Commonly Ignored Diabetes Symptoms in Men
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar as a result of discrepancies in production of insulin in the required quantities. This is caused either when the pancreas do not produce enough insulin or when the body is unable to effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin deficiency causes imbalance in the blood sugar levels, raising it to higher than normal levels, resulting in Diabetes.
Common symptoms of diabetes in men and women are: excessive thirst and hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, nausea etc.
There are some symptoms of diabetes that are specific to men and hamper their sexual health. The most commonly ignored symptoms of diabetes in men are:
1. Erectile Dysfunction
Diabetes is a possible cause of Erectile Dysfunction. This could also be caused as a result of kidney conditions, high BP, excessive smoking etc., although diabetes could also be a causative factor.
A 2017 meta-analysis of 145 studies, stated that over 50 percent of men with diabetes have erectile dysfunction.
2. Urological concerns
Most men with diabetes experience problems like frequent urination because of an overactive bladder and inability to control urine. This is because of nerve damage which often squeeze the bladder and cause the strong urge to urinate. The muscles of the bladder also become weak or loose, allowing leakage of urine, hence causing the inability to control the urge. In some cases, the bladder muscles become very tight causing difficulty in urinating. Urinary Tract Infections are also an indication of diabetes.
3. Retrograde Ejaculation
This is a condition in which semen is released into the bladder instead of the male genitals. This condition is not harmful, but may often lead to male infertility. This condition does not always depict diabetes but is often a misdiagnosed symptom.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, commonly known as PCOS is an endocrinal disorder caused due to hormonal imbalance in the body. Insulin resistance is also a major cause of PCOS
women suffer from this condition but are left undiagnosed
women suffer from type 2 diabetes
PCOS Symptoms – evident post weight gain. Other symptoms of the condition include very few or no menstruation with irregular bleeding, male pattern of balding, acne or oily skin, excessive hair growth etc. PCOS, if left undiagnosed and untreated may lead to infertility and Type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance happens when body cells fail to respond to insulin and the cells are unable to effectively utilize it. When the body becomes insulin resistant the muscles, fat and liver cells do not respond to insulin and are not able to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. The sugar is then retained in the blood, hence leading to excess blood sugar. For some time, the pancreas produces more insulin to keep up with the increased need. Then they fail to keep up with the increased need for insulin, leading to Type 2 diabetes.
Women with PCOS are also at the risk of gestational diabetes in which a non-diabetic pregnant women have high sugar levels during pregnancy. If diagnosed with PCOS, complications of developing Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes increases drastically.
According to the 2015 World Health Statistics report, UAE’s female residents are overweight as compared to men.
This data is clearly worrying because of the health complications obese women face, the most common ones being heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
PCOS may be linked to hereditary factors but the definitive cause is still unknown. Changing lifestyle habits, early diagnosis to control symptoms and prevent complications, maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising regularly, having a balanced diet etc. will help in controlling symptoms. PCOS and diabetes have a well-established link and creating awareness about the same are extremely necessary.