Diabetes & Erectile Dysfunction - What you need to know

Did you know that managing your diabetes can help revitalize your performance in the bedroom? Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a challenge to live with - and discuss. But since 35% to 75% of men with diabetes experience at least some degree of erectile dysfunction during their lifetime (developing the issue 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes), this is one subject that you should not shy away from. Instead of wallowing in ED misery and the demoralizing frustration of leaving your partner feeling unsatisfied and confused, you can and should take steps to get your sex life back on track. And believe it or not, when it comes to diabetic men and ED, the solution is simpler than you think. Want to learn more about intimacy and diabetes? Read this blog post.

What causes Erectile Dysfunction in men with diabetes?

Men seeking to engage in sexual activity need more than to be sexually aroused. They also need their blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and male hormones to be healthy and function properly. Yet, one of the complications of uncontrolled diabetes is neuropathy - nerve damage to various bodily regions, including to those blood vessels and nerves responsible for a successful erection. As such, if your blood glucose levels are not balanced, you may struggle to achieve an erection, even if you possess a healthy libido and have the proper amounts of male hormones circulating your body.

Diabetes-related Erectile Dysfunction risk factors

Aside from having uncontrolled blood sugar levels you are at an increased risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction if you are:
  • Overweight
  • A smoker
  • Do not exercise regularly
  • Engage in other unhealthy lifestyle choices

As it happens, all of these risk factors also have strong comorbidity rates with diabetes. Meaning, diabetes is likely the main cause of your ED - and getting it under control can be the key to revitalizing your performance in the bedroom.

Can Erectile Dysfunction be reversed?

In most cases, yes, erectile dysfunction can be reversed. While short-term treatments that help men achieve erections are readily available, the key to long-term ED reversal lies in addressing the condition’s underlying cause. Psychotherapy to help cope with associated anxiety can also help. It is important to consult with your doctor to check for any underlying health issues and determine the best course of treatment - never self-diagnose or medicate!

How to reverse Erectile Dysfunction as a diabetic male

There are a few approaches to taking control of your Erectile Dysfunction:
  1. Medical treatments - Drugs, such as tadalafil (Cialis) and Viagra, increase blood flow to the penis and help elicit an erection, without treating the condition’s underlying cause. The same can be said of surgical implants and mechanical devices that induce erections by drawing blood into the penis, even in the case of severe neuropathy.
  2. Therapy - Pelvic floor exercises with a physical therapist can help strengthen the muscles responsible for erectile function. And working with a psychotherapist can help you overcome depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues, leading you to potentially experience erections again.
  3. Lifestyle changes - Adhering to a diabetes-friendly lifestyle that includes proper dietary and exercise habits geared towards balancing your glucose levels, shedding extra weight and feeling your best can help relieve the symptoms of diabetes complications and even reverse ED.
All this is part of living healthily as a diabetic, outside your home… and inside your bedroom. Want to connect with other diabetics experiencing the same issues? Join the Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together community today!