Living with diabetes is hard on your diet, but it's soft on your erections. One of the unfortunate side effect of diabetes is that it can trigger erectile dysfunction (ED). Studies suggest that approximately half of men diagnosed with diabetes also experience erectile dysfunction (1). That means if you have diabetes you have a 50% chance of also developing ED. We don't like those odds, Brother. Let's delve into what's going on here and what steps you can take to protect yourself from this double whammy.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body's inability to produce or effectively use insulin. Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar (glucose) levels. In those diagnosed with diabetes, the persistently elevated blood sugar levels can lead to a wide range of complications throughout the body including ones that effect nerves and blood vessels.
What does Diabetes have to do with Erectile Dysfunction?
We uncovered a number of startling connections between the effects of high sugar levels and ED:
- Nerve Damage: High blood sugar levels over time can damage the nerves throughout the body, including those responsible for triggering and maintaining an erection. This condition, known as diabetic neuropathy, can lead to reduced sensitivity and impaired nerve function. This dwindles your sexual response (2).
- Blood Vessel Damage: Diabetes can also impair blood vessel function, leading to a condition called endothelial dysfunction. The impaired blood flow to the penile area can hinder the ability to achieve and sustain an erection.
- Hormonal Imbalances: Diabetes can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance in your body. The hormonal changes associated with diabetes interfere with the process of achieving an erection, contributing to erectile dysfunction and testosterone imbalances.
- Increased Inflammation: Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause chronic inflammation in the body. Inflammation can affect the delicate balance of hormones and biochemical processes involved in achieving an erection.
- Reduced Nitric Oxide Production: Nitric oxide is a key player in the erection game. High blood sugar levels impairs the production of nitric oxide, resulting in a less than winning performance in the bedroom. Read more or watch our video about Nitric Oxide here.
- Psychological Factors: Living with diabetes and managing the associated challenges can take a toll on a person's mental and emotional health. The stress, anxiety, and depression that may arise from dealing with diabetes can contribute to erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual performance.
What can I do to prevent this?
The good news is that ED is fully treatable (4). Here are some are steps you can take to protect your manhood:
- Blood Sugar Regulation: Maintaining optimal blood sugar levels through a combination of healthy eating, regular exercise, and medication as prescribed by a healthcare professional will help balance your circulatory system and hormones.
- Healthy Lifestyle Habits: Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, limited alcohol consumption, and avoidance of smoking can promote overall vascular health and minimize the risk of ED. This also improves nitric oxide production, which strengthens the signals your body needs to sustain erections.
- Open Communication: Discussing concerns about sexual health is crucial. Speaking with a health care professional to ensure early detection and proper diagnosis of symptoms is key.
- Preventative Supplements: The use of all natural, holistic supplements like Stamen can help your system stay in flow. Our ingredients like Pine Bark contain phenolic acids that naturally regulate blood sugar regulating effects. Just two capsules a day can help you stay stronger, naturally.
*This article is for information purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any illness. Please contact a medical professional prior to taking any supplements or medications
1. Kouidrat Y, Pizzol D, Cosco T, Thompson T, Carnaghi M, Bertoldo A, Solmi M, Stubbs B, Veronese N. High prevalence of erectile dysfunction in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 145 studies. [PubMed]
2. American Diabetes Association. (2021). Diabetes Basics. Retrieved from [https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics]
3. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Erectile Dysfunction. [MayoClinic]
4. Burch, Kelly. April 21, 2021. Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction [VeryWellHealth]