Sugar Matters
November 30, 2010
Men getting checked for diabetes

A recent article/tribute in our newspaper spoke of a gentleman Mr. Providence who recently died of prostate cancer. His widow, through her grief, shared some sage advice to everyone: please get check-ups at your doctor’s office. I would like to first thank her for sharing this advice, especially during this difficult time when her thoughts are certainly likely centered on her family.{{more}}

Along those lines, I would like, this week, to focus in particular on men being screened for diabetes. The big question is, which men should be screened?

MEN, you should be checked for diabetes if:

You are older than age 45 years.

You are overweight or obese.

You have had a recent urine infection or have frequent urine infections.

You have erectile dysfunction. Why?

Uncontrolled diabetes often causes problems with erections. If heart disease is not distressing enough, this one should be.

You have heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Why? Because diabetes likes to travel with those partners.

You have central obesity, that is if you have a big belly or most of your weight/ fat is in the central area.

If you are getting up at night to urinate, have cuts that are not healing well, feeling tired all the time, overall not feeling well.

If you have close relatives who have diabetes.

You are taking certain medications, like steroids for asthma, which can raise your chances of developing diabetes.

So you look at that list there and say to me, “but Doc it looks like almost EVERYBODY needs to be screened!” And perhaps that is the case. Do not forget that diabetes runs like a wildfire all over St.Vincent and the Grenadines. For every 8-12 of you on the street, one of you has or will develop diabetes. Every busload of people will have atleast one person with diabetes. Men are certainly not spared.

At times it may seem like more women than men have diabetes. Why is that? In part it is because men do not like to go to the doctor, so they are diagnosed less than women. Unfortunately this also often means that it is caught late, when diabetes-related complications are already a problem. And given that heart disease is more common in men than women, and men tend to have more traumatic injuries than women (and thus would not heal as well), this leaves our male population in a very dangerous situation.

I urge you men to be proactive about this and get yourself checked for diabetes, EARLY. Don’t forget that pre-diabetes can be reversed, and diabetes itself can most often be controlled so that complications like heart disease, amputations, blindness, kidney disease etc do not have to develop. But it is up to you to walk into your doctor’s office and ask to be tested. Don’t wait until you are taken to the hospital with a nasty cut you had for weeks and your doc then says, “well we can’t save it because you had diabetes all this time and it won’t heal, we need to cut it off.” Be proactive about your health please.

Until next week stay safe and healthy Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227