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How Diabetes Affects Men Differently

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According to The American Diabetes Association, between 14 and 17 percent of men have diabetes. Men have a slightly higher risk of developing diabetes compared to women but it’s not enough to raise concerns that men should pay greater attention to diabetes compared to women. Both should make sure they are healthy or are proactively managing their diabetes. However, what truly separates men and women are the symptoms they experience when they have diabetes. For men, diabetes can present exclusive symptoms in their bodies.  

Since June is considered Men’s Health Month, we thought we’d focus on how this life-long condition affects men in a couple of unique ways.

Symptoms of Diabetes That Are Exclusive to Men

One of the main differences between men and women when it comes to symptoms of diabetes is that men’s sexual health is often affected. Since diabetes affects other areas of health such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, and the nervous system, the impact can translate into some difficulty. For example, over 50 percent of men with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction (ED). Often times this symptom is one of the early signs of diabetes so if you experience ED frequently, consider being tested for diabetes.

Moreover, men may also experience what is known as genital thrush, which is a fungal yeast infection. This happens when excess sugar in the blood is passed through the urine. Since yeast thrives on sugar, it is more likely to grow when a man has diabetes. The symptoms of genital thrush include redness, swelling, an unpleasant odor, a lumpy appearance, as well as soreness and discomfort during sex.

With high blood sugar levels also comes a reduction in muscle mass for men. Blood sugar levels can lead to muscle atrophy. For those with Type 1 diabetes, a deprivation of insulin may also affect your skeletal muscle. This symptom is especially significant to pay attention to since age is a natural cause of muscle loss and any additional loss will be harmful to the body over time.

Take Control of Your Health Today

If these symptoms sound familiar, seek help from a diabetes specialist. The longer you prolong treatment, the more complicated your condition will become. At the Diabetes & Endocrinologist Specialist of El Paso, we’re committed to ensuring men and women receive proper diagnosis and treatment for their condition. Diabetes often results in dangerous complications when left untreated. All it takes is the right treatment and you can take hold of your diabetes and your health as a whole.


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