Men with diabetes

Men and women differ biologically and sociologically. The occurrence and impact of diabetes may also vary slightly between the genders.

A study published in the journal BMJ Open in 2016 found that men are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, after a less relative gain in their weight, than women. The research analysed 480,813 participants. The authors found that men varied less in their body sizes as compared to women, at the time of their diabetes diagnosis. Hence, men need to watch their weight more often than women. The symptoms of diabetes are generally common for men and women, but there are certain symptoms which are more specific to men.

The symptoms include:

• Reduced strength from loss of muscle mass
• Recurrent episodes of thrush around the genitals
• Itching of or around the penis
• Erectile dysfunction

Though there are many symptoms of diabetes among men, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse men with diabetes are at a higher risk for Erectile Dysfunction. The organization states that 20 to 75 percent of men with diabetes have erectile dysfunction. The occurrence of erectile dysfunction hampers their sex lives. The condition on its own can damage the self-esteem of a person, leading to depression, which is again closely linked with diabetes. Men with diabetes struggle with social isolation, depression and sexual dysfunction which are usually difficult topics to discuss openly. But they should not be embarrassed to take help from their family or healthcare provider. Here’s what they can do:

• Tell their doctor what’s going on
• Ask what they need to do to control diabetes
• Ask about other health problems
• Check medication
• Seek counselling

A few changes in daily life like losing excess pounds by eating right and 30 minutes of physical activity will help in controlling diabetes and improve overall health. Finding an empathetic health care provider who provides the right treatment options is essential for overcoming all these problems.

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