Diabetes is one of the most common ailments that affect at least 2 out of 10 adults worldwide. It is mainly caused when blood sugar increases. When your body does not produce enough insulin or does not have it at all, glucose cannot reach the cells. This results in diabetes. It is also caused due to sedentary lifestyle and genetic factors in some cases. Anyone can develop diabetes, it produces different symptoms to men. Initially, the symptoms of diabetes are not clear. In some cases, an individual may have type II diabetes before it is diagnosed. Type II diabetes is the most common type of diabetes that affects most aging men. This write up will primarily talk about diabetes symptoms in men and ways you can prevent it right away.
Types of diabetes
There are two types of diabetes:
- Type I diabetes: In this type of diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin as the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells from the pancreas. This condition can be treated by taking insulin. Type I diabetes can be diagnosed during the early days of childhood.
- Type II diabetes: In this condition, the cells cannot utilize glucose for energy production. It occurs when the glucose level increases and the cell becomes resistant to insulin.
How to diagnose type I and type II diabetes
The doctor may order urine and blood test to diagnose your condition. There are various types of blood tests to diagnose diabetes.
- Fast blood sugar test: After keeping fast for at least 12 hours, the glucose level is checked in the blood. If it is increased, it means that the individual is having diabetes.
- Hemoglobin AC1 test: This test helps the doctor in analyzing the average blood glucose level in the last 2-3 months. The normal range for this test is between 4-5.6%. If the range is from 5.7-6.4% it means the person has diabetes. The high level of HbA1c more than 6.5% indicates worsening of diabetes or lack of response to diabetic treatments.
- Blood sugar test: In this test, the blood sugar is tested. But the number may differ as it is dependent on what you ate recently.
- Oral glucose tolerance test: This test is rarely performed as it measures only the body’s response to a great amount of glucose.
According to a study conducted in 2016, men are more prone to diabetes than women. The study showed that men varied less than women at the time of the diagnosis. This study also measured waist circumference that became a sign of health risks. As per the results:
- If the circumference of the waist is 9cm larger in men suffering from type II diabetes than to those who do not have diabetes.
- The women would get a diagnosis of type II diabetes after an increase of 14cm or an increase in BMI of 5.
A BMI above 30 is indicative of obesity. Men with type II diabetes who had an average BMI are under the age of 32. While women had an average BMI around the age of 34. Women have a higher BMI than men when they expand diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes
The early diabetes symptoms in men develop gradually and one may not be aware of it. The early diagnosis helps in protecting an individual from heart ailments. If a proper diagnosis is taken in the early stage, it can help you in preventing complications.
Mentioned below are some of the early symptoms of type I diabetes. If you notice any following symptoms, consult a doctor immediately:
- Increased urine output
- Increased weight loss
- Redness in gums
- Increased appetite
- Numbness in hands and feet
- Recurrent infection
The above-mentioned symptoms are mild and if remained untreated may cause health issues with eyes, nerves, and skin. In most cases, the symptoms of diabetes are the same in both sexes. The main differences occur when this condition occurs in men:
1. Erectile dysfunction
This condition is the inability to attain an erection. It can be the result of various health issues such as kidney disorder, increased blood pressure and nervous system conditions. Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by smoking, stress, and medication.
2. Reduction in muscle mass
The increased blood sugar levels may lead to breaking down of the body and fat for energy. This is common in men suffering from type I diabetes that causes weakness in the muscle. This condition may lead to infertility.
3. Retrograde ejaculation
Men suffering from diabetes can also experience retrograde ejaculation. In this condition, the semen enters the bladder instead of coming through the penis during sexual intercourse. Even after reaching climax, an individual might ejaculate less or no semen at all.
Feeling lethargic every day can be a symptom of diabetes. An individual may feel tired, lazy and gets frustrated. One may experience disturbed sleep, sugar crashes, and strained kidneys.
5. Blurred vision
Patients with diabetes may experience an issue in their blood vessels and lens of the eyes. If left untreated, this may lead to diabetic retino-therapy. The increased sugar in the blood vessels takes fluid away from the tissues of the eyes. Once the blood sugar level is maintained, the vision becomes normal.
6. Accidental weight loss
An increased weight loss of more than 5% within 6 months can be a sign of diabetes. There are numerous reasons why an individual reduces weight during diabetes:
- Loss of sugar due to increased urination.
- When sugar is not absorbed and remains in the blood, it is removed by the kidneys.
- When the body experiences starvation, it responses in such a way that it uses the protein within muscles as energy. The muscle gets broke that may cause an unexpected weight loss.
7. Sensation in your hands and feet
Patients with diabetes may have their nerves affected. They may feel a sensation in their hands or feet. This symptom may get terrible during the night. Hence, it is advised to stay warm during the night. If it is not detected in the early stage, this may cause loss of pain and sensation in extreme. This is harmful as one may not notice minor injuries in these body parts.
