Islets of Hope for persons newly diagnosed with diabetes
Article by Lahle Wolfe. For reprint information e-mail: Editor@isletsofhope.com
Links to more comprehensive information on complications of diabetes
Free Islets of Hope publications to Print
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) - IOH Publication DKA-1-2006; 7 pages
Reactive and Fasting Hypoglycemia
How to Prepare & Inject Glucagon for Treatment of Severe Hypoglycemia (Illustrated)
You can also print selected fast-reference excepts from this full-length publication: TRE-1-2006-fr
Newly Diagnosed (easier reading) Problems & Complaints with Diabetes
Join an Islets of Hope support group for the Newly Diagnosed
Complications of diabetes
Amputation * Blindness * Diabetic Ketoacidosis * Diabetic Neuropathy * Diabetic Retinopathy *
Erectile dysfunctions affects up to half of all men with diabetes. It strikes more often in those with type 2, but also affects persons with type 1. Diabetes-related impotence is preventable with tight blood glucose control.
Many factors can contribute to the development of impotence, both physical and psychological in nature. And just because a man has diabetes and develops impotence it could still be from some other cause or combination of things including medications, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. It is important not to self-diagnose impotence, but to see your physician who can help determine the cause and an appropriate course of action.
Also see "Urologic Problems."
This section contains information about urological (bladder) and sexual problems for both men and women. Men may also wish to see our "Erectle Dysfunction" section.
Troublesome bladder symptoms and changes in sexual function are common health problems as people age. Having diabetes can mean early onset and increased severity of these problems. Sexual and urologic complications of diabetes are related to the nerve damage diabetes can cause. Men may have difficulty with erections or ejaculation. Women may have problems with sexual response and vaginal lubrication. Urinary tract infections and bladder problems occur more often in people with diabetes. By keeping your diabetes under control, you can lower your risk of sexual and urologic problems.
The nerve damage of diabetes may cause sexual in both men and women.
Bladder dysfunction can have a profound effect on quality of life. Diabetes can damage the nerves that control bladder function. Men and women with diabetes commonly have bladder symptoms that may include a feeling of urinary urgency, frequency, getting up at night to urinate often, or leakage of urine (incontinence). These symptoms have been called overactive bladder. Less common but more severe bladder symptoms include difficulty urinating and complete failure to empty (retention). These symptoms are called a neurogenic bladder. Some evidence indicates that this problem occurs in both men and women with diabetes at earlier ages than in those without diabetes.
Neurogenic bladder can be caused by diabetes or other diseases, accidents that damage the nerves, or infections.
Symptoms of neurogenic bladder include
Urinary Tract Infections
Infections can occur in any part of the urinary tract. They are caused when bacteria, usually from the digestive system, reach the urinary tract. If bacteria are growing in the urethra, the infection is called urethritis. The bacteria may travel up the urinary tract and cause a bladder infection, called cystitis. An untreated infection may go farther into the body and cause pyelonephritis, a kidney infection. Some people have chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections.
Symptoms of urinary tract infections may include
If the infection is in your kidneys, you may be nauseous, feel pain in your back or side, and have a fever. Since frequent urination can be a sign of high blood glucose, you and your doctor should also evaluate recent blood glucose monitoring results.
What can I do to prevent diabetes-related sexual and urologic problems?
You can lower your risk of sexual and urologic problems by keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol close to the target numbers your doctor recommends. Being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight can also help prevent the long-term complications of diabetes. Smoking is a particular problem, and quitting will improve your health in many ways. For example, if you quit smoking, you can lower your risk not only for nerve damage but also for heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
Page Updated 03/23/2006