Diabetes is a common condition, that can affect a wide range of different people, including people of different cultural backgrounds and ages. Diabetes occurs when a person has high blood glucose, because the body is unable to produce enough insulin. If there is insufficient insulin production, it means that the insulin is unable to help move the glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells to be used for energy.
In diabetes, the symptoms that you experience are related to:
a) the severity of diabetes, i.e. how high your blood glucose levels are,
b) how long you have had the condition, i.e. how long you have high blood glucose levels for.
If diabetes goes undiagnosed, it can lead to a wide range of health conditions. It’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of diabetes, so if you are experiencing any of them, you can seek treatment early.
The most common sign of diabetes is…
That’s right. Nothing. The reason that doctors need to test for diabetes (and people need to demand it), is that most people have no idea that they have it. This regular testing is most important in people at the highest risk of developing diabetes.
Some early signs that you may have prediabetes or diabetes mellitus, includes:
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes mellitus in men are often related to sexual health and function. The below symptoms are severe and may be a hallmark that you have had diabetes for a number of years.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), sometimes called impotence, is an inability to achieve or maintain an erection. It’s a common condition in men who have diabetes, and they often experience ED at earlier ages than men who do not have diabetes. Studies have found that 50% of men with diabetes experience ED so it is common even if it is not talked about.
ED can occur due to damage to blood vessels and nerves in the penis. This is because the blood vessels are unable to widen or constrict, to allow blood into and out of the penis. Damage to blood vessels can also slow the flow of blood to the penis, which is another common cause of ED in men with diabetes.
In addition to diabetes, ED can also be a symptom of many other health issues. This includes high blood pressure, kidney disease, and circulatory or nervous system conditions. ED can also be caused by stress, smoking, or medication.
Retrograde ejaculation occurs when the muscles near the bladder fail to contract, resulting in ejaculate ending up in the bladder, rather than exiting the penis. Type 2 diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves that control the bladder and urethra, resulting retrograde ejaculation. Symptoms of retrograde ejaculation include significantly less semen released during ejaculation.
Nerve damage caused by diabetes, can result in urological issues in men. These types of issues relate to the urinary system and include:
Loss of sensation, due to nerve damage, and erectile dysfunction can result in sexual dysfunction and decreased sex drive.
There are a number of risk factors which increase your chance of developing type 2 diabetes and increase a persons risks. There are some risk factors that mean you are more likely to develop diabetes. These include:
If you experience any of the above symptoms it is important to get tested for diabetes as soon as possible. Some people are at higher risk and need regular testing if you are 45 years or older or have other risk factors for diabetes. By diagnosing and treating the condition early, it means you can decrease the risk of developing any further health complications, for example nerve damage, blindness, and heart disease.
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and would like to know more about how best to manage the condition, you can explore our 12 week diabetes program. The first week is free to try and full of useful information to help you.
If you want to learn more about diabetes, we have dedicated information pages: