The Connection Between Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
There’s a connection between diabetes and erectile dysfunction in men. This is because it affects the whole human organism.
Diabetes is a condition where the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or isn’t able to use it as it should. Insulin is the substance that allows glucose to pass into the cells — blood sugar levels rise when this happens.
Furthermore, there’s erectile dysfunction when a man can’t get an erection. Well, some of them can, but they’re unable to keep it up during sex.
Unfortunately, the incidence of diabetes is on the rise. Moreover, we know it increases the risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction up to three times. Today’s article will explain the connection between both conditions as well as how to improve the situation.
The connection between diabetes and erectile dysfunction
As we mentioned above, diabetes (especially type 2 diabetes) significantly increases the risk of erectile dysfunction. The probability of this condition is higher as men age.
In fact, various studies assert that this problem affects almost 50% of men over 60 years of age. It’s something multifactorial that ends up causing problems in the self-esteem and relationships of those who have to deal with it.
Blood glucose levels rise in those with diabetes and the glucose damages the tissues of blood vessels and nerves when said levels aren’t under strict control.
This is the first connection between diabetes and erectile dysfunction. The nerves alter and so the sensations coming from the penis alter too. That is, there’s a significant reduction in sensitivity and, with it, the ability to have an erection.
In addition, erections happen when the blood vessels in the penis fill up. It’s much more unlikely for this to occur when there’s damage to these vessels.
In addition, it seems that diabetes also damages the muscle fibers of the penis and these can’t relax. Unfortunately, not being able to distend complicates the filling of the tissue with blood, just as with the blood vessels.
Read about Sexual Dysfunction in Diabetic People
Other factors that influence erectile dysfunction
We already mentioned the connection between diabetes and erectile dysfunction. However, there are other important aspects to this relationship. As you may already know, diabetes is associated with many other diseases.
As you can imagine, it’s important to be aware that diabetes often goes hand in hand with other health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, lipid disorders, etc. This is because all of them can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.
In addition, we must highlight the fact that any problem in the circulatory system will affect the possibility of having an erection. Thus, a person who presents some other disease besides diabetes, such as hypertension, is going to have a high risk of dysfunction.
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How to prevent diabetes and erectile dysfunction
Diabetes is influenced by many factors. The basis of the treatment is a healthy lifestyle – in addition to drugs. This is why exercise and proper diet are both essential
These measures can significantly help improve erectile dysfunction. Similarly, a person with this condition must skip alcohol and tobacco as these tend to worsen the condition.
In addition, there are certain medications and devices that help get an erection when the situation won’t resolve with other measures. For instance, the best-known medication for it is Viagra but there are many others.
Also, there’s such a thing as a vacuum penile pump — a kind of tube men can place over their penis. As per the name, it’s a pump that stimulates the arrival of blood to the penis and allows them to have an erection. It’s important to consult a doctor and let them help you choose the best solution.
Diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction because both the nerves and blood vessels of the penis can be affected. Ideally, you must consult a doctor to find the best solution when in this situation.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Anwar Z, Sinha V, Mitra S, et al. Erectile Dysfunction: An Underestimated Presentation in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus. Indian J Psychol Med. 2017;39(5):600–604. doi:10.4103/0253-7176.217015
- Epidemiología de la disfunción eréctil: Factores de riesgo. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2019, from http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0004-06142010000800010
- ¿Conoces la relación entre la Diabetes y la Disfunción Eréctil? (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2019, from https://www.fundaciondiabetes.org/general/articulo/239/conoces-la-relacion-entre-la-diabetes-y-la-disfuncion-erectil
- Diabetes y problemas de erección. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2019, from https://www.sanitas.es/sanitas/seguros/es/particulares/biblioteca-de-salud/impotencia-masculina/san041292wr.html
- Problemas de la diabetes, sexuales y de la vejiga | NIDDK. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2019, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/informacion-de-la-salud/diabetes/informacion-general/prevenir-problemas/sexuales-urologicos