Diabetes Symptoms in Men

By Sherry Baker @SherryNewsViews
February 27, 2023
Diabetes Symptoms in Men

Although diabetes affects men and women equally, some symptoms are gender specific. For example, diabetes symptoms in men can include erectile dysfunction.

More than 37 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes. One in five doesn’t know it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out. Another 96 million have prediabetes. Eight of 10 people don’t know.

In addition, more men than women are walking around with the condition undiagnosed. That’s why it’s important to recognize possible symptoms of diabetes and, if they occur, talk to your doctor about testing your blood sugar (glucose) levels.

Although about the same number of American men and women have diabetes, experiencing many of the same signs of the condition, some symptoms are gender specific. For example, diabetes symptoms in men often includes problems with sexual and reproductive health.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms


Why type 2 diabetes symptoms in men may be overlooked

Insulin is a hormone that controls how the body uses glucose. Your pancreas releases insulin in response to food. It regulates glucose levels in your bloodstream and promotes the storage of glucose in body tissues. Diabetes occurs when there’s not enough insulin in your body to regulate sugar or when your body is resistant to insulin.

Type 2 diabetes comprises most diabetes cases in the U.S., affecting somewhat more men than women. It occurs due to insulin resistance, which causes blood sugar levels to rise, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains. People with type 2 diabetes may need to take insulin, but many can control, and sometimes reverse, the condition with weight loss, exercise, and a healthy diet.

Type 1 diabetes is less common — but more serious. This autoimmune condition results in your pancreas producing little to no insulin. Type 1 usually starts in childhood or young adulthood and requires daily insulin for survival.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is more likely to first develop in middle age. In fact, some of the risk factors for type 2, like being overweight and not getting enough exercise, are often seen as simply a normal part of growing older. Unfortunately, this mistaken belief also carries over to some symptoms of diabetes in men.

In general, both men and women with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can have symptoms, including:

  • Unusual thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Bruises and numbness and tingling in hands and feet

Men with diabetes may also experience problems in the bedroom, especially if their condition goes untreated.

Blaming symptoms of type 2 diabetes in men on aging can be a dangerous mistake. Any sign of diabetes should signal you or a man in your life needs an appointment with a doctor ASAP. Type 2 diabetes raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, vision problems, and nerve damage, but treating and controlling diabetes can help prevent these health problems.

Diabetes symptoms in men can impact love life

Erectile dysfunction (ED), which occurs when a man can’t get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse, is not unusual in middle-aged and older men. Getting older doesn’t cause ED, although it increases your chance of having the condition. Type 2 diabetes, however, triples the odds you’ll develop ED, according to the CDC. So, erectile dysfunction can be one of the symptoms of diabetes in men.

Damage to nerves due to unregulated blood sugar can cause. Other signs and symptoms of diabetes in men related to nerve damage include:

  • Overactive bladder (having to urinate many times and night)
  • Male incontinence (leaking urine)
  • Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Retrograde ejaculation (semen is released into the bladder)

If you have any of these symptoms or problems associated with diabetes, talk to your doctor. Managing diabetes to control your blood sugar can relieve and reduce many of the problems associated with the disease.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Complications of Diabetes


February 27, 2023

Reviewed By:  

Janet O'Dell, RN