In addition to dealing with the day-to-day aspects of diabetes management that involve blood glucose, nutrition and lifestyle management, men in the United States with diabetes are also grappling with other physical, emotional and sexual health issues according to survey findings released today by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
According to the research, only 30% of men surveyed claimed to know “a lot” about their disease and only (25%) of men with diabetes reported eating balanced and nutritious meals. Additionally, 60% of men felt that more information could help them better manage their disease, and 65% felt more information could help them have more useful conversations with their health care providers about the disease.
To respond to this need, the ADA is launching a national educational campaign to provide men with diabetes – and their spouses – with information and resources to better manage their diabetes and the array of other health conditions that can be associated with this disease.
“The ADA recognizes that there are many information needs for people with diabetes; this program is a major step toward filling in important gaps that specifically affect men. This campaign offers enhanced information and tools to help men better appreciate the importance of adopting a more comprehensive, or modern, approach to managing their diabetes,” Richard M. Bergenstal, MD, vice president, medicine and science for the ADA, said.”These survey results reinforce that there are many health issues associated with diabetes that men currently overlook or are not even aware of – from managing blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol to physical, emotional, and sexual health issues such as erectile dysfunction and low testosterone.”
In an effort to bridge the communication gap between men with diabetes, their health care providers, and significant others, the ADA has developed a campaign with a focus on challenging men to take charge of their own health. Featuring a variety of new resources specifically for men, the campaign includes the handbook The Modern Man’s Guide to Living Well with Diabetes, and an enhanced men’s health section on the ADA’s web site.
“Men can take small steps that can have a big impact on their ability to better manage their diabetes,” Bergenstal, said. “Doing what they know, like staying active, sticking to a healthful diet, learning about increased risks for related conditions, and talking with a doctor if they are suffering from bothersome symptoms, is the key to managing diabetes today.”
Of the nearly 24 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, 12 million are men. Many of these men are unaware that they are at an increased risk for complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, disease and amputation, as well as other conditions that affect their physical, sexual and emotional health. In fact, the survey showed that men with type 2 diabetes and the wives of such men are mostly unknowledgeable about low testosterone. With symptoms such as depressed mood, erectile dysfunction and fatigue, men with low testosterone may feel too frustrated, unmotivated or unaware to discuss disease-related complications with a doctor or loved one, further diminishing their ability to take a proactive approach to managing their disease.