Erectile dysfunction is one of those facts of life that many men have to worry about, and once it hits, it can be a confusing, mentally exhausting, and frustrating mess.
While it’s not a terminal illness or something that physically harms you, it is a serious condition with major implications on your life, and sometimes, it even functions as the first sign of some far more serious conditions.
Today, we want to talk about erectile dysfunction and diabetes.
We'll go over what erectile dysfunction is, how it works, and some of its effects. Then, we'll tackle the same information about diabetes before exploring the connection between the two.
Erectile dysfunction is a condition that causes the penis to either struggle to stay erect or to fail to become erect entirely.
Erectile dysfunction is typically the type of condition that can fluctuate in intensity, too. So, one time, you might not be able to get an erection at all, and then for two weeks straight, you might only get half erect. Sometimes, you might have no problem getting erect, but your erection will suddenly soften midway through intercourse.
In any event, it can be a stressful, embarrassing, and frustrating condition to deal with.
It's key to understand what causes erectile dysfunction not only to treat it but to also understand the conclusion we come to at the end of this guide.
See, the way the penis works is that, during times that aren’t arousing, it’s soft and flaccid. However, there are spongey chambers inside of the penis, and when arousal starts, the heart pumps more blood to the penis to fill those chambers. This is what expands the penis and causes it to stiffen. There are no bones or cartilage. It’s just chambers full of blood being filled to their limits like a series of balloons.
The vast majority of erectile dysfunction causes, and all of the causes that are long-term, have to do with blood flow because of how the penis works.
Primarily, scar tissue builds up over time, and it eventually prevents those chambers from receiving enough blood, or it hardens the area around those chambers and prevents them from expanding to hold enough blood for a full erection. That’s for the majority of cases, and if you’re a perfectly healthy male, that’s probably the cause of your erectile dysfunction.
However, any disease or condition that affects the quality of your circulatory system will also damage your ability to get an erection.
Things such as heart disease, high or low blood pressure, heart failure, collapsed veins, and other circulatory health problems all affect your ability to get an erection because they lower the amount of blood being pumped to the penis when you're aroused. This is why you can be mentally ready to go, but your genitals simply won't comply.
Thankfully, there are a number of solutions for erectile dysfunction. They largely vary in effectiveness, and one stands out above the rest, but we’ll cover those later.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder, and it has a lot to do with your blood, urine, and sugar levels.
See, when you eat food, almost any food or drink, your body turns it into glucose or a form of sugar. As the food is broken down and entered into your bloodstream, your pancreas is triggered to start producing insulin.
Insulin is a substance that converts the sugar your body produces into usable energy.
In diabetics, insulin either isn’t produced by the pancreas, or your cells simply stop reacting to it. This means that, while your body is breaking down food into sugar nonstop, there’s no insulin to convert it into usable energy. So, your blood sugar just continues to rise to unsafe levels, and you don’t gain any of the energy your body needs to function.
This does a lot more than just make you exhausted out of nowhere. Massive blood sugar levels without any of it being converted to energy can actually kill you. It can send your blood pressure to dangerously low levels, and your system can start shutting down.
In the long term, diabetes can cause a lot of terminal illnesses such as kidney failure, but it can also cause the loss of limbs and various other issues.
Diabetes has a number of treatments available; most of which patients can practice at home.
First, doctors will typically prescribe a form of insulin to offset the body’s incapability to produce its own insulin. This can come in pill or injection form, but injections are most common. Both can be performed at home.
Along with insulin, regular, daily monitoring is necessary. This requires pricking a finger with a specialized test that will then tell the patient their blood sugar levels. If the number is off, medication might be necessary, and if the numbers are unacceptable for a long time, it might be necessary to see a doctor for further screening.
Then, you have the at-home lifestyle changes that function as a form of treatment. Diabetes can occur in anyone; regardless of their weight, size, BMI, etc. However, it does tend to accompany more unhealthy habits more often than not.
