Diabetes increases the risk of heart conditions and can potentially harm various body parts including eyes, kidneys, feet and skin. Diabetes in men could lead to erectile dysfunction (ED) and other urinary issues.
Diabetes is a condition where your body doesn't produce enough insulin and fails to use the available insulin or both. In people with diabetes, their blood sugar levels may vary significantly. Unchecked high blood sugar levels can result in complications impacting multiple key organs in the body.
The onset of diabetes may be gradual, with only a few discernible symptoms at first, such as frequent urination, weight loss, and fatigue. The two primary categories of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 usually surfaces in children and young adults and brings a swift onset of symptoms. Type 2, on the other hand, generally occurs in adults, though it can also be seen in children and develops slowly over several years.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may go unnoticed until they become apparent. Once identified, type 2 diabetes can usually be managed with the assistance of a healthcare team, Changes in what you eat and how much you move, along with other tweaks to your daily life.
The initial symptoms of diabetes are often missed as they can be subtle or non-specific. Some of the mildest early symptoms of diabetes encompass:
- Constant thirst and hunger
- Unexpected weight loss
- Frequent need to urinate
- Slow-healing wounds
- Visual disturbances
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.
Effective treatment can help prevent complications in those living with diabetes. These complications may cause:
- Neuropathy (nerve damage), primarily in the hands and feet
- Cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure
- Nephropathy (kidney damage)
- Retinopathy (visual disturbances and damage to the retina)
Other diabetes symptoms in men:
Diabetes can also lead to symptoms related to male sexual health, such as Erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is a condition where maintaining or attaining an erection is difficult. Additional stressors, smoking, or certain medications can also trigger ED.
Males with diabetes are at an elevated risk of developing ED. A study revealed that 35-50% of men with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction. This study included males with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, with no significant differences in results.
If you have diabetes and develop ED, diabetes could be the root cause. Diabetes can adversely affect the autonomic nervous system (ANS), leading to sexual issues. The dilation and constriction of the blood vessels are managed by ANS. ED can develop if diabetes causes harm to the blood vessels and nerves within the penis.
Diabetes can also lead to retrograde ejaculation in males, resulting in some semen being released into the bladder. Symptoms may include a noticeable decrease in the volume of semen during ejaculation or the absence of ejaculation.
Males with diabetes may experience urologic issues due to diabetic nerve damage, such as:
Other sexual issues
If you have diabetes, your testosterone levels might be lower than average. Aging can also naturally decrease your testosterone levels, reducing interest in sex, fatigue and a depressed mood. However, diabetes and obesity exacerbate the likelihood of lower testosterone levels.
Lower testosterone can contribute to ED and other sexual health issues. It might also lower sperm count, making conceiving harder. It also increases the risk of developing Peyronie's disease, or penis curvature, making sexual intercourse challenging and painful.
Type 1 vs. Type 2:
There are no distinct differences in symptoms between males with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as most symptoms are generally the same for both types. The primary difference is typically in the rate at which symptoms become noticeable, and symptoms tend to progress faster in type 1 diabetes.
Complications like ED occur due to high blood sugar levels and can happen in both types if not adequately managed.
Despite these similarities, some differences exist concerning males with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Both types of diabetes can cause low testosterone. However, males with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to experience this issue compared to people without diabetes, as per the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Seeking Help An open discussion with a doctor or healthcare practitioner about ED and other sexual or urologic complications may be beneficial. Simple blood tests can help diagnose diabetes.
Investigating the cause of your ED or other issues may also help you uncover other undiagnosed conditions that may be contributing factors.
Factors that can increase the risk of developing diabetes and its complications include:
Preventing Diabetes Symptoms in Men:
Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes differ. It's more likely to occur in children or teens and those with a family history of the condition. Taking steps like stopping smoking, exercising, managing stress and keeping a healthy weight can significantly lower the risk of developing diabetes.
Treating Diabetes Symptoms in Men:
If you are living with type 2 diabetes, a healthcare team will likely help you devise a treatment plan that includes lifestyle modifications. In many cases, changes like exercise and dietary adjustments can help manage your blood sugar levels. If these strategies are ineffective, a doctor may recommend medications to keep your blood glucose levels in check and prevent urological and other diabetes-related complications. If you develop diabetes-related problems, medications are available to help treat them.
For those newly diagnosed with diabetes, finding ways to manage their symptoms is essential for improving their quality of life. While the first and most crucial step of diabetes management is getting connected to a medical professional who can prescribe a personalized treatment plan, there are lifestyle changes that a person can make to improve their condition on their own. Examples of lifestyle changes that men can take to regulate their diabetes better include:
- Making dietary changes: What we eat greatly impacts our overall health. Foods high in refined sugar, such as desserts, pasta, bread, and processed foods, can cause sharp increases in our blood sugar levels after consumption. Strive for a balanced intake of starches, whole-grain carbs, fruits and vegetables, fats and proteins.
- Increasing daily exercise levels: Exercise helps to regulate our body better. Participating in daily exercise (even non-aerobic exercise such as walking, yoga, or tai chi) can positively affect your overall health and diabetes symptoms. It can help you feel better, manage stress and assist in maintaining or achieving a healthy weight.
- Practicing proper foot hygiene and care: As the furthest extremity, it is common for men with diabetes to experience symptoms of neuropathy and foot pain earlier than other areas of the body. Practicing excellent foot hygiene and wearing diabetic socks for men are some ways to reduce the risk of injury and infection in the feet.
- Regular tracking of your blood sugar levels: This can aid in recognizing the signs of either elevated or low blood sugar levels. Documenting this information can help you take appropriate action based on signs of high or low blood sugar levels.
- ED Treatment: Medications designed to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), such as tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra), and sildenafil (Viagra), could be beneficial for your condition. Another possible treatment involves injecting hormone-like compounds known as prostaglandins into the penis. If low testosterone levels are an issue, you might be referred to an urologist or endocrinologist. Low testosterone can result in decreased sex drive, loss of body mass, and feelings of depression. By discussing these symptoms with your doctor, you may be able to access treatments like testosterone injections, patches, or gels.
Discuss all medications and supplements with your healthcare provider to avoid adverse drug interactions. Communicate any changes in your sleep patterns or other lifestyle habits with your healthcare provider.
Taking any prescribed blood sugar or insulin medications as directed is essential. This can help stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing complications and unwanted symptoms.
How can diabetic socks for men help?
As a leading provider of diabetic socks for men, Viasox is proud to be the first fancy diabetic sock company on the market. Designed to be incredibly stretchy and comfortable to prevent the creation of pressure marks on the calf muscles or feet, our diabetic socks are made from a blend of high-quality fabrics such as polyester, cotton, lycra, and bamboo charcoal. These can provide additional protection and support to the feet while encouraging adequate blood flow. We are proud to offer our customers a selection of the best diabetic socks for men on the market.
Features and health benefits of our diabetic socks include:
- Flexible and stretchy design capable of accommodating any leg size.
- Reducing the risk of developing foot ulcers and sensitive feet.
- Additional arch support to help with weight distribution.
- Seamless toe socks to prevent irritation and rubbing.
- Lack of binding pressure from top to bottom.
- Breathable blends of fabrics, including antimicrobial bamboo charcoal.
- Eliminating uncomfortable calf marks and pressure points.
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