Sugar Diabetes and Impotence

The problem of sugar diabetes and impotence has not received much attention until lately. Prior to research into the correlation between high blood glucose levels and the inability for diabetic men to achieve an erection, physicians neglected to associate diabetes with impotence and thought impotence resulted from an age-related decline in overall health or unresolved emotional issues.

However, with advances in technology providing doctors with a deeper knowledge of diabetes and its implications for promoting a variety of medical conditions, diabetic men now realize that erectile dysfunction is a common side effect of unregulated glucose levels and poor circulation.

It is estimated that erectile dysfunction, or ED, affects approximately 30 percent of diabetic men at some point in their lives. In addition, ED is seen in diabetic men nearly 15 years earlier than men who do not have diabetes. Generally, problems with periodic episodes of impotency unrelated to diabetes begin occurring in men older than 55 years of age.

Because male diabetics exhibit altered blood chemistry which interferes with the ability of blood to flow freely throughout the body, body extremities often develop symptoms such as numbness, tingling and weakness due to lack of sufficient blood flow. As a result, sugar diabetes and impotence are often directly associated with each other, as the male penis is considered an extremity which requires the complicated interaction of hormonal, vascular and neurological systems in order to function properly. Diabetic conditions can severely inhibit all of these systems.

Nitric Oxide and Diabetes

Nitric oxide is a chemical vital to the optimal functioning of the human body. Facilitating signal transmission between cells and vasodilation, a relaxation of blood vessel walls, which enhances blood flow and reduces blood pressure, nitric oxide plays a significant role in allowing a man to achieve an erection. Unfortunately, diabetic men exhibit low levels nitric oxide levels, as well as smokers and those who have testosterone deficiency. When high blood glucose levels inhibit the delivery of oxygen necessary for nitric oxide synthesis via blood cells, this impedes vasodilation and the ability to sustain an erection.

This vasodilating property of nitric oxide also explains why it is administered to patients experiencing atherosclerosis and angina pectoris, or severe chest pain. Further, the drug Viagra employs nitric oxide as one of its ingredients as well.

Risk Factors Contributing to Sugar Diabetes and Impotence

Impotency in Diabetic MenCertain lifestyle choices and pre-existing medical conditions may worsen impotency in diabetic men. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Trauma
  • Anti-depressant use
  • History of psychological problems
  • Poor diet and unregulated blood glucose

Upon presenting the problem of erectile dysfunction, a male diabetic should receive a complete physical exam from his doctor to rule out any other mitigating factors that may be causing the impotency, other than diabetes complications. ED may also be further investigated by administration of lab tests including thyroid, testosterone and prolactin blood tests.

Treatment of Sugar Diabetes and Impotency

An effective variety of treatment plans and devices exist for men who suffer from ED. The best form of treatment is simply taking good care of health, following a healthy diabetic diet to control glucose levels and taking any medication as prescribed by a physician. Other treatment suggestions include:

  • Avoiding cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs
  • Participating in a regular exercise plan
  • Asking your doctor about taking Viagra or other erectile dysfunction medication
  • Using vacuum pumps, which cause no side effects and require no prescription
  • As a last resort, surgically inserting a penile implant by implanting a rod into the penis to maintain a permanent erection

Psychological factors frequently coincide with ED and should be addressed with a combination of counseling and appropriate treatment plans.

By diligently following treatment methods of regulating blood glucose levels, which maintains a sufficient amount of blood flowing to the body’s extremities, sugar diabetes and impotence does not have to be an inevitable issue with diabetic men.


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