Islets of Hope for persons newly diagnosed with diabetes

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Article disclaimer

Article by Lahle Wolfe. For reprint information e-mail:

diabetes forums
diabetes support lists
diabetes blog

Links to more comprehensive information on complications of diabetes

Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic Retinopathy
Eating Disorders
Erectile Dysfunctions
Foot & Skin Problems
Frozen Shoulder
Gum Disease
Heart Problems
High Blood Pressure
Insulin Shock
Kidney Problems
Lactic Acidosis
Seizures & Coma
Peripheral Artery Disease
Sexual Problems
Urologic Problems
Weight Gain
Weight Loss
Wound Care

Diabetes Forecast:  Helps people with diabetes and their families lead normal, healthy lives by providing information and support on all aspects of diabetes treatment, management and self care. Contains profiles of people with diabetes, recipes, diet and exercise articles.     IOH Rating 5/5 

Free Islets of Hope publications to Print

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) - IOH Publication DKA-1-2006; 7 pages

Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention & Emergency Care Form
IOH Publication HG-1-2006; 13 pages

Reactive and Fasting Hypoglycemia
Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention & Emergency Care Form
IOH Publication HG-2-2006; 13 pages

Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention
IOH Publication HG-3-2006; 12 pages

How to Prepare & Inject Glucagon for Treatment of Severe Hypoglycemia  (Illustrated)
Prepare ahead for emergencies, about hypoglycemia, about glucagon, illustratred step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and inject glucagon, and what to do afterward.

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

Diabetes Self-Management Magazine
Diabetes Self-Management:  Aimed at the diabetic population, containing articles of interest to all diabetics, in subjects such as health, medication and diet.  
  IOH Rating 5/5  


Newly Diagnosed Diabetes Information
Information for those Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes                             Print Full Diabetes Complications Article

Complications of diabetes
Urologic and sexual problems

This section:   Erectile Dysfunctions  *  Sexual Problems  *  Urologic Problems

Other complications:

Amputation  *  Blindness  *  Diabetic Ketoacidosis  *  Diabetic Neuropathy  *  Diabetic Retinopathy  *
Eating Disorders  *   Erectile Dysfunctions  *  Foot & Skin Problems  *  Gastroparesis
 *  Gum Disease *    Heart Problems  *
High Blood Pressure
 *  Infections  *   Infertility  *  Insulin Shock  *  Kidney Problems  *  Seizures & Coma  *
Peripheral Artery Disease  * Sexual Problems  *  Urologic Problems  *  Weight Gain  *  Weight Loss
 *  Wound Care

Click on any link to read more in-depth information about each topic.  

Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)

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."    

Sexual & 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.

  • Sexual problems for men with diabetes include:  
    -  erectile dysfunction
    -  retrograde ejaculation

  • Sexual problems for women with diabetes include
    -  decreased vaginal lubricationion
    - decreased sexual response

Bladder Problems

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
  • loss of the urge to urinate when the bladder is full
  • leakage of urine
  • inability to empty the bladder

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

  • a frequent urge to urinate
  • pain or burning in the bladder or urethra during urination
  • cloudy or reddish urine
  • fatigue or shakiness
  • in women, pressure above the pubic bone
  • in men, a feeling of fullness in the rectum

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.

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Page Updated 03/23/2006