Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Movember Discussion: Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects both men and women but keeping in line with the Movember theme that I've decided to adopt on my blog this month, I decided to do a little research and dig into how diabetes affects men.

The information I got was scary.


Most of us know that Type-II Diabetes is something that can be controlled if we take care of ourselves, watch our diet, get plenty of exercise, control our weight, be aware of any hereditary risk factors and manage our stress levels.  The risks associated with diabetes can include cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, loss of vision and nerve damage (Health Information and Consequences of Diabetes).

Diabetes in the UAE

The stats are scary in the UAE.  With the country prospering and the weather being as uncomfortable as it is during the winter, the UAE has gotten heavier, to the point that obesity has become a major concern.  This coupled with the food and sedentary lifestyle that many of us are used to has meant that a staggering 25% of the population in the United Arab Emirates is diabetic.  This is one of the highest percentages that you'll find and it means that one out of four people reading my blog in the UAE could be diabetic, many of them probably realize it but many may not (UAE and Diabetes: One in Four Has It).

Men, Watch Out

Men face several additional risks if they are diabetic when compared to women.

  • Men who develop diabetes before the age of 30, have greater risks of vision impairment as compared to women.  Couple this with the fact that we have so many obese children in the UAE, it worries you even more.
  • Men are more likely to suffer from pain in thigh, calf or buttocks while exercising; suffer from cramps or changes in temperature; have swelling that is linked to a two-to-three fold increase risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.
  • Amputation risks are 1.4 to 2.7 times higher in men than women with diabetes.
  • Up to 50% of men can suffer from a loss of sexual desire or sexual problems if they are diabetic. This is twice that for women.  Almost 33% of men with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction.
There could probably be more information I could dig up if I researched into this more, but to see more, visit both the links I used to get this information (Men & Diabetes and Diabetes & Sex).

Movember meets Diabetes

November isn't just about talking men's health in Movember but also Diabetes Awareness Month.  This topic is therefore perfect as it's important for men especially to be aware of all the health risks they face and there would be many resources that may come across during November that could give them further information on diabetes in particular.  This Gulf News link has more information.

Diabetic Children

What scares me more is what impact this is going to have on the younger or future generations.  Are we setting the right example for them with what we eat, with our lifestyle or the attention we pay towards our own health?  Popping pills isn't a solution to control diabetes, changing our mindset is.  We live in a part of the world where we are more likely to suffer from diabetes and it is up to us to make sure we take control of the situation.

Months like Movember are a good opportunity to share knowledge and talk about these issues.  Take advantage of it and if you have loved one who you feel is at risk, talk to them about it and help them.  A little moral support can go a long way to making us all a healthier community.