Did you know that approximately 10.5% of the American population has diabetes? And more than double that number are estimated to have prediabetes. Since June is National Men’s Health Awareness month, our men’s health Boyd TX specialists thought it would be a good time to share some information about how this common condition affects men. Read on to learn all about the basics of diabetes, common signs and symptoms and ways to prevent it.
What is Diabetes?
Before we get into the specifics of how diabetes can affect men differently than women, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what diabetes is. Diabetes is a condition that affects how the body processes food. Under normal circumstances, the body will produce a chemical called insulin, which breaks down the sugar – or glucose – in food which allows it to be used as energy. When a person has diabetes, his/her body doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to insulin, leading to an excessive amount of unusable glucose.
Diabetes can occur in two forms: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition which is typically diagnosed in early childhood. Type 2 is a condition that occurs because of the body becoming immune or resistant to glucose. This can be due to a person’s blood sugar levels being too high over a longer period.
Symptoms in Men
Studies show that men are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than women. There are several signs to be aware of that may indicate it’s a good time to see your doctor. The following symptoms are commonly seen in men with undiagnosed diabetes:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Decreased libido
- Low testosterone
- Erectile dysfunction
- Significantly reduced amounts of ejaculation (Retrograde ejaculation)
The following are additional symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes that commonly occur in both men and women:
- Unexplained mood changes, especially irritability
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Tingling/numbness in hands or feet
- A sweet or fruity quality to breath odor
- Frequent need to urinate
- Excessive hunger or thirst
Of course, everyone may exhibit signs and symptoms differently. It’s important to see your doctor on a regular basis so that he or she can have an accurate baseline to compare health changes to. If you suspect that you may be showing signs of diabetes, don’t wait – the earlier the diagnosis, the sooner you can begin treatment that may reverse the progression.
It’s important to remember that there are things a person can do to prevent the onset of diabetes. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with prediabetes, the sooner a change in lifestyle is made the better the outcome. With the right plan, diabetes is not a foregone conclusion. Here are some of our top men’s health Boyd TX specialty tips (locations also in Bedford, Benbrook and Lewisville) for preventing type 2 diabetes:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Get 120 minutes of exercise each week
- Eat a fiber-rich, low-fat diet
- Quit smoking
- Stay hydrated
- Get the daily recommended amount of vitamin D
If you are in need of a men’s health specialist, we at Your Family Medical can help. Our physicians are equipped to deliver both passionate care and understanding to each one of our patients. Reach out to us here and speak to one of our caring professionals to learn more. Contact us today and schedule your consultation for a healthier you.