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Diabetes in Men & 5 Associated Men’s Health Conditions

By 2030, the number of Singapore residents above 40 with diabetes is projected to increase by another 200,000 from about 400,000 today. 

The prevalence of diabetes among adults increased from 8.2% in 2004 to 11.3% in 2010. A higher proportion of men were diabetic (12.3%) compared with women (10.4%). We can imagine how the number would have increased even more by today.

For men living with type 2 diabetes, they are also at higher risk for certain conditions as compared to other men. In this article I will share more about unique mens health issues faced by men with type 2 diabetes.


1. Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

According to a study published in Journal of Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, men with diabetes are much more likely to experience Erectile Dysfunction than men who don’t have diabetes. High blood glucose causes damage to small blood vessels and/or  nerves like the ones that supply the penis. Hence poorly controlled diabetes contributes to Erectile Dsyfunction.

Other than sugar control, there are also some diabetic medicines that causes side effects like ED which adds on to the problem.

Other than diabetes, these men are usually also obese and suffering from hypertension, both of which also adds on to the risk for ED.


2. Urinary Tract Infection: 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is usually caused by bacteria. It can affect any part of the urinary tract. Anywhere including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, and, in men, the prostate gland. Most of the time the infection is in the bladder. Women are 10 times more likely to get a UTI as compared to men. However men with diabetes are at a higher risk of getting UTIs than men without diabetes.

Why are men with diabetes more prone to UTIs? There are a few possible reasons. One, men with diabetes have poor circulation. This reduces the ability of white blood cells to travel in the body and fight off any kind of infection. Two, high glucose levels can also raise the risk of a UTI. Three, some men with diabetes have poor ability to empty their bladders. What happens is, urine stays in the bladder for too long and this becomes conducive for bacteria to grow.


3. Balanitis

Balanitis is an infection of the skin on the head (glans) of the penis. In uncircumcised men, this area is covered by the foreskin, or prepuce. Balanitis can occur in both circumcised and uncircumcised men, however, uncircumcised men are at higher risk for balanitis and also recurrent infections.  

Any man can develop balanitis, but the condition is most likely to occur in men who have phimosis (tight foreskin) or poor hygiene. Other than this group of men, men with diabetes are also at high risk of balanitis especially if they have poor sugar control. When sugar is poorly controlled, excess sugar may be exreted in the urine. This sugar rich urine when trapped underneath the foreskin, will provide a conducive environment for yeast and bacteria. On top of that, men with poorly controlled diabetes is also unable to fight of infections effectively. Read: What are the Causes of Balanitis


4. Posthitis

Posthitis is inflammation of the foreskin It is characterized by swelling or redness of the foreskin. In some cases, it may happen together with tears on the foreskin which may be quite painful. It is usually caused by an infection like fungus or bacteria. In some cases, it might be due to tears in the skin due to abrasion or friction during intercourse. The selling may lead to phimosis and tightness of the foreskin which makes it difficult for the skin to retract. 

Circumcision is usually a definite treatment for men who has recurrent balanitis posthitis or UTI. It is a very effective treatment to reduce the risk of UTIs, balanitis and also there won’t be anymore posthitis when the foreskin is removed.


5. Low Testosterone

 In the past few years, scientists have found some connection between low testosterone and diabetes. One study showed that in 2,100 men over age 45, the odds of having low testosterone were 2.1 times higher in men with diabetes. Low testosterone doesn’t cause diabetes but it might be the other way around. Men with diabetes might develop low testosterone. Read Andropause

A link between diabetes and low testosterone is well established. Men with diabetes are more likely to have low testosterone while men with low testosterone are more likely to develop diabetes as well. Testosterone improves the body’s ability to take up sugae in response to insulin. Men with low testosterone may have insulin resistance. In this condition, their body need to produce more insulin in order to reduce the same amount of sugar in the blood.

Read: Low Testosterne & Low Libido


All in All

So if you happen to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, do keep a look out for some of the issues mentioned above. If you happen to have any of the above conditions, do consider health screening as any of the condtions might be an indication of diabetes. Do consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and conditions.


