For a good few many, diabetes and erectile dysfunction just tend to be two separate conditions that cannot be interlinked together. We agree with the thing that diabetes and erectile dysfunction are sumptuously two entirely different cases, but do you know that these two goes hand-in-hand and are interrelated?
Well, diabetic cases are known to induce erectile dysfunction later on. In fact, erectile dysfunction is a major issue as more than 35%-75% of the diabetic men ends up suffering from it. We here would be looking into the relation between diabetes and erectile dysfunction as part of our informative series on Diabetes. We’ll further look into the risk factors, diagnosis procedure, and the prevention module for it down below in our today’s entry.
Read along as we look through the ‘Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunctions (ED): What’s the Connection?
Table of Contents
What’s Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Erectile Dysfunction is the term coined for the inability in keeping and erection firm to indulge in the sexual intimacy. Erectile Dysfunction has also been known around as impotence in many regions. Erectile Dysfunction is more common with the increase in age. The case can be seen occasionally in many individuals. Any such occasional instance of it isn’t as a grave sign.
However frequent cases of erectile dysfunction can be a sign of otherwise heath issues and should be treated at the earliest. It is estimated that severe cases of erectile dysfunction occur in almost 10% of individuals in between the age bracket of 40-70 age while around 25% of them suffer from the moderate case.
Diabetes and erectile dysfunction share between them the connection of blood circulation and the nervous system. As the blood sugar levels rise up in the individuals with diabetes, the small blood vessels and nerves get affected. These lead to damage of the nerves that guide the sexual stimulation which in turn leads to inability in achieving a firm erection.
Furthermore, reduced blood flow in the blood vessels that gets damaged as a result of high blood sugar levels also contribute their part in causing erectile dysfunction. According to the researches and studies conducted around the globe, almost half of the diabetic patients, especially the Type 2 ones end up suffering from Erectile dysfunction in the next 5-10 yrs.
The Risk factors for Erectile Dysfunction
Apart from the old age where erectile dysfunction is a common theme, there remains quite a few risk factors that add up in causing ED. We’ll look into what really puts an individual at a risk for contracting erectile dysfunction down below in a listicle form in this segment. Read along:
- A poor management of blood sugar levels.
- High levels of stress and anxiety
- Occurrence of depression
- Inactive lifestyle and lack of exercise
- Improper diet schedule
- Obesity or signs of it
- Indulge in alcohol or tobacco intake
- Uncontrolled levels of hypertension
- An abnormal blood lipid status
- Side effects of medication
The Diagnosis Procedure
A look back into the patient’s medical history will always help around in diagnosing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. That will help inform the doctor about the nature and the degree of the erectile dysfunction. Often physical examination is conducted to find clues related to ED.
In many cases, though, laboratory tests are conducted like monitoring the nocturnal erection. Other than that, the psychological examination is also conducted in patients to find if any psychological factors are involved within.
A patient is strongly advised to seek medical guidance if any changes in duration and frequency of erection are noticed to help be on the safe side. Don’t be reluctant to seek help as the case might cause greater harm later on.
For patients with diabetes, a look into whether any future occurrence of Erectile Dysfunction will occur or not will help you better in managing it. A proper guidance will help you seek preventive steps against it early enough.
The Treatment Procedure
We’ll look into the treatment procedure in three parts, i.e. oral medication, non-oral medication, and psychotherapy. Read along as we discuss each segment in brief down below.
a) Oral Medication
- Patients diagnosed with erectile dysfunction are generally recommended with oral medications to help increase the blood flow to the sexual organ. As of a norm, Viagra (sildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil) or Cialis (tadalafil) are advised first hand by the doctors.
- For diabetic patients, these medications might interfere with the diabetic drugs and thus preventive medications like Glucophage (metformin) or insulin intakes are prescribed along.
b) Non-Oral Medication
- Non-oral medication involves treatment via the use of vacuum constriction device or alprostadil medication. Alprostadil medication is in form of intracavernous injection and intraurethral alprostadil suppository. Vacuum constriction uses a plastic tube placed over your penis which increases the blood flow in the penis and allows it to erect. These pumps are either hand or battery operated.
- Alprostadil uses hormone medication for stimulating the blood flow in the penis and is sub-divided into intracavernosal injection where alprostadil is injected into the penis and intraurethral application where a pellet of alprostadil is placed into the urethra.
- This treatment used sex therapy and psychotherapy to help lift the cushion on the patient’s erectile dysfunction. Psychotherapy is known to offer enormous influence to the patient in dealing with erectile dysfunction.
The Prevention Module
Since diabetes is one of the core issues relating to the occurrence of Erectile Dysfunction, it’s strongly advised to keep your diabetes in check. A properly managed diabetes will help in lowering the risk for erectile dysfunction later in life.
We’ll further enlist some preventive tips to help you manage your diabetes better down below. Read along.
a) Controlling your blood sugar levels
- A proper management of blood sugar levels is one of the basic preventive measures for preventing ED. You can control your rising blood sugar levels and keep it in check via a healthy diet. A healthy diet including more of the fibers and natural ingredient and cutting back on sugar intake is something you should always take care of.
b) Getting an active lifestyle
- A healthy lifestyle goes in hand with a healthy diet. Having a proper workout or exercise in your daily routine goes a long way in helping you manage your blood circulation levels. This helps a long way in preventing ED.
c) Cutting the indulge of alcoholic and tobacco-induced products
- Indulgence in alcoholic consumption and smoking is known to damage your blood vessels. This affects the blood flow in penis region and in turn, leads to inability in having a firm erection. It is strongly advised to stay away from acts of drinking and smoking to be on the preventive side of the things.
d) Proper sleep is the way forward
- Fatigue remains a known culprit for causing sexual inability in this modern hectic schedule. Having a proper sleep rhythm will help you keep the fatigue at bay and will lower your risks for the occurrence of ED.
e) Keep your stress at bay
- Just as fatigue interferes with your sexual orientation, stress can do the same levels of harm. Stress is known to affect your sexual arousal and ability in maintaining an erection. A healthy lifestyle with stress at bay will help better in your sexual indulgence. You may further enlist the help of meditation or even a therapist to help curb down the stress levels.
The Bottom Line
Diabetes remains a chronic condition that is known to affect or life. Diabetes induces a whole lot of complications down the line of which Erectile Dysfunction remain one. Erectile Dysfunction is the quite stressful case and can end up being one of the difficult scenarios ever faced. Keeping your diabetes levels in check and managing it better will help you along way in avoiding erectile dysfunction in life.
Well, that’s all from us on this one. We’ll be back with another entry pretty soon. Till then, stay safe and stay healthy.