Diabetes Symptoms

Our goal is to help with the care and treatment of diabetes including diagnosing the symptoms

Blood sugar levels
Blood Sugar

Changes In Testosterone Levels

Testosterone levels in men begin to decrease starting around age forty, eventually leading to what some have called "male menopause," or andropause, which brings with it an increased cardiovascular risk, loss of muscle and bone mass, and a waning libido. Other signs of declining testosterone can include lower sperm count, body hair loss, and even hot flashes. Men with diabetes tend to have a lower than average testosterone level. The classic "apple shaped" body of type 2 diabetes, also known variously as intraabdominal fat or central fat storage , is associated with low testosterone levels in men. Also known as hypogonadism, this condition is also associated with high levels of circulating insulin (hyperinsulinemia) and increased insulin resistance. Low levels of the hormone are thought to affect glucose metabolism; some studies have linked improved glucose tolerance with testosterone replacement therapy.

HRT Not Just for Women

Hormone replacement therapy, in the form of injections or a transdermal gel or patch, can be beneficial to many older men with low testosterone levels. The jury is still out on whether this therapy can slow or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes by inhibiting intraabdominal fat accumulation.

Sexuality And Impotence

Impotence the failure to get or maintain an erection-is one of the most common and most distressing side effects of diabetes. Between 35 and 75 percent of men with diabetes have experienced impotence at some point since diagnosis. If you've had problems with erectile dysfunction (ED), you are not alone. Some men delay getting treatment for ED because of embarrassment or self consciousness, but ED can be the first sign of a more serious underlying diabetes complication, such as cardiovascular disease or neuropathy, so it's important not to ignore it or delay medical attention for the problem. Your doctor is quite used to dealing with impotence issues and has a variety of treatment options at his disposal.

What Causes ED

There are many possible causes of male impotence, ranging from surgery to smoking; the following are most likely to affect men with diabetes:

  • Medications. Drugs such as high blood pressure medications, certain antidepressants, and tranquilizers can trigger episodes of impotence. Your doctor may be able to adjust your dosage or substitute another medication.
  • Neuropathy. Nerve damage to the penis itself or to the autonomic nervous system may be the cause of ED.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Clogged arteries, especially those which feed the corpora cavernosa (the spongy vascular tissue of the penis) can impair circulation enough to inhibit an erection.
  • Psychological issues. Depression, anxiety, and stress related to diabetes management can inhibit sexual performance.