From 11th to 17th June it’s Men’s Health Week. Men’s Health Week 2018 also coincides with Diabetes Week and it’s the perfect time to discuss how diabetes affects the male population.
One man in ten already has diabetes and thousands more either don’t know they have it or are at serious risk of it.
Diabetes Amongst Men
The Men’s Health Forum’s report ‘One In Ten: The Male Diabetes Crisis’ highlights the following:
- Men are 26% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than women – with Public Health England estimates showing that 9.6% of men have type 1 or type 2 diabetes versus 7.6% of women
- Men are more likely to be overweight (BMI 25+) and to develop diabetes at a lower BMI (body mass index) than women. However, they are less likely to be aware that they are overweight or to participate in weight management programmes
- Men are more likely to suffer from diabetic retinopathy, foot ulcers and to have a foot amputation. 69.6% of those presenting with a foot ulcer are men. Men are more than twice as likely to have a major amputation. Studies also show that the incidence of diabetic retinopathy is significantly higher amongst men
- Men are more likely to die, and to die prematurely, as a result of diabetes. The age-standardised mortality rate for men with an underlying cause of death as diabetes mellitus is 40% higher than it is for women
Martin Tod, Chief Executive of the Men’s Health Forum says: “The Men’s Health Forum wants to see a serious programme of research and investment to ensure men get the support and care they need to prevent and manage diabetes. The toxic combination of ever more men being overweight, men getting diabetes at a lower BMI and health services that don’t work well enough for working age men is leading to a crisis. We need urgent action. Our plan for this week is to raise awareness amongst men and amongst professionals of the challenge many men face.”
Diabetes Symptoms in Men
The symptoms of diabetes in men and women are generally similar but there are certain symptoms which are either unique to males or may be more noticeable in men.
If you are experiencing symptoms of diabetes, the NHS advises that you see a GP as soon as possible as early treatment of diabetes can prevent health complications developing.
Several symptoms of diabetes that are specific to males, include:
- Reduced strength from loss of muscle mass
- Recurrent episodes of thrush
- Erectile Dysfunction
The general symptoms of diabetes are:
- Urinating often
- Feelingvery thirsty
- Feelingvery hungry – even though you are eating
- Extreme fatigue
- Cuts/bruisesthat are slow to heal
- Weight loss- even though you are eating more (type 1 diabetes)
- Tingling, pain, or numbnessin the hands/feet (type 2 diabetes)
Lifestyle changes are advised for people at higher risk of diabetes 2. Recommended lifestyle interventions include:
- Taking two and a half hours each week of moderate intensity physical activity or one hour and 15 minutes of high intensity exercise
- Losing weight gradually to achieve a healthy BMI
- Replacing refined carbohydrates with wholegrain foods and increase intake of vegetables and other foods high in dietary fibre
- Reducing the amount of saturated fat in the diet
Moderate intensity physical activity includes:
- Brisk walking
- Cycling on relatively flat terrain
- Water aerobics
- Using a manual lawnmower
High intensity physical activity can include:
- Swimming lengths
- Cycling either rapidly or over steep terrain
For more advice about men’s health and diabetes, visit Superdrug in Pescod Square. The store also offers various products and aids that can help both men and women minimise their risk of diabetes.