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For Men, Ignoring Diabetes Can Be Deadly

Research statistics show that when it comes to their own health, men have fewer checkups with a regular healthcare provider than do women. They remain unaware of the often hidden dangers of obesity, high blood pressure, depression, sexual dysfunction, and diabetes.

Historically, men have not been forthcoming about their health, particularly conditions like diabetes, depression, or sexual dysfunction. But today, many men are waking up to the fact that good health and longer life demand positive, consistent action. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) advocates that every person diagnosed with diabetes should learn all they can about their disease and how to manage it.

Adopting a "modern man" approach, the American Diabetes Association is encouraging men to get a strong grip on their diabetes and related conditions, actively engage their healthcare providers, and manage their health. By doing so, they can improve and lengthen their lives in three major, related areas that diabetes impacts:

Physical Health: Diabetes causes heart disease, and damages the nerves and kidneys. If not properly diagnosed or treated, it can lead to amputation, blindness, and even death.

Mental Health: To feel "down" once in a while is normal. But to feel this way for two or more weeks is a sign of serious depression. And studies show that people with diabetes are at greater risk for depression than those without it.

Sexual Health: Diabetes can affect sexual function. Some men with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). Low testosterone, which is twice as common in men with type 2 diabetes as those without, can trigger ED and a diminished interest in sex. It can also lead to reduced muscle mass, mood swings, and fatigue.

Fortunately, men can overcome these challenges from diabetes with the support and resources available from such organizations as the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and the American Diabetes Association, which makes available a free 36-page booklet , The Modern Man's Guide to Living Well with Diabetes.

Simpler Diabetes Care: Estimated Average Glucose (eAG)

The American Diabetes Association has a new way to understand blood glucose (sugar) levels over time. It is called "eAG," for estimated average glucose. Like the standard A1C blood test that has been used for many years, it measures average blood glucose over the past two to three months. But it reports the results in a format that is easier for many patients and their healthcare professionals to understand. To discover your eAG, visit the American Diabetes Association's eAG Converter at or call 1-800-DIABETES.

Clinical Trials and Diabetes

Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Volunteers are an important part of clinical trials, including healthy people and those with diseases, such as diabetes. For information on diabetes clinical trials, visit and search under the term "diabetes."

Fall 2009 Issue: Volume 4 Number 4 Page 11