Men and type 2 diabetes: Don't skip the doctor visits. | Hygieia

Men and type 2 diabetes: Don’t skip the doctor visits.

In his job as a wholesale food distributor, Marty works long hours, sometimes waking at 2 or 3 a.m. to meet trucks as they load supplies for delivery. When Marty developed type 2 diabetes and eventually needed insulin therapy, he found the process frustrating and confusing. 

Marty’s irregular schedule can make it difficult to track his doses. The sliding scale that his doctor prescribed meant that he could adjust the number of insulin units a bit higher or lower depending on his glucose reading. 

But Marty felt like he was guessing on his insulin dose. He worried that something bad would happen while he was sleeping.

“My A1c went up and down for years. I never felt confident about my treatment plan,” said Marty.

Statistically speaking, adult males are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than adult females. And, men develop type 2 diabetes at a lower weight and BMI than women. Researchers don’t know why, exactly, but various studies provide clues.

One reason might be linked to how fat is distributed in men’s bodies. In general, men carry more fat around their abdominal region, and women carry more fat in their hips and thighs. Some studies have shown that this abdominal, or visceral, fat is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

Once someone develops type 2 diabetes, the potential complications of unmanaged blood sugar are largely the same between men and women. Poorly managed diabetes impacts blood vessels throughout the body and can lead to eye, foot and nerve problems, kidney disease and heart disease.

In men, poorly managed diabetes can also lead to erectile dysfunction and loss of muscle mass. Regular physician visits can help men and women better manage their condition and any resulting complications.

For Marty, seeing his endocrinologist was the key to getting started on the d-Nav program and stabilizing his blood sugar levels. 

“I asked my endocrinologist about it, and he referred me to the program,” said Marty. “My A1c is now at 7.2, down from 9.6 when I started on d-Nav. I can’t wait to get my next A1c. I’m confident it’s going to be good.”

Many surveys have shown that men are less likely to see a doctor than women. A Cleveland Clinic 2019 survey of men’s health habits found 65 percent of respondents delay seeing a doctor as long as they can. But avoiding doctors and medical checkups mean men miss out on important exams and treatment that can keep their health on track. For Marty, regular doctor visits proved essential to his diabetes management.

“Diabetes can kill you. It’s not something to mess around with,” said Marty. “Now, with d-Nav, it’s so easy to follow my treatment plan. I feel great.”

See more of Marty’s story here