Men with diabetes, particularly type 2, are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than men who do not have diabetes. Additionally, erectile dysfunction occurs approximately 10 to 15 years earlier in men with diabetes. Symptoms of ED might even be experienced before a known diabetes diagnosis has been made. Nonetheless, there is treatment for ED and symptoms can be managed in most cases.
Why do men with diabetes have it tougher?
To get an erection, men need healthy blood vessels, nerves, hormones and muscle function. Unfortunately, diabetes damages the nerves and blood vessels that control the ability to have an erection. When there’s damage to a man’s penile nerves, it can lead to ED. In addition, diabetes causes a narrowing and hardening of blood vessels which essentially prevents blood flow to and from the penis.
Unstable blood sugar is also to blame since not enough Nitric Oxide is produced when levels are not controlled. Finally, it is common for men with diabetes to have lower levels of testosterone. Low T is a major contributor when it comes to difficulty getting and maintaining an erection.
Not all these factors have to be true for a diabetic man. For example, there may be enough testosterone and blood sugar may be stable. But if there is nerve and blood vessel damage, even if a man does have the desire to have sex, may find it difficult to achieve an erection.
Thankfully, men suffering from erectile dysfunction can get help and treatment. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss this with your practitioner. Not only is it important to fix erectile dysfunction so that you can lead a healthy sex life. Your doctor will also want to check for underlying health conditions that are often associated with ED. Examples of those conditions are diabetes, as we have mentioned, and high blood pressure.
There are oral medications that men with diabetes can take to help with ED. It’s important to consult with your doctor though because sometimes these medications aren’t always suitable for those with heart problems. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment.
There are additional treatments available which help with blood flow. Examples are intraurethal therapy, venous constriction devices, intracavernous injection therapy, vacuum erection devices and sex therapy. Your health and other medication conditions will very much affect which is the best treatment for you.
Since ED can be a very stressful condition, a lot of men find they suffer from anxiety and other psychological or relationship problems. This stress can make ED even worse. We recommend to seek advice from a counselor who can help you and your partner find ways to cope.
Lifestyle changes can also make a difference and improve your overall health. Keeping your weight healthy, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol and increasing exercise all send signals to your body to increase blood flow.
Don’t suffer in silence. There are treatment options for almost every case and you can and should start living a normal, healthy sex life with the right treatment plan.