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Does Insulin Cause Erectile Dysfunction

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Low Nitric Oxide Production

ED | Can Diabetes Cause Erectile Dysfunction? |

Nitric oxide is essential in order for you to get erections. It is one of the elements that you simply have to have enough of, in order to function sexually


Because it is nitiric oxide that opens the gates that allow blood to flow into your penis, fill it up and produce an erection.

With inadequate production of nitric oxide, sufficient amounts of blood cannot enter your penis. And hence, you will normally not be able to get and sustain erections.

What can cause nitric oxide production to be less than ideal?

As with low testosterone production, there are many factors at play. A diet containing too much fat and sugar, and too few essential nutrients, can impair your nitric oxide production.

So can physical inactivity, smoking, drinking, drugs, air pollution, inadequate sleep and the side effects of certain medications.

What Treatments Are Available For Men With Diabetes And Erectile Dysfunction

Men with diabetes having trouble with achieving and/or maintaining an erection can take oral medications like avanafil , sildenafil , tadalafil , or vardenafil .

However, because people with diabetes also tend to have problems with their heart, these medications may not be appropriate and could cause dangerous interactions with some heart medicines. Talk to your doctor to determine what treatment is best.

Additional treatments men with diabetes might want to consider include intracavernous injection therapy, vacuum erection devices, venous constriction devices , intraurethral therapy, penile prostheses , and sex therapy.

So what treatment is best? It depends on many factors including a man’s health and theirà ability to tolerate the treatment. Ask your doctor if you should see a specialist to determine the best treatment for your situation.

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How Is Diabetes Related To Erectile Dysfunction

For men, erectile dysfunction is a common symptom of diabetes. It is more commonly observed in those suffering with Type 2, but can occur in those suffering with Type 1 too.

The link between the two conditions surrounds the blood, our intricate network of vessels, and the broader cardiovascular system.

When glucose is present in the blood for long periods of time and cannot be absorbed into the cells, which is normally managed by the hormone insulin, it can cause lasting damage to the nerves and vessels. This is just one reason as to why its highly important for people living with diabetes to keep their blood glucose levels under control.

The reasons as to why damage to the vessels occurs is not yet fully understood. The nerves and vessels are responsible for transporting blood, and oxygen, across our entire bodies.

Erections happen in moments of arousal. Blood vessels in the penis dilate, which allows for increased blood flow. This causes an erection. However, if nerves or blood vessels become damaged as a consequence of diabetes, this becomes a much harder task for the body to fulfil.

Recommended Reading: What Can People With Type 2 Diabetes Eat

How To Prevent Ed From Diabetes

You do not have to resign yourself to the prospect of struggling with ED just because you have diabetes. Certain preventive measures, including a few positive lifestyle changes, may reduce your risk. Keep these strategies in mind when you resolve to improve your sexual health, as well as your overall health:

  • Maintain good control over your blood glucose levels.
  • Keep good control of your blood pressure, too.

Does Low Testosterone Matter

Diabetes and Erection Problems

Low sexual libido can be sign of low testosterone in men, which is more common in men with diabetes than men without, according to a study published in April 2007 in the journal Diabetes Care. Sisson says your healthcare provider can test you for low testosterone, and it can be treated with testosterone replacement medication, such as patches.

Nangia says that low testosterone is also linked to metabolic syndrome a cluster of risk factors, such as high blood pressure and excess fat around your waistline, that increase your risk for heart disease diabetes, and other health problems. You can treat metabolic syndrome by getting these risk factors under control. Exercise, lose weight, eat healthy foods, and quit smoking if you smoke.

Also Check: Foods Good For Kidney Disease And Diabetes

Are There Treatments For Men With Diabetes And Erectile Dysfunction

Men who have diabetes and are having trouble achieving or maintaining an erection can take oral medicine The NHS can provide the following medications on prescription for men with diabetes:

Brand names include:

  • Cialis
  • Levitra

However, these medicines can all affect the heart rate, and detailed consultation with your doctor is necessary to determine the best course of action.

Additional treatments include intracavernous injection therapy, vacuum constriction devices, intraurethral therapy and sex therapy.

Psychotherapy can have an enormous influence on erectile dysfunction. Further treatment such as surgery and vacuum devices may also have a role to play in some specific cases.

Some Of The Common Causes Of Ed

It is no secret that ED is much more common in those living with diabetes, hypertension, and other vascular diseases . Obese people are also poor performers in the bed.

There are many preventable risk factors for ED, like tobacco use and alcohol abuse. Certain medications used to treat chronic conditions are bad for sexual health.

A high sugar diet and insulin resistance are particularly harmful to sexual life, as it may cause vascular diseases.

One should not underestimate the role of psychological risk factors. Thus, those living with depression, anxiety, stress is also at high risk .

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Diabetes And Low Testosterone

Many men experience Low-T without being diagnosed. Many of the men who suffer from Low-T go undiagnosed because their associated symptoms match those with other conditions.

