Diabetes is a serious medical condition that affects men and women of all ages. Unfortunately, however, many people are unaware of exactly what this disease is, how it works, and what the more common diabetes symptoms in men are.
To put it in simple terms, diabetes is a disease. It is diagnosed when a person’s blood sugar becomes too high and then remains too high consistently over time.
In normal, non-diabetic individuals, a hormone called insulin allows the sugar that you eat to be turned into energy. If your body is not making sufficient insulin to utilize the sugar you ingest, however, or if your body does not know how to use its insulin supply wisely, elevated blood sugar levels and diabetes can occur.
The Different Types of Diabetes
It is important to understand that every case of diabetes is not the same. Thus, all of the diabetes symptoms in men will not be the same either.
To start with, there is type 1 diabetes. In this type of diabetes, which occurs due to no fault of the sufferer, the body simply does not produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is preventable in most cases. It occurs, most often, when a person’s unhealthy diet and/or lifestyle has led to insulin resistance in the body.
Either type of diabetes is serious, but the good news is that, in most instances, type 2 diabetes is preventable.
Tips for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
As mentioned, type 2 diabetes is, in most cases, fully preventable. So, what can you do to prevent this disease?
To start with, monitor your weight. If you are overweight or obese, then your risk of eventually developing type 2 diabetes is much greater than it is for people at a healthy weight.
This is especially true if you tend to store your weight in the stomach area. Check your weight regularly, and if you become overweight or obese, take steps to improve your diet and exercise levels in order to get to a healthy weight.
In addition to eating smaller portions, make sure that the food you actually eat is healthy and filling in a wholesome way. Eat a diet rich in lean meats, plenty of vegetables, some fruits, and natural foods whenever possible. Too much processed meat, too much sugar, and too many calories can all greatly increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to eating a healthy diet, you will also want to exercise regularly. Even if it’s just walking around the block or taking a fun dance class, regular exercise can greatly reduce your risk of diabetes. Not only does regular exercise help to reduce your weight, which in and of itself can reduce your diabetes risk, but it also helps to reduce your blood sugar levels, which can also help with diabetes prevention.
Another key to avoiding diabetes is avoiding excess alcohol intake. As enjoyable as alcohol can be, it is full of empty calories and sugars that can damage your health and negatively affect your blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, ingesting too much alcohol can cause you to gain weight, which is a risk factor in diabetes. It can also raise your blood pressure and have other negative effects that can contribute to increasing your risk of diabetes.
If you are a smoker, you probably already know that smoking is bad for your health. What you may not realize, however, is that smoking can actually increase your risk of diabetes. Studies show that people who smoke are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers. Thus, if you smoke, do your best to quit, especially if you are already at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
In addition to following all of these tips, you should also know whether or not you are at an increased risk for diabetes already. If you are, then you need to be extra vigilant about seeing a doctor regularly, getting tested for diabetes, and safeguarding your health against this serious disease.
Who is at an Increased Risk for Diabetes?
While everyone can benefit from following the diabetes prevention tips listed above, they are especially important for those who are already at an increased risk for diabetes. So, you may be wondering, who are these people, and are you one of them?
To start with, you fit into this category if you are overweight or obese. Monitor your weight regularly, and if you start to fall into one of these categories, take healthy steps to control your weight and, at the same time, your risk of type 2 diabetes.
You may also be at a higher risk for diabetes if you suffer from bad cholesterol. If your doctor has warned you about your cholesterol levels or has you on medication to manage your cholesterol, then you need to seriously be taking steps to prevent the development of diabetes.
Your age can be a factor in diabetes development as well. While diabetes can and does strike at any age, it is particularly common among people over the age of 45. While you may be able to get away with bad eating and lifestyle habits in your earlier years (even though you shouldn’t), they often have a way of catching up with you as you reach the later stages of life.
Just as high cholesterol sufferers have an increased risk of diabetes, the same is true for high blood pressure sufferers. Thus, if you are working with a doctor to control your blood pressure, you may also want to talk with this health care professional about how you can reduce your risk of diabetes as well.
Keep in mind, too, that people with a family history of diabetes, especially if that family history involves close relatives, like a parent or sibling, are at an increased risk of developing the disease. The same applies to certain ethnic groups, for reasons still unknown. These include:
- African Americans
- Pacific Islanders
- Alaska Natives
- Native Hawaiians
- American Indians
- Asian Americans
The bottom line is that, if you, for one reason or multiple reasons, are at an increased risk for diabetes, you need to be especially vigilant when it comes to watching out for common diabetes symptoms in men and protecting yourself, as much as possible, against the disease.
