The symptoms of diabetes in men and women are generally similar but there are certain symptoms which are either unique to males or may be more noticeable in men.
If you are experiencing symptoms of diabetes, the NHS advises that you see a GP as soon as possible as early treatment of diabetes can prevent health complications developing.
Symptoms of diabetes specific to men
There are several symptoms of diabetes that are specific to males, including:
- Reduced strength from loss of muscle mass
- Recurrent episodes of thrush around the genitals
- Itching of or around the penis
- Erectile dysfunction
Reduced strength and loss of muscle mass
Unexplained loss of muscle mass may be a sign of high sugar levels and diabetes. If blood sugar levels remain at high levels for relatively long periods during the day, the body will start to break down fat and muscle for energy.
The resulting weight loss is usually most noticeable in people with type 1 diabetes.
However, it can also affect people with type 2 diabetes that has gone undiagnosed for a long period of time.
Recurrent genital thrush
Genital thrush is a yeast infection that can occur if blood sugar levels are high, causing sugar to be passed out via the urine.
Symptoms of genital thrush include:
- Redness on or around the head of the penis
- Swelling on or around the head of the penis
- Itching on or around the head of the penis
- Unpleasant odour
- A white curd-like appearance on the skin
- Soreness during sex
Charity Diabetes UK states that erectile dysfunction may be an indicator of undiagnosed diabetes.
Erectile difficulties can be caused by high blood sugar levels over a long period of time causing difficulties either with blood supply to the penis or from damage to nerves in the penis.
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to either achieve or maintain an erection sufficiently well to satisfy sexual activity.