Despite its prevalence in our country, Diabetes Australia estimates that 500,000 Australians live with the condition undiagnosed. An explanation of this may be that its symptoms, and those of related diseases (contraindications), are so varied. Diabetes in men is common and treatable, but the longer it’s left undetected, the more dangerous and difficult it is to treat.
Many sufferers don’t realise their symptoms are related to diabetes, so they don’t seek diagnosis or treatment. Left untreated, most of these symptoms will worsen.
Men are less likely to seek a medical diagnosis in general, so – in light of Men’s health week – here are 5 overlooked long-term health effects of diabetes in men. If you notice any of these warning signs, talk to your doctor about screening for Diabetes.
1. Diabetic Neuropathy
The high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can cause damage to blood vessels and nerves – known as diabetic neuropathy. This condition primarily affects the peripheral nerves, resulting in numbness, tingling and pain. It often starts in the feet and then spreads through the body.
Diabetic neuropathy can significantly impact mobility, balance and overall quality of life. It is also the root cause of many other diabetes-related health conditions.
2. Erectile Dysfunction
Diabetic Neuropathy can lead to dysfunction throughout the body, but one of its lesser-known effects is erectile dysfunction. Diabetes makes men 3x more likely to struggle to get or maintain an erection.
As well as the physical effects, erectile dysfunction can have long-lasting mental health implications on men. Many men find it difficult to seek help for health-related issues, especially when related to this topic.
Like erectile dysfunction, hormonal secretion from glands in the genitals can be restricted by diabetes. This is known as hypogonadism and, in males, leads to little or no testosterone being produced in this area.
Low testosterone levels in men with diabetes has been associated with low bone mineral density, anemia and obesity. All of these implicate poor health and can affect the quality of life in sufferers.
4. Heart Disease
Heart disease can affect anyone, but as the leading cause of death among Australian men, it’s a condition to watch out for. As diabetes causes high blood sugar levels, the excess causes strain on the blood vessels.
The damage makes your arteries more susceptible to fatty deposits and increases your risk of developing heart disease. Caught early, heart disease is manageable, but heart attacks and strokes can be deadly.
5. Kidney Disease
Men are more susceptible to kidney disease, because of their higher testosterone levels. Diabetes accelerates this susceptibility, making diabetic men particularly vulnerable. Kidney disease caused by diabetes is known as diabetic nephropathy.
Diabetic nephropathy is caused by damage to the valves and blood vessels in the kidneys. Like most diabetes-related conditions, this is caused by prolonged contact with high blood sugar levels and damage from high blood pressure.
Manage diabetes naturally
Diabetes is a manageable condition, but it can be life-threatening if not treated properly. To limit the impact it has on your life, seek a diagnosis as soon as you notice the warning signs. Please talk to your Doctor or Healthcare Practitioner.
Once you have been diagnosed with Diabetes, your doctor will recommend the best treatment for you. You might want to also look at natural ways to regulate your insulin levels.
NutriKane’s NutriKane D lowers blood sugar levels by providing a carefully formulated nutrient profile developed and tested in Australia. We believe that as part of a diet, NutriKane D can be included in a plan to effectively manage blood sugar levels.
Find out more about the benefits of NutriKane D, or get in touch for personalised recommendations.