Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction

Surprisingly, erectile dysfunction is a common symptom of men with diabetes – and in fact, the Canadian Diabetes Association says that erectile dysfunction can often be the symptom of diabetes that leads men to the doctor in the first place. Erectile dysfunction rates are actually very high in men with diabetes and current rates state that 50% of men with diabetes will deal with erectile dysfunction within ten years of their diabetes diagnosis, and it’s thought that up to 75% of men with diabetes will deal with ED within the course of their lifetime.

So How Does Diabetes Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Diabetes is caused by elevated blood glucose levels, and these high blood glucose levels can cause damage within the blood vessels and in the nerves. This nerve damage can extend to nerve damage in the penis, causing problems with blood flow to the penis – meaning that getting and maintaining an erection could be difficult. However, it’s not only men with diabetes that deal with sexual problems. Women with diabetes could have problems with sexual response, libido and vaginal lubrication, and both sexes could deal with a host of urological problems including urinary tract infections and bladder issues.

The longer a person has untreated diabetes, the worse their nerve damage will be because the elevated blood glucose levels have had chance to wreak havoc on the cells within their body. Therefore, the worse the nerve damage, the more pronounced the erectile dysfunction problems will be. However, erectile dysfunction associated with diabetes can be treated.

Treatments for ED Associated With Diabetes

Once you begin to get your diabetes under control you will be preventing any further nerve damage. This means that your problems won’t get any worse and you will actively be stopping it from becoming worse, so that is definitely a step in the right direction. Not getting your diabetes under control or not bringing your blood sugar to a safe level will only make your problems worse, so it’s vitally important that you listen to everything your doctor says. Unfortunately, many diabetics make the mistake of thinking, ‘If I just have one chocolate bar it will be fine’, or ‘I don’t like brown bread so I have to eat white’ – but unfortunately, thinking this way will not be okay – it will play havoc with your blood sugar and will cause more problems.

A number of treatments are available for erectile dysfunction and these tend to be oral medications that increase the blood flow to the penis, such as the well-known Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. These medications can all affect your heart rate, however, so it’s important that you see your doctor for a prescription rather than buy something online. This way, your doctor can monitor your response to these medications and can make sure that the medication is right for you. Taking medication that you’ve bought online is a terrible idea, as you have no way of knowing exactly what is in the medication and how it will affect you.

Other treatments for erectile dysfunction include injection therapy, whereby medication is injected directly where it’s needed. Vacuum constriction devices are also used, which are devices that are placed over the penis to enable an erection before love-making. Sex therapy or psychotherapy are also sometimes used in conjunction with medical therapies as quite often, erectile dysfunction can be caused by stress or psychological problems. Addressing these psychological problems and using medication to treat ED is known to be the most effective way of treating erectile dysfunction and so you should ask your doctor for more information on these treatments. For more information on diabetes and erectile dysfunction, see your doctor.