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Diabetes in Men: Symptoms You Should Look Out For

worried man with erectile dysfunction

Story at-a-glance -

  • Most of the diabetes-related symptoms in men are mainly observed in the male reproductive system, because diabetes not only affects the glucose levels in your blood, but also alters the way hormones are produced in the body
  • A study in Spain focused on the prevalence of impotence in diabetic men. It was observed that men go in and out of being impotent, with the severity and length of time having a direct effect on the risk of it becoming permanent

Studies suggest that men are more susceptible to diabetes by a considerable margin than women. A study showed that men developed diabetes at a lower BMI compared to women. In fact, men need to have only a small amount of excess fat to trigger the development of this condition1

What Are Diabetes Symptoms Seen Only in Men?

Most of the diabetes-related symptoms in men are mainly observed in the male reproductive system, because diabetes not only affects the glucose levels in your blood, but also alters the way hormones are produced in the body. This imbalance then poses challenges with keeping the reproductive system normal.

Aside from the hallmark signs of diabetes, men should look out for the following symptoms:2

Erectile dysfunction or impotence — Erectile dysfunction is the principal symptom of diabetes because of the possible nerve damage in the genital area, which then disrupts the blood flow to the penis.

Studies also suggest that diabetes patients who suffer from erectile dysfunction have a higher chance of suffering from heart disease because of the high risk of artery damage.3

Lowered sex drive — Diabetes has been observed to have a negative effect on testosterone levels, which is one of the leading causes of a lowered sex drive in men. The reduced response and constant tiredness may also cause men to lose interest in any sexual contact.

Retrograde ejaculation — This happens when semen backs up into the bladder instead of exiting through the seminal vesicle. The muscle weakness or nerve damage caused by diabetes may cause this condition.

Some of the symptoms of this include cloudy urine, infertility and dry orgasms.4

Genital thrush — Thrush is caused by the abundance of yeast cells in the genitalia. The most common symptoms of this condition in men include redness around the head of the penis, swelling, itching and a white, curd-like appearance on the skin on or around your genitalia.

Can Diabetes-Related Impotence Become Permanent?

As one of the primary symptoms of diabetes in men, it’s understandable that impotence might be alarming for the majority of male patients. Numerous studies have tried to make sense as to why this happens and whether the condition becomes permanent over time.

While impotence itself is not a permanent condition, the underlying causes may be. In this case, the nerve damage or the poor regulation of blood sugar may cause long-term erectile dysfunction, which may prove to be frustrating. The severity of impotence may also be influenced by other factors, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and smoking.5

Because of the numerous possible causes of impotence in diabetic men, the treatment and diagnosis may be more complicated. The good news is that there are treatment techniques and options that may help abate erectile dysfunction, including phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors, intracavernous injections, penile prosthesis, and sometimes psychological therapy.6

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