Diabetes Symptoms

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

Blood sugar levels
Blood Sugar

Complication Gender Bias

While diabetes crosses all age, racial, and gender lines, it does seem to show some questionably preferential treatment to men in the distribution of certain diabetic complications. For example, the ADA reports that men diagnosed with diabetes before age thirty tend to develop retinopathy more rapidly than their female counterparts. And among people with diabetes, first heart attacks are more likely to be fatal in men than women. Men with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop coronary artery disease (CAD) than women with the disease and than their male counterparts without diabetes. They are also more likely to have additional CAD risk factors, such as high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and obesity.

How Men Cope

A ten year study of gender differences in attitudes toward diabetes at the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center found that men tended to have more positive attitudes toward and greater acceptance of their diabetes than women with the disease. Accordingly, they also tended to rate their quality of life higher. The study also found that men were more accepting of their treatment regimen, and were less likely to miss work or leisure activities due to their diabetes. Perhaps reflecting traditional "woman as caretaker" gender roles, men with diabetes were also most satisfied with the level of emotional support they received from their wives or partners, who were more likely to accompany them to appointments and diabetes education classes than male partners or husbands of women with diabetes. Interestingly, while men with diabetes did not miss work or leisure activities, their wives were more likely to have to take time off attributed to their husband's disease, yet these women reportedly feeling less anxious about the long term impact of the disease on their family than the husbands of women with diabetes. Men in this study also reported more control over their diabetes in terms of lower HbAlc levels, better self reported nutritional care and insulin compliance, and fewer complications than women have.

Men And Stress Management

But what about when things don't go right? Problems with erratic blood glucose levels and elusive control can cause stress levels to climb. This leads to a vicious cycle of control issues, as high stress produces high glucose levels, high blood pressure, and further anxiety about your ability to manage your disease. Studies have demonstrated that stress management training can improve long term blood glucose control, thus reducing your risk of complications. They have also demonstrated that daily practice of stress management techniques by men with heart disease can slash their risk of cardiovascular incidents like surgery and heart attack in comparison with those who used exercise or standard therapy (medication and monitoring).