It’s a pretty well known fact that men tend to avoid things like calling the doctor. But guys, we’re talking to you — if you think you’re at risk for diabetes, you really need to take action. Diabetes is one of those diseases that’s so fraught with complication that you can’t afford to ignore the symptoms.
What is diabetes?
Having diabetes means that your body has a problem controlling the levels of sugar, or glucose, in your blood. Too little blood glucose and you experience fatigue, lethargy, and mental confusion. Too much blood glucose and the risk of physical damage to your blood vessels, nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other parts of your body are greatly increased.
What are the symptoms?
Men and women share a lot of the symptoms of diabetes:
- Extreme fatigue
- Excessive thirst and/or trips to the bathroom to urinate
- Increased appetite
- Weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Numb hands or feet
- Sores that are slow to heal
Other symptoms are particular to men:
- Erectile dysfunction, caused by nerve damage
- Urinary tract infections
- Loss of bladder control
- Yeast infections of the penis
- Low testosterone
Of course, there could be other reasons for each of these symptoms, but if you experience any of them over time or several of them at the same time, ask your primary care doctor to test you for diabetes.
Where the podiatrist fits in
Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, our podiatrists here at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, while greatly concerned about all our patients, are hyper-concerned that our diabetic ones check in with us often, since diabetes poses particular threats to the feet. Our diabetic patients are continually monitored for anything that threatens their lower limbs. Common things like ulcers, corns, blisters, cuts, and scrapes can become limb-threatening infections because of neuropathy (loss of feeling) or peripheral artery disease that leads to poor circulation.