While the connection may not be as conspicuous in the beginning, there is a strong correlation between diabetes and low levels of testosterone in men. Studies have shown that men who have the autoimmune disorder are twice as likely to have lower levels of testosterone than men who have not been diagnosed with the ailment. However, this is not to say that having low testosterone is the root cause of a man becoming diabetic. Lifestyle factors, age, race and genetics all have an influence on the risk of developing the health disorder later on. Fortunately, for many, this type of disorder is treatable with the proper care and measures.
Diabetes: What is it?
Diabetes is the result of the immune system destroying insulin-producing cells located inside of the pancreas. It comes in two forms: Type 1 and Type 2. The causes of this autoimmune disorder vary in accordance to the individual’s genetic makeup, ethnic background, family and health history, as well as other environmental factors. Thus, there is no main cause.
The disorder happens when the body becomes too deficient of insulin to function normally. This process is referred to as an autoimmune cause, or an autoimmune reaction because the body is actually destroying itself.
Symptoms in men include erectile dysfunction (the inability to attain or sustain an erection), frequent urination, unusual exhaustion or lethargy, blurred vision, unexplainable weight loss, pain, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
Who is Affected?
Contrary to popular belief, gender plays a significant role in the likelihood of developing health ailments. According to researcher reports, lower levels of testosterone in men are correlated with the reduction in insulin sensitivity. The body will continue to produce insulin even if it has insulin resistance, it just won’t use it properly. The end result is a buildup of glucose in the blood as opposed to absorption by the cells.
As men age, the risk for autoimmune disorders, heart disease and stroke increases. Men suffering from insulin deficiency are especially vulnerable to the risk of heart disease. Studies suggest that healthy eating habits, exercise and weight management reduce those risks significantly. Regular visits to the doctor, awareness of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose numbers also reduce those risks.
Race is another contributing factor. Researchers have found that people of different racial and ethnic groups are more likely to develop autoimmune disorders in conjunction with other health disorders. Asian Americans, American Indians, Mexican Americans, African Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are among the individuals at a greater risk. One of the main reasons for this is these particular groups tend to have higher rates of obesity and high blood pressure.
Understanding Health and Family History
If anyone in the individual’s immediate family (i.e. father, mother, sister or brother) has a health disorder, his chances of developing the same ailment increases. It is important to remain educated and current on family history. Awareness of such details will help the individual and his doctor find effective ways to lower the risk of ever developing the ailment in his lifetime.