Diabetes is a condition where you have too much sugar in your blood. Diabetes develops when the pancreas can’t make insulin or when your body doesn’t respond to insulin. Without enough insulin blood sugar levels rise, which then leads to diabetes. If it goes undetected or isn’t controlled, diabetes can cause serious short-term and long-term health complications. There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can begin at any age but often starts in childhood or young adulthood. If you have type 1 diabetes you can’t make enough insulin and must take extra insulin every day. Type 2 diabetes is linked to diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and family history. If you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin and the insulin it does produce doesn’t work properly. This means your body can’t control its blood sugar levels. So, how can you prevent diabetes? Well, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. However, type 2 diabetes can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle including regular physical activity, a balanced diet and keeping weight in a range that’s healthy for you. Diabetes can cause blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, reduced blood circulation and can increase the chance of heart attack and stroke. If you have diabetes, you also have a higher chance of developing sexual and reproductive health problems, including erectile dysfunction, low levels of testosterone, low sex drive, semen flowing back into the bladder and inflammation of the head of the penis. If you have diabetes, speaking to a doctor about sexual and reproductive health problems is particularly important. To learn more about this and other
men’s reproductive and sexual health issues, go to healthymale.org.au or speak to your doctor.