Erectile dysfunction is a technical term that includes disorders in which a man cannot get an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual activity and the problem persists for at least six months. In patients with diabetes, the incidence of erectile dysfunction is 3-5 times higher than in other men and occurs about 10-15 years earlier than in the rest of the population. This disorder is often the first symptom that leads to the diagnosis of diabetes.
Causes of erectile dysfunction in diabetes
Erection is a neuro-vascular process controlled by hormones. However, in diabetics, all three of these systems (nerves, blood vessels, and hormones) are disrupted. Hyperglycemia and often present atherosclerosis lead to a deterioration in the blood supply to the armpits of the penis. In diabetes, the nerves are also malnourished, which can lead to neuropathy (impaired transmission of nerve signals) and therefore a decrease in muscle activity in this region. And thirdly, especially with obesity, which often accompanies type 2 diabetes, hormonal control of erection is also disturbed .. Due to the greater amount of adipose tissue, the activity of enzymes changes, which leads to increased conversion of the male sex hormone testosterone to the female sex hormone estradiol. A good concentration of testosterone is important for a sufficient libido. Sexual problems can also be aggravated by mental problems, stress, or other diseases and taking certain medications.
How to treat erectile dysfunction in diabetics?
Erectile dysfunction is often well treated. First of all, it is important to stabilize your blood sugar level and adjust your lifestyle – increase physical activity, reduce smoking and alcohol consumption, eat right and reduce excess weight. Even a simple weight loss can significantly improve erection.
In addition to physical activity, the psyche can be supported by appropriate relaxation techniques (for example, yoga). In some cases, the doctor may recommend prescription medications that most often contain sildenafil. Less common treatments include androgen hormone therapy, injections into the axillary parts of the penis, vacuum erectors or penile implants. Psychotherapy plays an indispensable role in solving erectile dysfunction. Mental problems are an indirect cause of erectile dysfunction, so for many men, psychotherapy is a method to be used in the first place.
With the increase of diabetes in society, the number of men suffering from erection problems is also increasing. For an effective solution, it is always important that the patient trusts his doctor so that the patient can openly trust him. A general practitioner or a diabetologist will assess the state of health and, together with the patient, decide what to do next. You can also recommend an examination by specialists (urologist, sexologist, psychotherapist, etc.).