Common Diabetes Symptoms in Men
With all of that said, it is obvious that you, especially if you fall into one of the high-risk groups, need to be aware of the more common diabetes symptoms.
That way, if you happen to notice any of these symptoms in yourself, you can seek medical advice. Keep in mind, however, that not all people will experience the same or any symptoms. For that reason, regular doctor’s visits and general good healthcare are still necessary, no matter how well you know the symptoms or how watchful you are for them.
10. Erectile Dysfunction
More often than not, when women are plagued with diabetes, they will not experience any sexual symptoms, aside from, in some cases, reduced sexual desire.
Men, however, often do experience sexual warning signs. Men who have problems getting or sustaining an erection upon arousal have a condition known as erectile dysfunction. And, one of the causes of this condition is diabetes.
If you are having erectile trouble, see a doctor right away, and be honest about your symptoms. Even if they are not due to diabetes, you will still want to get to the root cause of your issue.
9. Frequent Urination
Many men who have diabetes report going to the bathroom constantly, much more than they ever have before.
This is often because the body is trying desperately to flush out the excess glucose that it contains.
If you find that you are running to the bathroom way more often than usual, seek out the help of a medical professional.
All of that urinating that diabetes can cause can also lead to severe dehydration. Basically, almost everything that you are taking in is being expelled via urine, causing your body to be severely lacking in water.
Thus, if a doctor tells you that you are dehydrated, ask him or her to check for diabetes. It may just be the root cause.
7. Reduced Semen Output
When men ejaculate, semen is expelled outside of the body.
When the body is not functioning properly due to out of control glucose levels, however, some semen may actually be released back into the bladder in the body’s desperate attempt to regulate itself.
If you have noticed that you are outputting much less semen than usual or if you are having sudden fertility difficulties, it is a good idea to see a doctor to determine if diabetes might be the cause.
6. Extreme Fatigue
The body relies on glucose to get through the day. When your body is not properly regulating or absorbing glucose, as is often the case with diabetes, the result may be extreme tiredness.
If you find that you are having a hard time getting through the day or that you are napping more often than usual, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.
While extreme fatigue can have all kinds of causes, diabetes is one of the most serious, and you will definitely want to be checked for it.
5. Vision Disturbances
Diabetes and the problematic glucose levels that are its result often cause problems with all kinds of organs in the body
One of the most commonly affected organs, as well as one of the ones that is typically affected first, are the eyes.
If you, out of nowhere, experience changes to your vision or blurry vision, see a doctor. Diabetes could ultimately be the cause.
4. Low Testosterone Levels
Have you recently found yourself feeling more emotional than usual? Or, maybe your sex drive is greatly reduced.
Whatever the case may be, if you are feeling a bit “off,” get your testosterone levels checked. If it turns out that your levels are low, this could be a warning sign that you have diabetes, so ask to be checked for that as well.
3. You’re Losing Weight Out of Nowhere
Most of us dream of losing weight without even trying. And, as nice as that may sound, it can actually be an indicator that you are suffering from diabetes.
When the body’s cells cannot absorb glucose properly, you often find yourself losing weight without even trying. And, as welcome as this unexplained weight loss may be, take it as cause for concern.
If you are dropping pounds left and right and don’t know why, it is time to schedule a doctor’s visit.
2. Unexplained Kidney Problems
If you have had perfectly (or at least mostly) healthy kidneys all of your life, but your doctor suddenly starts showing concern for your kidneys and their functioning, ask to be checked for diabetes.
As mentioned, this disease can affect all the organs in the body, including and especially the kidneys. So, if you experience kidney problems, it’s smart to undergo diabetes testing. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
1. Your Wounds Don’t Heal as Quickly
Finally, if you find that bruises, scrapes, and other basic “boo boos” don’t heal as fast as they usually do, check in with your doctor.
The presence of diabetes can slow the healing process and the general immune processes in the body, and slow healing wounds are often your first and earliest indicator that this is going on.
As you can see, diabetes will often alert you to its presence. However, by knowing the signs, watching out for them, and by knowing your risk and seeing a doctor accordingly, you can protect yourself and your health for life.