Advertisement

How may low testosterone levels affect the sex life of a man with diabetes?

Dr. Jack Merendino, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Another major issue for men with diabetes may be lack of sexual desire. Obviously, there are a lot of things that interfere with sexual desire, including the stresses of dealing with a medical problem, but sometimes a lack of desire results from a low testosterone level. Testosterone is the main male sex hormone.
A large percentage of men -- as many as 25 percent in some studies -- have testosterone levels that fall below the normal range, but a low blood level doesn't always mean that there is a problem. Many men have what appear to be low blood levels, but biologically the amount of testosterone in their systems is perfectly adequate.
It's important to look not only at blood tests but also at whether the man has symptoms of low testosterone, such as a diminished sex drive, reduced muscle mass and stamina, depression, or irritability. Only about half of men with low testosterone levels report any symptoms, and the symptoms are not specific enough to be sure that the low testosterone causes the problem.
Unless the blood level is very low, diagnosing a testosterone problem requires a careful evaluation by the doctor to exclude other causes of the man's symptoms. As you recall, type 1 diabetes can be associated with other autoimmune problems, including damage to the testes by the immune system resulting in a reduced testosterone level. Recent evidence suggests that men with type 2 diabetes may also be at higher risk of low testosterone levels.
The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

More About this Book

The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Bob Greene has helped millions of Americans become fit and healthy with his life-changing Best Life plan. Now, for the first time, Oprah's trusted expert on diet and fitness teams up with a leading...

Continue Learning about Living with Diabetes

How Do You Encourage Patients to Keep Their Diabetes Under Control?
How Do You Encourage Patients to Keep Their Diabetes Under Control?
Making lifestyle changes is an important part of managing diabetes. In this video, endocrinologist Jack Merendino, MD, explains how changing the way y...
Read More
How does exercise help manage diabetes?
Jennifer N. Caudle, DOJennifer N. Caudle, DO
Exercise can help manage diabetes in many ways, by keeping a patient's weight down and keeping a pat...
More Answers
What's Your Exercise Personality?
What's Your Exercise Personality?What's Your Exercise Personality?What's Your Exercise Personality?What's Your Exercise Personality?
 Find a workout routine you enjoy.
Start Slideshow
How Does an Insulin Pump Work?
How Does an Insulin Pump Work?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.