According to the American Diabetes Association , men with type 2 diabetes are two times as likely to suffer from Low-T as men without diabetes. Some symptoms of Low-T include:

  • A drop in your sexual interest
  • ED

Impact On The Patient

Can Metformin cause ED

Erectile dysfunction can have a substantial negative effect on a mans quality of life . Many men with erectile dysfunction experience depressive symptoms and anxiety related to sexual performance and avoid engaging in sexual relations. Many men also avoid seeking treatment for their sexual dysfunction. The association between the condition and depression is considered to be bidirectional, with the two conditions reinforcing each other in a downward spiral. Importantly, men with depression and erectile dysfunction have lower libidos than men with erectile dysfunction alone, and are less likely to discuss their erectile dysfunction with their partners,.

Also Check: Number Of Grams Of Sugar Per Day For Diabetic

How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction World

It may actually be more common than you think.

Doctors and researchers around the world have already done a number of surveys and studies on the prevalence of ED.

Although I need to say that there is one potential problem with this information:

A considerable amount of this information is in the form of self-reported surveys. Meaning, men filling out info about themselves without there being an actual test or control. This is problematic because the answers will often be subjective.

And also in some cases probably not honest. Meaning, some men are probably embarrassed to say Yes I struggle with ED, and instead say No.

Which means that the actual numbers may be higher than the reported numbers.

Nonetheless, we should be able to obtain some reasonably good estimates based on this information.

So what do the numbers say?

Based on these reports and studies, this is what the numbers say about the prevalence of erectile dysfunction world-wide:

  • Age group 20-29: 5-10%
  • Age group +70: 50-75%

What are the takeaways from these numbers?

First of all, many young men struggle with erectile dysfunction. And by young, we are talking about men in their 20s and 30s.

A second take-away is that erectile dysfunction is common all over the world. It seems to be more prevalent in certain countries, but it is nonetheless a condition that affects men world-wide.

A third take-away is that ED gets more and more common as we get older.

Lets look at the implications of this:

Lawrence Noticed Occasional Erectile Problems Before He Was Diagnosed With Diabetes And Thought

Sexual dysfunction in men means that they cannot get and/or maintain an erection. In women it means that they lose desire, suffer from vaginal dryness or experience pain during sex and cannot reach orgasm. Sexual dysfunction is more likely to occur when someone’s blood glucose levels are not being well controlled which means that nerves and nerve endings become damaged and physical sensations are reduced. It is not always possible for doctors to know exactly what causes erectile dysfunction it may be the result of diabetes or other health conditions such as hyperthyroidism. Also, some medications such as beta blockers which slow the heart rate may affect the ability to have erections.

Read Also: Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes In Children

Your Emotions And Getting Support

How youre feeling can have a big impact on how you have sex too. If youre feeling embarrassed or worried about a sexual problem, this can be really difficult and make you feel like you dont want to or cant have sex.

If you feel comfortable, talk to your healthcare team for more advice and support. Or if you’d rather talk over the phone, our helpline is managed by advisors with counselling skills who are ready to answer your questions or just listen. Whatever you need, you’re not alone.

Weve also got more information about the kinds of things people with diabetes told us they think about when it comes to sex and diabetes. With tips on what can help and who you can talk to.

The Sexual Side Effects Of Diabetes

How Diabetes Affects Erectile Dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction includes any problems that happen within the sexual response cycle, says Avadhanula. Everything from attaining an erection to reduced libido can be an issue for people living with diabetes.

Avadhanula says that while most of the studies focus on sexual dysfunction in men with diabetes, the disease affects women as well. With both genders, the longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to experience sexual dysfunction in some way, she says.

If you have diabetes, plus any of these symptoms, there may be a connection:

  • Lessened libido: Do you feign headaches more often than not to get out of sex?
  • Arousal inability: Does it no longer get up the way it used to? Or, have you stocked up on lubricant because you go through it so quickly?
  • Are you going through the motions without the promise of an orgasm?
  • Intercourse-related pain: Do you avoid sex because it just plain hurts?
  • Infections: Have you routinely experienced vaginitis or urinary tract infections?

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How Does Diabetes Affect The Body And Impact Erections

Diabetes prevalence in the UK is estimated to rise to 5 million by 2025,according to Diabetes UK. This represents a large portion of the population.

But what actually is diabetes? Diabetes occurs when glucose, or blood sugar, becomes too high in the blood. Glucose is a type of energy found in food.

Insulin helps the cells absorb glucose, which needs to happen. If the body doesnt absorb glucose properly, it will float around in the bloodstream which can have severe health repercussions. Diabetes happens when the body doesnt make enough insulin, or is unable to utilise the insulin it has produced.

Unfortunately, diabetes cannot be cured. However, with the right treatment it can be managed and many people living with the condition do lead varied, active lives. There are two types of diabetes, and they are as follows:

Cinnamon Lowers Fasting Blood Sugar

What it Does

To understand why this is important, you have to understand what fasting blood sugar is.

Testing your blood glucose at any given time can yield artificially high numbers if you, for example, just drank a Coke or ate a Kit-Kat.

Fasting blood sugar is when you measure your blood glucose after not eating overnight. Its the baseline for several health measurements.

