How Does Diabetes Affect Dating? - dummies

How Does Diabetes Affect Dating?

By Pepper Schwartz

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

When you begin dating as an older adult, it’s likely you will encounter possible dates with health conditions, or you yourself will devlop one. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Problems are caused by a hormone called insulin that takes sugar out of the blood and stores it in body cells.

There are two common types of the disease. Type 1 diabetes was previously called juvenile diabetes because it typically was first diagnosed in children and young adults. Most people with this kind of diabetes will need insulin shots for life.

The majority of people who develop diabetes later in life will get the other common type, type 2 diabetes; these people often need medication to maintain the right amount of blood sugar. This type of diabetes generally develops after age 40 and may be connected to weight gain, obesity, or genetic predisposition.

Diabetes is a serious condition, and if left uncontrolled, it can be deadly. Diabetic people have higher risks for stroke, coronary artery disease, kidney failure, foot and hand nerve damage, and serious eye problems.

Because the disease can impair nerve impulses and affect both the neurological and vascular systems, approximately 50 percent of male diabetics will be impotent. The good news is that modern medicine can help people regulate their glucose levels, and many diabetics can control the disease through a healthy diet and exercise alone.

However, it’s also true that some of the medications that many diabetics have to take (such as medications to control blood pressure) can affect sexual drive and performance for both men and women. Women with diabetes who are postmenopausal may have more yeast infections and urinary tract infections than is ordinary for women their age.