Erectile dysfunction and diabetes link
Erectile dysfunction and diabetes causes
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for intercourse and is common in men who have diabetes, particularly those with type 2 diabetes. It may stem from damage to nerves and blood vessels brought on by poor long-term blood glucose control. Erectile dysfunction is a frequent issue for men who have diabetes, but it is not inevitable. Consider prevention strategies, treatment options, and more.
Erectile dysfunction is also connected to other conditions common in men with diabetes, such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Erectile dysfunction might occur sooner in men with diabetes than in men without the disease. Difficulty maintaining an erection may even precede the diabetes diagnosis. Having erectile dysfunction presents a real challenge. It may leave you and your spouse feeling frustrated and discouraged. Take steps to deal with erectile dysfunction and get your sex life back on track. How are diabetes and erectile dysfunction associated?
For men, type 2 diabetes may result in an increased risk of erectile dysfunction, or ED for short. According to statistics from a survey study, the risk is 50% higher for men with diabetes when compared with men without diabetes, whatever sort of diabetes they have. When many men may develop ED as they age, those who have diabetes may develop ED 5 -- 10 years sooner than most.
It's important to remember that ED can be related to inadequate blood flowing into the penis (vascular issues), emotional problems like depression (psychological), or problems with the nerves to the penis (neurological). Diabetes can make or cause these issues worse. Therefore, patients with diabetes who experience ED are inclined to notice that the issue gradually gets worse.
Several probable causes exist in people with diabetes.
- Damaged blood vessels: Diabetes means more sugar (glucose) from the blood vessels, which can damage small blood vessels. This is what contributes to kidney damage, loss of eyesight, and nerve pain. However, damage to small blood vessels in the penis also makes it tougher to have and keep an erection. That is why ED is worse in men who have longstanding, uncontrolled diabetes. Men with diabetes and elevated blood pressure can also observe a higher risk of ED due to more damage to the vessels in the penis.
- Low testosterone levels: It is estimated that 25 percent of men with diabetes have low testosterone levels. As testosterone has a massive effect on sexual function in men, low testosterone can lead to ED.
- Mental health: Most men with diabetes may become depressed or have stress because of needing to manage a tricky disease. Depression may result in different problems with the erection. One example is a lack of sleep, which leads to a loss of morning erections, which is natural in healthy men. Stress can cause men to suddenly reduce an erection during sexual intercourse or have trouble making an erection.
- Side effects: Many men who have diabetes have been treated with several medications to decrease their risk of heart problems or complications from diabetes. Some of these medications can also lead to ED by lowering blood pressure or causing other side effects that produce an erection difficult.
Diabetes & ED remedies
Since patients with diabetes frequently have many other health problems to consider, there is no universal recommendation for addressing ED. Nevertheless, there are multiple choices you may consider.
- Prescription Medications: If a physician or medical provider determines that you have ED and is not the result of some other medical problem, they may prescribe one or more drugs to help. The majority of these work by helping to improve blood circulation to the penis.
- Medical devices: If diabetes contributes to problems with blood flowing to the penis, many devices can help increase blood circulation, especially for people who might not respond to drugs. These include vacuum-assisted erection devices, which essentially draw blood to the penis to induce an erection, which has been demonstrated to work for two out of every three men. Unlike drugs, these devices are a one-time cost, although the decision ultimately depends upon personal preference.
- Educate yourself: Since diabetes can cause ED in several ways, make sure to talk to your doctor about your treatment plan. The American Diabetes Association has some useful content focused on sexual health and diabetes, covering everything from ED to diet and exercise recommendations. Many internet resources may recommend alternative remedies or stopping certain medications you could be on. While it's possible to consider these options, you should speak with your physician before making any abrupt changes to prevent dangerous health effects or producing your ED worse. Last, gender is often an intimate interaction with a spouse, and even though fighting with ED could be frustrating, it's important that both you and your spouse feel encouraged.