A fasting blood sugar level thats too high is an early indicator of type 2 diabetes, and it works both ways.

And guess what reduces fasting blood sugar?

If you didnt guess cinnamon, scroll back to the top and start all over again.

Multiple studies have found a direct relation between cinnamon dosing and reduced fasting blood sugar.

Just one example was conducted in 2013, at schools in California and Connecticut.

This was a metadata study, meaning they didnt do any of their own research, but rather examined the results of 10 studies with a total of over 500 participants and looked for patterns .

And yep, they found patterns in the data showing that cinnamon dosage reduced fasting blood sugar significantly in people with type 2 diabetes.

All ten studies showed some degree of reduction, with some showing impressive results in some populations.

Some, but not all, of the studies, also saw a reduction in levels of hemoglobin A1c a specific marker for and indicator of full-on diabetes.

Why You Should Care

Yup. That applies here, too.

Recommended Reading: What Do You Do If You Think You Have Diabetes

How Do I Keep My Blood Vessels Healthy If I Have Diabetes

The good news is that nerve and vessel damage isnt an inevitable side effect of diabetes. There are some steps people living with diabetes can take to ensure it doesnt happen, which can in turn help reduce the chances of erectile dysfunction developing.

  • Blood glucose levels – the primary way to avoid lasting nerve damage is to ensure that blood glucose levels are kept within the optimal ranges. This can typically involve calculating how much sugar is consumed, and supplementing this with the necessary amount of insulin to ensure energy is properly being transported into our cells.
  • Eat well – Eating healthily is likely something people with diabetes already know they must do. Doing so consistently can vastly help to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Exercise – Regular exercise will help to ensure blood is properly pumping throughout the body, and can help keep the cardiovascular system in check.
  • Reduce stress – Stress can raise blood pressure. You can help to reduce nerve damage by trying to avoid as much stress as possible.
  • Dont drink or smoke – Drinking and smoking can lead to several serious health conditions, and can contribute toward blood pressure and nerve damage. If you do smoke, whether you have diabetes or not, its advisable to quit. And its also recommended to keep alcohol consumption within sensible limits. Less than 14 units a week is the lower risk guideline set in the UK, but there is no safe level of consumption.

How Do The Reversible Changes Become Irreversible


Data suggest that this could be because of several factors: Primarily, the ongoing impact of hypoxia and nerve dysfunction secondarily, owing to the accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts . AGEs are adducts formed on proteins and lipids following non-enzymatic glycation and oxidisation after exposure to aldose sugars and their metabolites. Similar adducts may be formed by lipid-oxidation products. AGEs are formed naturally in human body, and they are also ingested in food as a result of cooking processes. They accumulate with age on long-lived proteins such as collagen. Diabetes is considered an accelerated form of aging because of this elevated AGE accumulation. In addition, it is becoming increasingly apparent that relatively rapid intracellular AGE formation, primarily as a result of increased methylglyoxal levels resulting from triose metabolism, has marked effects in the pathophysiology of diabetic complications, including endothelial dysfunction., , , ,

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Foods To Avoid In The Keto Diet

Avoid anything high in carbs. Thus, one needs to give up bread and baked products, biscuits, sweets, and sugary food items, pasta, starch vegetables like potatoes.

One must also restrict the intake of beans and legumes. Many fruits are high in carbs thus, one can only have a small portion of them. One should also use sauces and dressing sparingly.

Keto diet also means avoiding alcoholic drinks high in sugars like beer or large amounts of wine.

Paul Says He Has A Good Sex Life But That He Would Seek Help Immediately If Anything Changed

People approached sexual dysfunction in different ways, and not everyone had yet discussed the problem with their partners. Those who had experienced ED on several occasions and had gone to the GP for advice, were pleased to discover that something could be done to help. One man had changed his anti-diabetes medication, and another had been prescribed Viagra .

Last reviewed March 2016.

Read Also: Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetes

Whats The Deal With Low Libido

Low libido, or sexual desire, is a real problemand one that affects people with diabetes more than those without. Men and women experience low libido as a result of poorly managed diabetes. If your sex drive is stalled, first look to your diabetes management and take steps to lower your blood glucose levels. Then consider your medications. Certain drugs, such as antidepressants, can lower sexual desire, so be sure to talk to your doctor.Researchers theorize that inflammation may also dampen desire. Sexual desire is a brain-driven event, so if inflammatory molecules cross the blood-brain barrier and circulate in the area where there is sexual desire, then it’s plausible the desire for sex may be affected. Another possible culprit: low testosterone, which often affects men and women with diabetes.

Assessment Of Erectile Dysfunction

Best Doctor for Erectile Dysfunction in Delhi, India ...

This was done by using the Sexual Health Inventory for Men which is a patient self administrated questionnaire for assessment of male sexual dysfunction, scoring from 1-21 scores, where 1-7 score= severe erectile dysfunction, 8-11=moderate erectile dysfunction, 12-16= moderate erectile dysfunction, 17-21=mild erectile dysfunction and > 21= normal sexual function with 98% sensitivity and 88% specificity .

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