This article will help you understand what erectile dysfunction is, the causes of the dysfunction, the treatment options for erectile dysfunction and diabetes, and the relationship between diabetes and erectile dysfunction.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
First, let us define erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common sexual disorders for men which leads to poor sex performance because of the inability to keep an erection. The condition is also called Impotence which is more common in older men with ages between 40 and 70 years.
Erectile Dysfunction – Symptoms and Causes
How will you know if you have erectile dysfunction? Difficulty in getting and keeping an erection and poor sex performance are the common symptoms of the condition.
Now, what are the causes of erectile dysfunction?
The causes of impotence can be psychological, emotional, or physical. Some emotional or psychological aspects include stress, depression, anxiety, and some feelings that affect sexual intercourse.
It can be stress from work or problems with the partner. We can also consider some feelings like fear and nervous because these are factors leading to poor sexual performance. Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by physical factors.
Unhealthy lifestyles, too much use of drugs and alcohol, smoking are an example of this. And according to some experts, erectile dysfunction is associated with other diseases like high blood pressure, heart diseases, hormonal problems, and diabetes. Among these conditions, diabetes is said to be one of the major causes of erectile dysfunction for most men today.
Sexual and Urologic Problems of Diabetes
It has proven that diabetes is the cause of erectile dysfunction. Studies show that men with diabetes are more prone to have erectile dysfunction – they are 3 times more likely to suffer from the condition compared to those without diabetes. Impotence happens because of the damaged blood vessels and nerve cells in the body. The damaged nerves will affect or stop the normal functions related to the sexual ability of a person.
Aside from erectile dysfunction, there are other related sexual and urologic problems of diabetes like retrograde ejaculation, urinary tract infection, and bladder problems. Retrograde ejaculation happens during ejaculation where there is a problem with the semen. During ejaculation, semen should go out in the penis, but in retrograde ejaculation, it enters the bladder and goes with the urine.
Another condition that occurs to men with diabetes is the bladder problem. Bladder problems happen if the nerves that are connected with the bladder are damaged already. There are different types of bladder problems which are overactive bladder, urine retention, and poor control of sphincter muscles.
The common symptom of overactive bladder is frequent urination which is more than 8 times a day. The damage of nerves is the reason why the bladder feels full and that causes pressure, indicating that it is time to urinate. This condition is called urine retention which may cause damage to the kidney.
Another type of bladder problem is the poor control of sphincter muscles. The sphincter muscle is the one responsible for holding the urine in the bladder. So if the muscle will be damaged, it will affect the person in releasing his urine.
Urinary tract infection is another urologic problem of diabetes. Urinary tract infection happens when the bacteria go to the urinary tract. The usual symptoms of the infection are nausea, high fever, urge to urinate, pain in the back, pain in the bladder during urination, and fullness in the rectum.
Since we all know what erectile dysfunction is, as well as the symptoms, causes, and other related diseases, a man should also be aware of the preventive measures he should exercise. As they say, prevention is still better than cure. Here are some ways to avoid diabetes and erectile dysfunction.
The first thing is to be careful about what you eat. Eating habits that are not good for the heart will also affect the penis and the ability to keep an erection. Studies show that a man who has a healthy diet is not prone to erectile dysfunction. A healthy diet includes fruits and vegetables, fish, oil nuts, and other heart-friendly foods.
Do not abuse drugs and alcohol. As we all know drinking alcohol can damage the liver and it may also result in some other conditions. Male hormones are greatly affected by too much intake of alcohol which can lead to impotence. Drinking occasionally is advised but it would be better to stop drinking at all.
Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are also recommended. Exercises like running, walking, swimming and some sports like basketball, volleyball and badminton are helpful ways to prevent erectile dysfunction.
Being overweight may lead to some conditions like diabetes and we all know that diabetes will affect the nerve that’s connected to the penis. This will probably result in impotence so men should always maintain a healthy weight.
Smoking should be stopped. Like alcohol intake, smoking doesn’t have any good effects on our health. It can damage the flow of blood vessels to the penis.
Taking steroids is also a big no-no. Steroids are usually taken by athletes but too much use of steroids will affect the production of testosterone.
Avoid stress. As discussed earlier, stress is one of the common causes of erectile dysfunction. So do anything to be more relaxed and be more confident when having sex with the partner.
Protect your penis. A penis injury from sex is sometimes the cause of erectile dysfunction. To avoid any pain or injury during sex do it most comfortably. If someway your penis was hurt, tell her and ask her to stop.
For those who already have erectile dysfunction and diabetes, there’s nothing to worry about because there are different kinds of treatments.
The most common type of treatment for men with erectile dysfunction is using oral medications.
Viagra is the most common example of oral medication. But oral medication is not recommended sometimes because as we all know, diabetes is associated with heart diseases.
The medicine for the heart may not go well with this oral medication. It is also important to consider other types of treatments or therapy and before taking any medication, it is advisable to talk to the doctor first.
Alternative Treatment Options
Aside from oral medication, some alternative treatments can also be used as treatments for Erectile Dysfunction.
These alternative treatments are Herbal Remedies, Nutritional Supplements, and Acupuncture. For herbal remedies, the best example is Gingko Biloba and Asian ginseng.
They say that these 2 herbs are proven to improve erection.
There are also nutritional supplements like zinc, amino acid, Vitamins E, and C.
These supplements are proven as a great help for those with Impotence.
Acupuncture is a method of medicine originated from China; this is a process of sticking needles into some points of the body.
The process was able to help some people with impotence because it improves the balance of the body.
Vacuum Constriction Device
Another treatment that can be used is through a device called a Vacuum Constriction Device. This device is used to keep an erection through the pump of the device. The pump can be put directly into the penis to get an erection.
A penile implant or penile prosthesis provides longer or maybe the permanent solution to erectile dysfunction. The procedure is just being used if the condition can’t be resolved by natural treatments and some medications. This is a surgery wherein malleable rods will be implanted inside the penis. After the procedure, the erection will not be a problem anymore and the penis will look the same as it is.
Vascular Reconstructive Surgery
Vascular Reconstructive Surgery is another procedure to help improve erectile dysfunction. The procedure is difficult and it cost too much. The purpose of the surgery is to improve the supply of the blood going to the penis. The result of this procedure is not good throughout the years but the surgery is recommended for younger men with erection problems.
The last procedure in our list has been used for generations and it’s originated from Western Africa. The name of the supplement is Yohimbine which came from the bark of the Yohimbe tree. Although the supplement has been used for years, the effectiveness of Yohimbine is not yet proven.
Possible Future Treatment Options
Some of the experts are trying to develop new products or medications for erectile dysfunction which they say will be more effective. It is not impossible that this product can be used a few years from now. So to give you an idea, the names of the products are Uprima, Melanocortin activators, Topiglan, Avanafil, and Gene Therapy.
Erectile Dysfunction is not just a simple condition because it can be a sign of a more serious condition like diabetes. A better understanding of erectile dysfunction and regular consultation with the doctor are always the best things to do.
And always keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent erectile dysfunction or diabetes. Sex life is part of our life and resolving erectile dysfunction problems will lead every man to better sex performance – and happier life.
Would you like to know more?
We recommend that you visit the following websites:
- Diabetesjournals.org – Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction
- Medicalnewstoday.com – Can erectile dysfunction be reversed?
- Diabetes.org – American Diabetes Association
- ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Sexual Dysfunction in Diabetes