Disease Causes of Erectile Dysfunction: Diabetes
Erectile dysfunction is a very common problem
- Over 18 million men in the United States experience chronic erectile dysfunction, and most men will have a few episodes of erectile dysfunction in their life.
- Although a few isolated episodes of erectile dysfunction are totally normal, severe and recurrent erectile dysfunction is not.
- Although a man may experience changes in his sexual performance as he ages, erectile dysfunction is not inevitable with increased age.
- There are many causes of erectile dysfunction: About 10-20% of cases are caused by psychological factors. The rest are caused by physical factors.
Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
One disease that is notorious for causing erectile dysfunction is diabetes.
- 30-75% of men with diabetes will experience erectile dysfunction.
- On average, diabetic men develop erectile dysfunction about 10 to 15 years earlier than non-diabetic men.
- Diabetic men over the age of 50 have a 50-60% chance of experiencing erectile dysfunction.
- Diabetic men over the age of 70 have a 95% chance of experiencing erectile dysfunction.
- Men with type 2 diabetes are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men with type 1 diabetes.
How Diabetes Causes Erectile Dysfunction
The way that diabetes causes erectile dysfunction is very complex. Erections require the following factors in order to be successful:
- Healthy blood vessels
- Healthy nerves
- Male hormones
If one or more of these factors are missing, erectile dysfunction may result. Diabetes can cause problems in muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. If your blood vessels and nerves are damaged due to diabetes, you may not be able to achieve an erection.
- Pills for erectile dysfunction are very common.
- Vacuum devices, or penis pumps, may be an effective and safe alternative for diabetic men.
- Injectable medications are also effective
- Prosthetics are available to help with erections, but they must be implanted surgically.
- Herbal remedies can also help men with erectile dysfunction.
If you are diabetic, there are measures you can take to reduce your chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction.
- Consistently control your blood sugar
- Uncontrolled blood sugar can cause severe damage to the blood vessels. Excess glucose can attach to proteins that make up the blood vessels. This causes the vessels to become thicker and not as elastic. This makes it difficult for the blood to travel through them. This could cause erectile dysfunction, since healthy blood flow is critical to a successful erection.
- Keep your cholesterol within normal levels
- High cholesterol can cause clogged arteries, which restricts blood flow.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get enough exercise
- Quit smoking
- Don't have more than two alcoholic beverages per day
- Avoid the use of illegal drugs
If you are diabetic and are experiencing erectile dysfunction, there may be other causes. Be sure to see your doctor to rule out the following conditions associated with erectile dysfunction:
- Coronary artery disease
- Psychological factors
Erectile dysfunction is not inevitable for men with diabetes. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction or if you think you might be at risk, talk to your health practitioner.