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Diabetes & Men: How Does It Affect Your Health?

Summary: More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and one in four people don't know they have it.
Air Date: 11/7/14
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: Thomas Tobin, MD
Thomas Tobin, MD, MBA, FAAEM, FACEP is a board certified emergency physician from Spokane, Washington. He does health care consulting, including emergency department operations. He has expertise in rural health care and combat sport participant event health care.
Diabetes & Men: How Does It Affect Your Health?
There are two types of diabetes, type-1 and type-2.

Usually, type-1 emerges in children and young adults and occurs when your body doesn't produce enough insulin, which is a hormone that helps convert sugar and starches into energy. Type-2 diabetes occurs when your body produces too much insulin and therefore can't use insulin properly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and one in four people don't even know they have it.

Diabetes is a silent health threat that has been on the rise significantly in the past few years. Diabetes complicates heart disease, kidney disease and impotence in men.

What are the symptoms?

Increased thirst, gaining or losing weight, fatigue, blurred vision, extreme hunger, excessive urination, increase of belly fat (arms and legs are normal size but chest and belly are thicker), and erectile dysfunction.

Is there a way you can prevent diabetes?

Whether diabetes runs in your family or not, it's important to get annual physicals and blood tests. Certain blood tests are essential, like Hemoglobin A1C (HA1C) testing, which tests how high your sugars have been over a long period of time. Another test, called the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG), determines if you have pre-diabetes. This test measures your blood glucose levels after you haven't eaten or consumed liquids in the past eight hours. If your blood glucose level is 126 mg/dL or above, it means you may have diabetes.

What about lifestyle changes?

If you have diabetes, especially type-2 diabetes, the biggest lifestyle change you can make is weight control with diet and exercise. Other lifestyle changes you can make include learning how to manage your stress levels, keeping up with your foot, dental and eye care, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and also monitoring your cholesterol and blood pressure.

What else do you need to know about diabetes and men's health?

Dr. Thomas Tobin discusses the symptoms associated with both type-1 and type-2 diabetes, as well as if there are ways to help prevent your chances of developing type-2 diabetes.