Though both sexes can suffer from a variety of symptoms, the signs of diabetes in men can be somewhat different from those in women. Men are more frequently afflicted with vision problems when they have diabetes, and the condition can lead to sexual problems including erectile dysfunction. They may tend to urinate frequently, and often feel extremely thirsty. The disease can have a negative effect on the immune system, making men prone to infections. Other issues that men often experience include extreme weight fluctuations, fatigue, and numbness or burning sensations in the extremities.
One of the main signs of diabetes in men are issues with the eyes. Some men develop a vision disorder known as retinopathy, where the blood vessels and tissue in the eyes become damaged by the disease. The lenses of the eyes can also become misshapen due to fluid loss in the body. These problems can cause their vision to become blurry or out of focus, and it may get progressively worse if the disease is left untreated. In extreme cases, it can even lead to blindness.
Problems with sexual performance are another sign of diabetes in men. Diabetes can decrease testosterone levels, which can lead to a decrease in sexual desire. Some diabetic men, particularly those over age 50, can also be afflicted with erectile dysfunction.
There are often some signs of diabetes in men related to the disease's effect on the kidneys and their ability to absorb and filter fluids. Men often feel the need to urinate frequently, particularly at night. They may also get dehydrated easily, which in turn leads to extreme feelings of thirst.
Diabetes can lower immune function, and men with the disease may suffer from a variety of problems from this. They may have a tendency to develop infections or sores, particularly on the skin, which can often recur. They are also often slower to heal than those who are not diabetic.
Several other symptoms can also signify diabetes in men. Often the disease will lead to unexplained, excessive weight gain, though in some men the opposite may occur and they may lose a significant amount of weight. The body’s inability to process glucose deprives cells of their source of energy, leading to chronic fatigue. Blood vessels in the hands and feet can become damaged, affecting the nerves there; this can lead to feelings of burning, tingling, or numbness.