8. Slow healing of the wounds
The increased glucose in the blood may affect the nerves and flow of the blood. During this period, it will be difficult for the body to cure the wounds.
9. Excessive hunger
Men with diabetes tend to feel uncontrolled hunger, even after having a meal. This may be because the glucose is not able to enter the cells, hence the brain tends to believe that the body is getting lesser food intake. The brain tells the body to eat that produces hunger which cannot be controlled.
10. Urinal issues
The urinal issues are caused due to diabetes that are the result of nerve damage in the genitals. A lot of men with diabetes experience these issues. An overactive bladder may cause frequent urination, a strong urge to urinate and a lack of self-restraint. Diabetes may influence muscle control to hold urine in the bladder. The bladder muscles may become loose, allow leakage or have difficulty in urinating.
Symptoms of diabetes common in both men and women
There are various signs and symptoms that are common in both men and women. Mentioned-below is certain symptoms that are common in both sexes:
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Slow-healing of wounds
- Increased urination
- Darkening of the skin
- Breath odor
- Numbness in the feet
- Infections of the skin
How does diabetes affect men and women differently?
Men with type II diabetes are more likely to have a low-T than men who are affected by diabetes. It happens because of the low levels of testosterone, men suffering from diabetes may have symptoms that are not detected in women. Low testosterone is the result of reducing sex drive, loss of energy and reduced muscle mass. It can also result in sexual disorders and urological diseases.
The general signs of diabetes in women can occur in any age group. They are as follows:
- Increase in hunger and thirst
- Increased urine output
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Poor healing of wounds
- Increased weight loss
If you notice any of these above-mentioned wounds to occur then, it is advised to seek immediate medical attention. The long-term high blood sugar levels may cause serious complications. This may cause damage to the various system, such as:
- Vision problems
- Heart attack and stroke
- Feet problems
- Certain type of cancers
- Damage to the nerves
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
The treatment of various types of diabetes is the first time when a person diagnosis about his condition. This can be dangerous. Men experience diabetes from lesser weight gain and accumulation of fat than women. They may experience different symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction and genital thrush.
Risks associated with diabetes
There are various factors that can raise the risk of developing diabetes and its complications. They are as follows:
- Increase in weight,
- High cholesterol
- Avoid any form of physical activity
- People above the age of 45
How to prevent diabetes symptoms in men?
Before the diagnosis of this condition, there is a duration where the blood sugar levels are increased but they are not high enough that diabetes can be diagnosed. This is called prediabetes. It is said that at least 70% of people with prediabetes may develop type II diabetes. There are numerous factors that cannot be changed-such as genes, age, and previous behavior.
Listed below are certain measures that should be taken to prevent diabetes:
- Doing physical activity
- Quit smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reduce sugar intake in your diet
- Reduce weight
- Take low carb diet
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
- Balance the level of vitamin D
- Consume natural herbs regularly
Type II diabetes can occur at any age and becomes apparent during adulthood. Type II diabetes is becoming more common in children. The body is not able to produce insulin. The pancreas creates less insulin that may cause a deficiency in insulin. If the insulin is less and cannot be used by cells. The symptoms of Type I diabetes occur during childhood or adulthood. Patients are advised to take professional help to get treatment for hyperglycemia. The diabetes symptoms in children are not easily diagnosed earlier. Hence, there is an increasing risk of type II diabetes in children.
Food that can curb symptoms of diabetes
Eating a balanced diet helps in managing diabetes by maintaining their blood sugar levels. It is advised to take a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and proteins. This helps in improving overall well-being and prevents complications. For patients with diabetes, it is advised to control their carbohydrates. The need of carbohydrates varies on various factors, including a person’s activities and medicines consumed.
A dietician recommends certain guidelines to meet a person’s needs. People suffering from diabetes should take the following diet:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean protein
- Do not take trans fat
Mentioned below is the list of fruits, vegetables, and foods:
Green vegetables are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. The leafy greens are rich in calcium and potassium and provide protein to the body. Eating green vegetables helps people with diabetes due to high antioxidant content and starch-digesting enzymes.
Whole grains have high levels of fiber and more nutrients than white grains. Taking a diet more in fiber is essential for people suffering from diabetes because the fiber reduces the digestion process. These food items are lower in the Glycemic Index (GI) scale as compared to white bread and rice. This diet includes the following food items:
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain pasta
The symptoms of diabetes are the same for both males and females, which does not correspond to men. It is important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor. Doctors may recommend HbA1c levels to analyze if you have pre-diabetes. The symptoms of diabetes can be controlled by taking a balanced diet. If diabetes is diagnosed early, then one can take control of their diabetes before it has negative consequences.
Patients with diabetes should make some changes in their lifestyle and overall wellbeing. Maintaining your meals helps in improving your health and may delay the symptoms of diabetes. It is advised to avoid sugar, in carbonated drinks and candies.