- Talk to a health expert: Men are generally reluctant to discuss erectile dysfunction with their doctors. But do not let embarrassment prevent you from getting help. One conversation can make a significant difference. Here's what to do:
Inform your doctor what is happening. Your health care provider will look at the underlying causes of your erectile dysfunction and advise you about drugs and other erectile dysfunction treatments. Discover your options.
Consult your doctor if there is anything you can do to better manage your diabetes. Improving your glucose levels can help prevent nerve and blood vessel damage that can result in erectile dysfunction. You will also feel better overall and increase your well-being. Consult your doctor if you are taking the correct measures to handle your diabetes.
Ask about other medical issues. It's typical for men with diabetes to have other chronic conditions that may cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Work with your doctor to ensure that you're addressing any other health issues.
Seek counseling. Stress and stress can make erectile dysfunction worse. Erectile dysfunction can also harm your relationship with your romantic partner. A counselor or other mental health specialist can assist you and find ways to cope. A range of erectile dysfunction remedies is available. Ask your physician if these may be a good choice for you:
- Medications. Erectile dysfunction drugs pills can help facilitate blood flow to your penis, making it much easier to get and maintain an erection. Check with your physician if these medications are a safe alternative for you.
- Penile implants. In cases where drugs or a penis pump won't work, a surgical penis enlargement might be an alternative.
Treatment of diabetes is based on lifestyle changes, many of which help decrease blood sugar but by doing this can strengthen the body and decrease the risk of ED. In clinical trials, better sugar control was demonstrated to improve erections and lessen the risk of developing ED.
- Lose weight. Being overweight can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Include physical activity in your everyday routine. Exercise can help with root causes that play a role in erectile dysfunction in several ways, such as reducing stress, helping you lose weight, and increasing blood circulation. Losing weight is important for men with diabetes who are obese or overweight, as it helps lower blood sugar levels and increases blood flow. These improvements may also help with ED. In clinical trials, weight loss has been an excellent way of restoring sexual function for many men.
- Reduce alcohol. Excessive alcohol can lead to erectile dysfunction.
- No smoking -- Smoking raises your risk for ED by increasing your blood pressure that can damage small blood vessels that reside in your penis. It is even worse if you have diabetes, which can lead to blood vessel damage. Tobacco use, such as smoking, narrows your blood vessels, which may lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction. Smoking may also decrease the chemical nitric oxide levels, which signals your body to permit blood flow to your penis. If you have tried to quit but struggled request support. There are lots of strategies that will assist you to stop.
- Lower cholesterol: Research indicates that reducing cholesterol and fat in your diet indicates that men who have high cholesterol have a greater risk of ED, which makes dietary changes to lower cholesterol and fat levels can help reduce this threat.
- Lower stress: Diabetes can lead to mental health difficulties, such as anxiety or depression, which may worsen or cause ED through emotional stress. Overcoming stress can be done in multiple ways, like through meditation or counseling. Do not underestimate the difference a few changes can make. Try these strategies to improve erectile dysfunction along with your overall health.
Ayurvedic herbs & remedies for ED & Diabetes
Ayurvedic practitioners use a holistic approach that includes herbal medications, exercise, meditation, diet, breathing exercises, and physical therapy, among other procedures. Ayurvedic treatments' objective is to cleanse and restore balance to the mind, body, and soul. According to the Ayurvedic literature, a special blend of space, fire, air, water, and ground constitutes each individual. These universal components form the three energies: Vata dosha, Pitta dosha, and Kapha dosha. When one is unwell, their energies or doshas become unbalanced, and Ayurvedic professionals will treat the problem by rebalancing the doshas. When ayurvedic doctors and traditional healers treat ED, they may use treatments that act on different causative factors of sexual dysfunction.
- Ashwagandha. Ayurveda practitioners use Ashwagandha, also called Withania somnifera or Indian ginseng, to handle psychogenic ED. Individuals with psychogenic male erectile dysfunction have trouble getting or keeping an erection dysfunction because of fear of failure, sexual stress, and anxiety about sexual performance.
