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Erectile Dysfunction: A Warning Sign Symptom of Diabetes — an article on the Smart Living Network
December 15, 2007 at 2:23 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Erectile Dysfunction: A Warning Sign Symptom of Diabetes

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Studies show that erectile dysfunction may be an early warning sign for a host of diseases, including hardening of the arteries, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes .

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

  • The occasional episode of erectile dysfunction (the inability to attain or keep a satisfactory erection) is totally normal.
  • Stress, fatigue, alcohol or tobacco use, and many other common problems can cause erectile dysfunction.
  • However, if erectile dysfunction lasts longer than two months or is a recurring problem, you should see your health practitioner because it may be a sign of an underlying disease.

How does Diabetes Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

  • Diabetes is caused by the body's inability to produce or use insulin effectively.
  • Insulin is required to convert glucose into energy for the body's cells to use.
  • If insulin is not produced or if the cells cannot use it, high levels of glucose will remain in the blood.
  • Chronic high glucose levels in the blood can cause damage to the blood vessels.
  • An erection can only occur when the penis fills with blood. If there is damage to the blood vessels, the blood may have trouble staying in the penis.

Other Risk Factors For Diabetes

Diabetes has many risk factors other than erectile dysfunction. If you have any of the following risk factors, you may be especially at risk for diabetes and you should see your health practitioner as soon as possible:

  • Obesity
  • Obesity is the #1 health problem in America. It leads to a host of serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes.
  • Large waist measurement
  • If your waist is excessively large, you may be at a high risk for diabetes.
  • Old age
  • If you are older than 65, you are at an increased risk of developing diabetes. However, this does not mean that young people are at risk for developing diabetes. There has been a sharp increase of the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, even in children.
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of exercise is a direct contributor to obesity and diabetes. Regular exercise will improve the circulation and can improve erectile function in many men.
  • Family history
  • Diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, may have a genetic component. If a close relative has diabetes, your risk is increased.
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Glucose intolerance usually precedes the development of diabetes. Your health practitioner can perform blood tests to determine if you are glucose intolerant.
  • Ethnicity
  • People of African, Asian, Aboriginal, or Latin American ancestry have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Hypertension and High cholesterol
  • Hypertension, or high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can also increase your risk of erectile dysfunction and diabetes.

Seek Treatment!

  • If you experience erectile dysfunction lasting longer than two months or recurring repeatedly, you should see your health practitioner.
  • Erectile dysfunction may be a sign of a serious underlying health problem.
  • The sooner you seek help, the sooner the problem can be resolved.
  • Many men are embarrassed and refuse to seek help. Do not be embarrassed. Your health practitioner will help you find out what is causing your problem and will assist you in improving your health.
  • There are many ways to naturally treat erectile dysfunction.

Sources: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ccdpc-cpcmc/diabetes-diabete/english/risk/index.html

http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/publications/AI/cardio/

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