Nov 04, 2020 7:00 AM


Couple: Did you know diabetes can cause ED?

Awareness, Education, Prevention

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. As we aim to raise awareness about diabetes, we encourage our patients re maintain a health and active lifestyle. As men’s health specialists, we are also here to raise awareness of diabetes and male infertility. Many men do not know that erectile dysfunction (ED) is a symptom of diabetes.

You can prevent many cases of diabetes and its complications by a nutritious diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding tobacco use.

Diabetes is a serious condition. Type 1 diabetes, which can develop at any age, occurs when your body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body digest glucose (sugar). Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition. The body struggles with processing glucose and does not produce enough insulin or resists insulin.

Key Facts About Diabetes

  • 30 million Americans have diabetes.
  • One in three American adults have prediabetes.
  • Diabetes can cause blindness, loss of your hands or feet (amputation), erectile dysfunction, hormone dysfunction, and kidney failure.
  • Diabetes greatly increases the risk of heart disease.
  • People with diabetes can live long and healthy lives when their diabetes is well managed.
  • Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented.

Prevention is Key

Making a few lifestyle changes can help you avoid the serious health complications that can occur with diabetes.

Stay Physically Active – Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight. It can also lower blood sugar levels.

Eat a Healthy Diet – Foods high in fiber, such as vegetables, beans and whole grains, can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Drink More Water – Stick with water as your main beverage. Avoid soda and other sugary drinks.

Quit Smoking – Smoking not only increases the risk of diabetes but can lead to other serious health conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.

Diabetes and Sexual Dysfunction

As men’s health specialists, we see many patients with diabetes. While many men do not realize that diabetes is contributing to their erectile problems, 66 percent of men with diabetes have erectile dysfunction. In fact, half of all men with diabetes will experience ED within 10 years of their diagnosis.

High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves that control sexual stimulation. They can also damage blood vessels. These blood vessels are necessary to provide enough blood flow to the penis to achieve and maintain an erection.

Many patients are not aware that ED can be a symptom of diabetes. We frequently see men come to us for ED and end up being diagnosed with diabetes. We can see this after we run blood work.

Diabetes can also result in low testosterone levels. If you have low testosterone, you can have a drop in sex drive. Low testosterone can also lead to erectile dysfunction and other issues. These issues could be a decrease in bone density and potentially cardiovascular disease.

Learn about the treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Diabetes & Infertility

Diabetes can also impact a man’s fertility. The damaged nerves that diabetes can cause can lead to conditions like retrograde ejaculation and anejaculation, where the semen does not come out the right direction. 

We may also see abnormally low sperm count or mobility in men who don’t manage their diabetes. If you are having difficulty conceiving, make an appointment with a urologist specially trained in male fertility.

Prevent & Treat Your Diabetes

Also, consider that diabetes can affect men’s health. Contact us for an appointment if you have any questions. We are always happy to help.

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