- Medicinal plants
There have been studies that have disproved the actions of some traditionally used herbs for ED. Researchers in India studied 30 Indian medicinal plants, which Ayurveda or contemporary scientific literature has categorized as aphrodisiacs. The study aimed to check whether these plants inhibited a compound in the body that plays a part in forming an erection. Blocking this compound enables penile tissue to relax and blood to engorge the penis to create an erection. Terminalia chebula caused the most potent relaxation of isolated rat erectile dysfunction.
- Vajikarana therapy: Ayurvedic practitioners think that Vajikarana therapy revitalizes the elements of the human body and restores balance and wellness. Followers of Ayurvedic medicine believe these formulas improve the reproductive system and improve sexual function by acting on the brain.
- Cinnamon: Researchers from Turkey conducted lab testing of Cinnamomum cassia (cinnamon) essential oil on samples of erectile tissue from rats and humans. The research demonstrated that cinnamon essential oil and its principal component, cinnamaldehyde, relaxed the erectile tissue of both rats and humans. Whether this effect occurred in a real-life situation, it would likely lead to an erection. People should note it is essential never to consume essential oils. Instead, someone can inhale the oil in aromatherapy or dilute it into a carrier oil and apply it to the skin.
- Yoga: Ayurvedic medicine also has a yoga practice. Practitioners think that those who embrace a regular yoga practice may feel less stressed and have enhanced overall reproductive wellness. Individuals can often enhance their sexual life by reducing their stress levels. This way, yoga can help treat moderate ED. A post in the International Journal of Yoga reviewed the evidence on male reproductive health and yoga practice. According to the authors, Kundalini yoga can stimulate sexual energy.
People experiencing ED should check a physician before trying Ayurvedic treatments to make sure their safety.
1. Thakur, M., et al. (2009). A comparative study on aphrodisiac activity of some ayurvedic herbs in male albino rats [Abstract]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19139984
2. Sharma, V., et al. (2012). A comparative study of ethanolic extracts of Pedalium murex Linn. fruits and sildenafil citrate on sexual behaviors and serum testosterone level in male rats during and after treatment [Abstract]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22732724
3. Vyas, N., et al. (2018). Male infertility: A major problem worldwide and its management in Ayurveda.
4. Erectile dysfunction: AUA guideline (2018). (2018). https://www.auanet.org/guidelines/erectile-dysfunction-(ed)-guideline
5. Ayurvedic medicine: In depth. (2019). https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurveda/introduction.htm
6. Dalal, P. K., et al. (2013). Vajikarana: Treatment of sexual dysfunctions based on Indian concepts. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705695/
7. Shenoy, R., et al. (2018). A comparative study on efficacy of Chopachini (Smilax glabra) and Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus) on erectile dysfunction. http://japs.co.in/index.php/JAPS/article/view/138
8. Mamidi, P., et al. (2014). Ashwagandha in psychogenic erectile dysfunction: Ancillary findings.
9. NCI dictionary of cancer terms: Ayurvedic medicine. (n.d.). https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/ayurvedic-medicine
10. Onder, A., et al. (2019). Evaluation of relaxant responses properties of cinnamon essential oil and its major component, cinnamaldehyde on human and rat corpus cavernosum. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6844336/pdf/1677-5538-ibju-45-05-1033.pdf
11. Payyappallimana, U., & Venkatasubramanian, P. (2016). Exploring Ayurvedic knowledge on food and health for providing innovative solutions to contemporary healthcare. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4815005/
12. Sopko, N. A., et al. (2014). Understanding and targeting the Rho kinase pathway in erectile dysfunction. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4696116/
13. Goswami, S. K., et al. (2012). Screening for Rho-kinase 2 inhibitory potential of Indian medicinal plants used in management of erectile dysfunction [Abstract]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23043981
14. Kisling, L. A., & Stiegmann, R. A. (2019). Alternative medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538520/
15. Mamidi, P., & Thakar, A. B. (2011). Efficacy of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal. Linn.) in the management of psychogenic erectile dysfunction. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326875/
16. Sengupta, P., et al. (2013). Male reproductive health and yoga. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734644/