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Managing Erectile Dysfunction in Diabetes

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What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is when a man has difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. The incidence of ED rises progressively with age, where 75% of men over the age of 65 will experience it at some point.


What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is when you have too much sugar in the bloodstream. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 diabetes, which accounts for under 10% of diabetic cases and type 2 diabetes, which is over 90 percent of cases.

Type 2 diabetes usually develops from being overweight and inactive but both types are chronic conditions that you will have for your life time but they can be managed with proper diet, exercise and medications.

How Common is ED in Diabetes?

Erectile dysfunction is a common complication of diabetes; men who have this condition are two to three times more likely to suffer from ED.

The Boston University Medical Center found that of those men have type 2 diabetes, half of them will experience ED in the five to ten years following their diagnosis. Studies also demonstrated that when men under the age of 45 develop ED, this can be a sign of type 2 diabetes.

Further research suggests that if you live a healthier lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise, you can control the diabetes and your sexual life will improve as well.

What The Connection?

Complex functions are involved in getting an erection. A man needs to have healthy blood circulation, hormones, nervous system, as well as sexual desire and stimulation. Proper functioning in the nerves, blood vessels and muscle function are elements that are impaired in diabetes.

In diabetes, your sugar levels in the blood are high and poorly controlled, injuring blood vessels to reduce blood flow to the penis and damaging nerves responsible for the erection mechanism.

What’s the Best Treatment?

orlistat sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra) improve the blood flow to the penis. These treatments will not interfere with any medications that you are already taking to control your diabetes, including metformin or insulin.

Levitra in particular is the best option for those with diabetes as it is biochemically more potent than sildenafil and tadalafil and has potentially less chances of side effects. In addition, it specifically targets enzymes to contribute to better sexual functioning.

Any Other Options?

Sure, if you have diabetes, you can reduce your chances of ED with –

Sufficient sleep – ED problems can increase with fatigue, so getting more sleep is important.

Stress management – high levels of stress can impede sexual function, arousal and the ability to achieve an erection. You can reduce your stress with medication, exercise and making time for your hobbies to relax you.

No smoking – for proper sexual function, you need nitric oxide in your blood. Smoking reduces its levels and narrow the blood vessels, worsening erectile dysfunction.

Also, you can control your blood sugar levels through your diet and reducing your consumption of alcohol will certainly help as drinking excessively can damage your blood vessels.

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