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How To Apply Testosterone Gel (Androgel)?

What is Testosterone Gel (Androgel)?

This medicine contains testosterone, a male hormone produced naturally in the body. This medicine is used in adult men for testosterone replacement to treat various health problems caused by a lack of testosterone such as male hypogonadism. 


What do you need to know before you use Androgel?

Do not use this medication if:

 If you are allergic to testosterone or any of the ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6),

– If you are suffering from prostate cancer,

– If you are suffering from breast cancer.


How to apply?

The recommended dose is 5g of gel (i.e.50 mg of testosterone) applied once daily at approximately the same time, preferably in the morning.

The daily dose may be adjusted by your doctor, on an individual patient basis, not exceeding 10 g of gel per day.

The gel must be gently spread onto clean, dry, healthy skin as a thin layer on the shoulders, arms or stomach.

After opening the sachet, the entire contents should be taken out of the sachet and applied immediately onto the skin.

Allow the gel to dry for at least 3-5 minutes before dressing.

Wash your hands with soap and water after applying.

Do not apply to the genital areas (penis and testes) as the high alcohol content may cause local irritation.


Possible transfer of testosterone

During close and relatively long periods of skin contact testosterone may be transferred to another person unless you cover the treated area and could result in the other person showing signs of increased testosterone such as more hair on the face and body and a deepened voice.

It may cause changes in the menstrual cycle of women. Wearing clothes covering the application area or washing the application area before contact protects against such transfer.

The following precautions are recommended:

For the patient:

– wash your hands with soap and water after applying the gel,

– cover the application area with clothing once the gel has dried,

– wash the application area before making close contact with another person.

If you believe testosterone has been transferred to another person (man, woman or child), this person should:

– wash the affected area of skin immediately with soap and water,

– report any signs such as acne or changes in the growth or pattern of hair on your body or face to your doctor. You should preferably wait at least 1 hour before showering or bathing after applying this medicine.


How to store Androgel

This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions. Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the box.

Low Testosterone & Low Libido

Having low levels of testosterone or Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome is common and can occur in about 1 in every 200 men under the age of 60 and 1 in 10 men over the age of 60. Commonly the symptoms may be subtle and thus can be easily overlooked as “Oh, it’s just part of aging.”

As men age, levels of testosterone drop by about 1-1.5% each year after age of 30 but not all males experience the drop in levels. It is known from studies that the more overweight you are, the faster the decline in the levels of testosterone. In addition, it has been shown in studies that low testosterone levels are associated with cardiovascular risks like coronary arterial disease and metabolic syndrome including type 2 diabetes.


Effects of having low testosterone:

  • Regression of some features of male sexual characteristics
  • Low mood or irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Low energy, feeling tired
  • Hot flushes and sweats
  • Decreased libido
  • Reduced beard or body hair growth
  • Low semen volume
  • Gynecomastia
  • Reduced muscle strength
  • Fracture (osteoporosis)
  • Erectile dysfunction

It has been shown in some studies that supplementation of testosterone in those with low testosterone levels can increase their libido. 


Causes of low testosterone

Generally the causes of low testosterone can be classified into testicular (Primary) and Hypothalomo-pituitary (Secondary) causes.

Primary

  • Age-Related Testosterone Deficiency
  • Chromosomal: Klinefelter syndrome – Congenital;
  • Undescended testes
  • Surgery: bilateral orchiectomy
  • Trauma
  • Infection: mumps orchitis
  • Radiotherapy/chemotherapy/drugs (spironolactone, ketoconazole)

Secondary

  • Idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
  • Pituitary microadenoma (<1 cm) or macroadenoma (>1 cm)
    • Functional or non-functional: in men typically macroprolactinoma
  • Other causes of hypothalamic pituitary damage: surgery, radiotherapy, trauma, infiltrative disease such as haemochromatosis

Treatment options

Lifestyle modifications – diet and exercise

It has been shown in studies that resistance weight training can increase levels of testosterone. Reducing body fat has also been shown to increase levels of testosterone. There are some studies show high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective in reducing body fat than steady-state cardio.

