We had the privilege of talking with Dr. Richard Bergenstal, the Vice President of Medicine & Science of the American Diabetes Association (ADA; www.diabetes.org). Dr. Bergenstal has dedicated 30 years of his career to making life better for people with diabetes.
The ADA surveyed 1,000 men with type 2 diabetes, age 40-60, as well as 1,000 female spouses of men who have type 2 diabetes. The survey assessed their general knowledge of type 2 diabetes and associated complications.
The ADA’s “National Men’s Health Education Survey” revealed:
- Only 30% men seemed to know “a lot” about their disease.
- 60% of men surveyed felt more information could help them better manage their diabetes.
- Men with type 2 diabetes were likely to get less enjoyment out of their lives and that diabetes has negatively impacted their sex lives.
- More than ⅓ of men surveyed experienced four or more symptoms associated with low testosterone. Some symptoms of low testosterone include: depressed mood, erectile dysfunction and fatigue.
According to the ADA there are 12 million men in the U.S. who have diabetes. In addition to common complications from diabetes, diabetes complications can also specifically affect men in the following ways according to the ADA:
- Men with diabetes are at greater risk for erectile dysfunction caused by nerve damage.
- Testosterone deficiency is common in men with diabetes, regardless of the type.
- Men with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to have low testosterone. Symptoms of low testosterone can include: diminished interest in sex, erectile dysfunction (ED), reduced lean body mass, decreased bone mineral density and depressed mood and fatigue.
The ADA is recommending men be more proactive in managing their diabetes including: “monitoring the ABCs of diabetes which include A1c (a measure of blood glucose), blood pressure and cholesterol.”
In our interview, Dr. Bergenstal emphasized that men with diabetes need to be aware of the physical aspects of disease, but they also need to be aware of the emotional and sexual issues stemming from diabetes.
Listen to Dr. Richard Bergenstal’s interview for his viewpoint regarding how men with diabetes can be proactive in managing their diabetes to improve their overall health and quality of life.
The ADA has information on its website dedicated to men’s health issues. For more information and to download a free copy of the ADA’s booklet “Modern Man’s Guide to Living Well With Diabetes,” please visit http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/men/.
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