American Diabetes Association Celebrates Men’s Health Month
June 3, 2014
June is Men's Health Month and the American Diabetes Association is using this opportunity to raise health awareness among men when it comes to conditions like diabetes, sexual dysfunction and sleep apnea. Historically, men are not as comfortable as women when it comes to discussing health issues, which can result in shorter and less healthy lives for men in the United States compared to women.
Diabetes rates are similar in men and women, but men are more than twice as likely to have undiagnosed diabetes, probably because they are less likely to see a doctor regularly. Diabetes can lead to serious health complications and if left unmanaged, diabetes can cause far-reaching health implications such as heart disease, nerve damage and kidney damage. The death rate from heart disease is much higher for men with diabetes than it is for men who don't have diabetes.
"When it comes to men and diabetes management, main barriers to good health are often a lack of understanding and education of the disease, as well as a fear of having to change their current lifestyle," said Robert E. Ratner, MD, FACP, FACE, Chief Scientific & Medical Officer, American Diabetes Association. "During Men's Health Month, the American Diabetes Association is encouraging all men to get out, get active and get informed to help Stop Diabetes®."
Being male also means being more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, a breathing disorder in which the airway is blocked when the mouth and throat relax during sleep. OSA is linked to an increased risk for diabetes and can also make diabetes harder to control. In addition, diabetes can often have sexual implications for males including impotence, which is also known as erectile dysfunction or ED.
However, there are many steps men can do to take better care of their diabetes and general health. First, find a family doctor you can trust, someone who you can have an open discussion with. In addition to the doctor, try to find a friend or family member who can help you adopt healthy behaviors, such as an exercise partner. Second, try to increase your level of physical activity and modify your eating habits and portion control (small steps are better than drastic changes all at once). Last but not least, comply with your doctor's appointments. Regular professional care is crucial for keeping your diabetes management on track.
For more information about health for men with diabetes, visit diabetes.org/men.
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Since 1940, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.