pancreas produces insulin hormones which stimulate cells to absorb the glucose for energy.
The problem of diabetes comes in when the body can’t properly control the amount of glucose in the bloodstream because of the lack of insulin commanding the use of glucose for energy.
What are the differences between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system trigger attacks to insulin in the pancreas.
Type 2 diabetes happens when the body becomes resistant to insulin’s effects, making the pancreas produce more insulin. Further resistance to additional insulin leads to the rise of glucose levels.
What’s wrong with having high glucose levels?
High glucose levels lead to a vast range of damage in the nerve and blood vessels. These damages cause heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, and gum infections. At critical rates, diabetes can evolve into advanced levels which can lead to blindness and the need to amputate limbs affected by inadequate circulation.
Symptoms Of Men With Diabetes
Diabetes in men can be prevented as long as early stage symptoms are not taken for granted. However, the problem lies on the fact that the symptoms seem normal until they become complications. Early symptoms include the following:
- Weight loss, even without dieting or exercising
- Unusual fatigue
- Numbness in hands and feet
- Tingling in hands and feet
- Frequent urination
Lack of treatment in these early stages can lead to more complications which may be signaled by bacterial infections in the eyelids, hair follicles, toenails, and/or fingernails. Another clue of complications from diabetes are shooting and stabbing pains in hands and feet.
Some symptoms are specific to diabetes in men.
Diabetes in men causes erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is the inability of the penis to respond to stimulus and achieve or keep an erection. It may signal many health problems like stress, smoking, high blood pressure, kidney disease, medication, and nervous system conditions.
The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse stated that 75% of diabetic men suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Smoking damages the blood vessels that essentially feed blood flow into the penis. Men who want to treat symptoms must avoid smoking or kill the habit. Take note that erectile dysfunction may also be caused by medication like anti-depressants and pressure drugs. A simple switch or halt of medication can fix erectile dysfunction. Another consideration when experiencing erectile dysfunction is age.
Men who grow older experience a decrease in sexual drive. It may be that simple.
Though erectile dysfunction may be caused by other things, it is still best to consult a doctor.
Autonomic Nervous System Damage
The Autonomic Nervous System is responsible for controlling the blood vessels’ constriction. Diabetes in men can damage the Autonomic Nervous System. If damaged, Erectile Dysfunction may result due to the inadequate blood flow into the penis.
Diabetes in men can cause the release of some semen into the bladder. This may be signaled by noticeably less semen after ejaculation.
Diabetes in men can cause nerve damage which can lead to urologic issues. These complications include the inability to control urination, urinary tract infections, and an uncontrollable, overactive bladder.
Loss Of Strength And Muscle Mass
Men with diabetes lose muscle mass due to two reasons: Firstly, the kidneys suck in the water from muscles to drain excess blood sugar. Secondly, due to uncontrolled glucose levels, the body breaks down fat and muscle for needed energy. These result to a noticeable weight and muscle loss.
Yeast infections may grow when blood sugar levels are high. Signs of genital thrush include unpleasant odor, swelling of the head on the penis, redness on or around the head of the penis, and soreness during sex.
What can heighten the risk of diabetes in men?
Men who smoke are more likely to become diabetic. Aside from this, men who do not control their cholesterol intake, avoid physical activity, and are physically overweight are more prone to suffering from diabetes complications. Unfortunately, it may also come with age. Those beyond 40 may see and feel some symptoms of diabetes.
Diabetes Can Be Prevented
If you have diabetes, do not fret. According to studies, 90% of type 2 diabetes cases can be avoided or delayed by significant numbers. All it takes is a lifestyle change.
Men who want to avoid diabetes must balance their meals with an equal mix of proteins, vegetables, fats, fruits, and starch. They must eliminate excessive sugar and carbonated drinks in their diet.
Men must do everything to keep their weight at a normal range. Men who are overweight are likelier to become diabetic. Aside from proper diet, they must also turn exercising into a daily habit.
Other conditions brought by diabetes are psychological problems. It is best to consult a professional about feelings and thoughts of hopelessness, anxiety, and depression caused by diabetes.
The prevention of diabetes in men requires shift to a certain lifestyle. If one does not want to suffer from complications caused by diabetes, he must maintain a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise. Some diabetic men may have to take oral medication prescribed by his doctors. Some may also need to have insulin injected. Ultimately, beating diabetes is all about control and proactivity and discipline.