Diabetes And Men's Health
Submitted by: Vivian L. Brennan
Men with diabetes have a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction (ED): a man with diabetes has a 4 in 5 chance of facing ED, whereas a man without diabetes has a 1 in 5 chance.
Erectile Dysfunction refers to an inability to achieve or maintain an erection hard enough for sexual intercourse. It falls under the blanket term impotence, which also covers other sexual problems such as lack of arousal and the inability to orgasm. Erectile dysfunction is not simply an occasional inability to perform sexually that occurs to every man; if you have erectile dysfunction, you will be unable to achieve or maintain an erection over 50% of the time.
Although erectile dysfunction often occurs with age, it is not a normal part of aging and can be treated. For men with diabetes, erectile dysfunction occurs an average of 10-15 years earlier than in other men.
Why does diabetes often lead to erectile dysfunction? Diabetes is linked with many nervous system disorders, and erectile dysfunction can be caused by nerve damage. Nervous system damage can cause erectile dysfunction because the nervous system tells your body when you are aroused. If you are emotionally aroused but your nervous system cannot send the message to your penis, then you will not get an erection. Diabetes can also cause blood vessel disorder. Vascular damage (damage to the blood vessels) alters the blood flow in the body. As an erection is caused when corpora cavernosa in the penis are filled with blood, vascular damage can affect erections. Erections are caused by the interplay of the nervous system and the vascular system, along with other factors.
People with diabetes are more apt to be depressed. Depression might be caused by poor blood sugar control and hormonal imbalance. Psychological factors can play a large role in erectile dysfunction.
How can you prevent erectile dysfunction if you have diabetes?
• Control your blood sugar levels. This will help you prevent possible nerve damage or damage to your vascular system. These are two of the complications from diabetes that can lead to erectile dysfunction.
• Talk to you doctor or health team. They will be particularly helpful for you if you are trying to maintain even blood sugar.
• Quit smoking. Smoking damages your blood vessels by making them contract.
• Don’t drink excessively. Excessive alcohol consumption can also damage your blood vessels.
• Exercise. Having a steady exercise regimen will help keep your nervous system and vascular system healthy.
• Eat well. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been proven to prevent complications in diabetes, and will help you control your blood sugar levels.
• Calm yourself. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or other psychological issue that is inhibiting your sexual performance, see a professional. Often just the fear of erectile dysfunction is enough to hamper performance.
If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, consider seeing a urologist. A urologist specializes in sexual health and will be able to help you decide on the best treatment program. You might be prescribed medication, such as Viagra, that will help you achieve an erection. You might also consider using a vacuum pump to help blood enter the penis. To maintain the erection you place a ring at the base of the penis. You might consider having an implant or penile injections.
Before taking any medical action, try using the tips above to manage your erectile dysfunction. Diabetes does not necessarily have to lead to complications, which includes erectile dysfunction. You can lead a normal sexual life, even as you grow older. Knowing this information might help you find sexual energy you didn’t know you had!
About the Author: Vivian Brennan is an expert on diabetes, and is currently an editor at The Guide to Diabetes. She believes in educating people about diabetes to help manage diabetes, prevent complications, and improve lifestyles.
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