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Type 2 Diabetes Complications: Just the Guys

As a guy with Type 2 Diabetes, you’re susceptible to the issues that can strike anyone with this condition: Heart and blood vessel disease, foot and eye problems, nerve and kidney damage, and certain skin conditions. However, there are also some complications that only impact men (don’t you feel lucky?).

For instance, you’re twice as likely to struggle with low testosterone (sometimes called low T) than a man who doesn’t have diabetes.

How do you know if you have it? Things like erectile dysfunction (also known as ED, which we’ll talk about more in a minute), low energy, a depressed mood, and a lower than usual interest in sex can be indicators of this issue. Luckily low testosterone can be treated in a number of ways, so talk to your physician if you think you’re suffering from it.

ED is also a pretty common problem in men with diabetes. In fact, much more prevalent than in men without the condition: Twenty six percent of men without diabetes struggle with ED, whereas 35-75% of men with Type 2 Diabetes may suffer from it, and it comes on 10-15 years earlier than in men who do not have diabetes.

I know, it’s scary.

So what causes ED? Diabetic nerve damage or blood vessel disease, certain medications, stress, and depression. You’re also at greater risk of developing ED if you have more than one risk factor (which include poor blood glucose control, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, overweight, smoking, being sedentary, and being over 40).

The good news is that awareness of this condition is growing, and help is readily available. In the past it wasn’t addressed as often, as it was thought by doctors and patients alike that a decline in sexual function was a normal consequence of aging, not to mention that many men didn’t want to bring it up (no pun intended) at the doctor’s office.

Because it’s being talked about and studied more frequently, there’s more information about how to lower your risk of ED. Here’s how to keep every part of you healthy:

Eat a diabetes-friendly diet. Keeping your blood sugar in control will lower your risk of blood vessel and nerve damage.

Be physically active! This will help control your blood glucose levels and may even lessen stress and improve circulation.

Hit your target numbers. Your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers are all very important in the fight against ED. Your health care provider has probably provided these numbers to you; if you don’t know what they are, find out!

Maintain a healthy weight. Even losing a small percentage of your total body weight can help.

Quit smoking. It increases your chances of having nerve damage, heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

In addition, keeping your stress levels down and getting enough sleep can help keep you (and your parts) healthy.

If you’re struggling with any of the symptoms of low testosterone or ED, speak to your physician today to get started with a treatment plan.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.