Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. She and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.

Nothing will get a guy to cooperate with a health regime quicker than a mention of their manhood teetering on the brink of extinction.

Diabetes management does have direct influences in this department and, like it or not, its effects may be felt below the belt.

What's going on?

High blood sugars over time may cause blood vessel and nerve damage throughout the entire body—diabetes spares no parts. has six helpful suggestions for continued sexual health

Note: If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction, see your healthcare provider.

1. Check your hemoglobin A1c every 3 months. As glucose control improves, disease side effects do too.

2. Check your testosterone level. High blood sugars may decrease testosterone levels, leading to a dampened libido. Hormones are treatable with medicine.

3. Yeast infections. See your doctor about treating this health issue, which is common with high blood sugars. Yeast is uncomfortable to live with, affects sexual relations, and is treatable. A chronic yeast infection can actually be a cause of high blood sugars.

4. Medication side effects. Many medications are associated with impotence. Check with your care provider to see if it is related to a medication you're taking for high blood pressure or depression for instance.

5. Prostate health. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your prostate, which may be affecting your sexuality.

6. Smoking and alcohol use. Both smoking and alcohol may exacerbate an already existing problem below the belt. Consider decreasing or stopping their use.