Medications: Testosterone Replacement

There are several formulations available for replacing testosterone. The choice of which formulation to use is largely patient preference.

  1. Slow releasing formulation injections – generally given every 10-12 weeks as an intramuscular injection. Some people prefer that as they only need to get 1 injection once every 3 months or so rather than to take medication daily.
  2. Short acting formulation injections – these injections are given once every 1 to 3 weeks. Most of the time, patients learn to inject themselves.
  3. Gels or capsules – generally capsules are taken twice daily and gels are applied once daily. Gels are preferred by some as it is only used once daily and also in some cases, those who used the injectable form experience swings in their symptoms especially when it approaches the time for the next dose. But as the gel is applied daily, the levels of testosterone remain relatively stable and thus avoid the swing. However, gels may not be suitable for a person with an active lifestyle as the testosterone in the gel may not have enough time to be absorbed before they commence their exercise or when they shower after the exercise.

Next read: 7 TESTOSTERONE BOOSTING FOODS THAT YOU CAN FIND IN THE SUPERMARKET

Watch next: HOW DO YOU INJECT CAVERJECT


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7 Testosterone Boosting Foods that You Can Find in the Supermarket

Testosterone. Testosterone. Testosterone.

Testosterone is produced by the gonads (by the Leydig cells in testes in men and by the ovaries in women). Present in much greater levels in men than women, testosterone initiates the development of the male internal and external reproductive organs during foetal development and is essential for the production of sperm in adult life. This hormone also signals your body to make new blood cells, ensures that muscles and bones stay strong during and after puberty and enhances libido (sex drive) both in men and women.
Read more:

#1 Oysters

Oysters are well-known aphrodisiacs.
It’s also a good source of zinc.
Zinc helps to boost your testosterone naturally. Yes, Zinc is a natural Testosterone Booster.

via GIPHY

#2 Pomegranate

This superfood has a lot of health benefits.
Other than boosting testosterone, it also helps reduce Blood Pressure, improve circulation and improve sperm quality.
It may not be cheap but it’s worth it.

via GIPHY

#3 Tuna

Tuna is a good source of protein.
On top of that, it is also a great source of vitamin D which helps to boost testosterone naturally.
Other than Tuna, other deep-sea fish like Salmon and mackerel also are good sources of Vitamin D.

via GIPHY

#4 Egg yolks

Egg yolks may have gotten a bad rep for cholesterol. However, the cholesterol from egg yolk is a precursor to testosterone in our body. So it’s very good to boost testosterone.
However, do take it in moderation as you wouldn’t want to take in too much cholesterol

via GIPHY

#5 Shellfish

Also notorious for increasing blood cholesterol, shellfish and crustaceans have a high level of zinc.
The Alaskan king crab has one of the highest: just 3 ounces of it contains 43% of your daily zinc requirement.
Once again, please take in moderation as too much may increase your cholesterol levels.

via GIPHY

#6 Beef

Different parts and cuts of beef have different benefits for Testosterone.
Beef liver is high in Vitamin D while Chuck Roast and Ground beef are high in zinc.
However, too much beef may increase cholesterol levels and increase the risk for colon cancer.

via GIPHY

#7 Milk

Milk is a good source of Vitamin D. It’s also a good source of protein and calcium.
Whatever food that you choose to take on a regular basis, just remember to take them in moderation.
Supplement with a healthy active lifestyle and do speak to your local doctor to see if what you are doing is enough.

via GIPHY
That’s All Folks!
Find out about Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome or Low Testosterone and our other Men Clinic Services


Other Read

  1. Weak Erection? Erectile Dysfunction? How to Improve Erection with Pills
  2. Things to do to maintain your penis health
  3. The Rise in Male Infertility: What You Need to Know
  4. Do I Have HIV Rash? Or Are They Other STD-Related Rashes?
  5. What are the Causes of Abnormal Penile Discharge?
  6. Does Size Matters: Micropenis