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Editorial

Sexual dysfunction in people with diabetes

Diabetes is associated with numerous long-term complications. Many of these, like kidney failure and ischaemic heart disease, are life threatening. Others, such as eye damage and nerve damage, impact heavily on quality of life. But sexual difficulties, which affect both women and men with diabetes, often receive less attention than they deserve, despite the high levels of distress they generate. Mac Robertson looks at the risks for sexual dysfunction in men and women with diabetes and describes the current management options.

Worsening the blow: the effects of smoking on diabetes complications

Cigarette smoking is a serious hazard to health. Yet, although as a group people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, this does not appear to influence smoking habits among them. Tobacco use among people with diabetes is strongly associated with a further increase in the risk of developing cardiovascular complications. Furthermore, research has indicated that smoking has negative effects on the metabolism of glucose and lipids (fat), leading

Diabetes in people with HIV

It is estimated that over 39 million people worldwide are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The introduction of protease inhibitors as part of the anti-HIV therapy has contributed to a huge reduction in the number of people who die from the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, the use of these drugs has been associated with new-onset diabetes; recent studies have

How does smoking affect insulin sensitivity?

It is well known that tobacco smoke is harmful to health and is of particular danger to people with diabetes. All of the chronic complications of diabetes – such as cardiovascular disease, foot problems, kidney disease, and eye damage – are exacerbated by breathing in tobacco smoke. Recently, it was suggested that smoking may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Although the exact mechanisms are not yet fully understood, it has been suggested that impaired sensitivity to the action of insulin in people who smoke tobacco could be linked to

Essential diabetes care: the prevention of fracture risk

Assessing the health of people’s bones should be a standard component of diabetes care. People with diabetes are at an increased risk for fractures; this risk increases with the development of diabetes complications. Bone fractures impose a major impact on a person’s quality of life and on healthcare budgets. Inge Van Pottelbergh explains bone loss in people with diabetes and looks at the current treatment options.

Diabetic hand infections in the tropics

Diabetes-related foot infections are a scourge all over the world. People suffer such infections when the skin of the foot breaks down secondary to peripheral nerve damage – one of the complications of diabetes. High blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) impairs a person's defences to infection. In poorly controlled diabetes in particular, infection can occur abruptly and spread rapidly. It is not so well-known that similar infections can occur in the hand. Globally, this is much less common than foot infection. However, it is a significant problem, particularly in the tropics.

Dentistry in diabetes diagnosis and management

Much attention is given to heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, and eye damage which can develop in people with diabetes. However, the mouth (oral) health complications associated with diabetes are often overlooked. In order to diagnose the potential presence of oral complications, it is very important for people with diabetes to have dental examinations at least every 6 months. In this article, Martin Gillis and Steven Saxon look at the oral health of people with diabetes with regard to the oral symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes, the oral health

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