Preventing Diabetes Complications
Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
Diabetes increases the chance of erectile dysfunction (impotence or ED). For some men, adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and reducing stress, may be all that is needed to resolve erectile dysfunction. Uncontrolled blood sugars and high blood pressure can lead to damage of blood vessels and nerves in the penis, causing impotency. It's important to talk to your health care provider about your erectile dysfunction as your doctor can recommend other remedies -- including medications, a vacuum constriction device (VCD), and other erectile dysfunction aids -- that can help. ED can also be a sign of cardiovascular disease.
For more detail, see WebMD's article Erectile Dysfunction & Diabetes.
Skin Problems and Diabetes
As many as a third of people with diabetes will have a skin condition related to diabetes at some time in their lives. High levels of glucose in the blood provide an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, and can reduce the body's ability to heal itself. Fortunately, most skin conditions can be prevented and successfully treated if caught early. But if not cared for properly, a minor skin condition can turn into a serious problem with potentially severe consequences.
For more detail, see WebMD's article Skin Problems in Diabetes.
Infection and Diabetes
Diabetes can slow down your body's ability to fight infection. High blood glucose leads to high levels of sugar in your body's tissues. When this happens, bacteria grow and infections can develop more quickly. Common sites of infection are your bladder, kidneys, vagina, gums, feet, and skin. Early treatment of infections can prevent more serious complications.
For more detail, see WebMD's article Diabetes and Infection.
Dental Problems in Diabetes
People with diabetes face a higher than normal risk of oral health problems because of poorly controlled blood sugars. The more uncontrolled the blood sugar, the more likely oral health problems will arise. This is because uncontrolled diabetes impairs white blood cells, which are the body's main defense against bacterial infections that can occur in the mouth. Be sure to see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups to prevent serious dental problems.
For more detail, see WebMD's article Dental Care and Diabetes.