So, it just so happens that adopting healthy habits can help reduce the effects of diabetes.
Regular exercise is key. It helps burn off some of that extra blood sugar the body produces, and in general, it just raises your overall level of health; that’s a major bonus for fighting any disease or disorder.
Controlling your food intake and precisely limiting the number of high-sugar foods you ingest is also a key factor. Eating healthier, and refraining from ingesting harmful drinks and foods can reduce the number of sugars your body produces, and it can also help increase your overall health; which, again, is the primary way to help alleviate symptoms of pretty much any ailment.
Yes, there is a link between diabetes and erectile dysfunction.
As we noted earlier, erections are pretty much entirely blood. The penis simply works as a sort of fleshy balloon. Imagine blowing up a water balloon, but your faucet just drips a few drops at a time when you turn it on. That’s just about what happens to most people when it comes to erectile dysfunction. There’s simply not enough capability to fill the penis with blood and create a stiff erection.
Diabetes has a tremendous effect on the cardiovascular system and circulatory system, and as you know from the previous section, any time those systems are weakened so is your ability to get an erection.
In diabetics, blood sugar can get out of hand, and the constant up and down blood pressure that results from that can create erectile dysfunction problems.
Many men who suffer from diabetes, both healthy men and men who can increase their overall health a bit, also suffer from erectile dysfunction to some extent. It might be the occasional inability to gain an erection, or it might be a consistent problem.
Luckily, if that sounds like you, you don’t have to put up with it.
Diabetes might cause erectile dysfunction in some cases, but that does not mean you’re stuck suffering from it. In fact, there are several things you can do to help solve your erectile dysfunction.
Let's go over them.
First, let's get the things you shouldn't do out of the way. You might be surprised, but basically, all of the traditional options have some pretty major side effects.
Check it out.
• Pills: Pills are very common, but they also commonly cause heart attacks, and if your erectile dysfunction is being caused by an underlying heart problem, that risk jumps dramatically so it's better if you treat erectile dysfunction without medications.
• Injections: These aren’t as risky, but putting needles into places they shouldn’t go certainly isn’t optimal treatment, and the treatments never stop unless you want the ED to come back.
• Pumps: Pumps aren’t too bad. They can increase scar tissue in the penis, which is a major cause of ED, but that’s only if you misuse them. The main problem with pumps is that they are embarrassing to use, and you have to use them right before sex every time you want to be intimate. Imagine stopping your partner to pull out a weird contraption and inflate your penis like a bike tire. It can kill the mood pretty easily.
• Implants: These are rods that are surgically placed into your penis. The results are fake, and it is in no way comfortable to do. It is not recommended to take this route.
If you have diabetes, and it’s causing erectile dysfunction, there are three main things you can do on your own to help ease the problem.
First and foremost, it’s time to get up and exercise consistently. Your body needs to get healthier to handle the stress of diabetes easier, and it’s needed to help process some of that excess blood sugar and eject it via sweat and urine.
Obviously, if you’re in really bad health, it’s not possible to go run miles at a time and then promptly hit the gym. However, every bit of effort you put in is good for your health, and big things are accomplished via very small steps. Don’t get discouraged. Focus on regular exercise and get yourself into peak condition one step at a time.
This will help you reduce the effects of your diabetes, and as an extra treat, your erectile dysfunction should get at least a little better.
Diabetes is entirely based on your body not processing the food you consume properly. Obviously, this means that you need to pay more attention to the foods you're eating.
In general, eating fatty, sugary, junk foods is a bad idea for diabetics. The exception is if your blood sugar plummets and you need a quick boost. Many diabetics, when not near proper medicine, will eat a candy bar or something similar in that situation. However, most of the time, a perfectly balanced diet with very healthy foods is the best way to keep blood sugar at acceptable levels.
In fact, it can sometimes make medication regimens unnecessary when combined with proper exercise. However, that is something you should allow a doctor to decide. Don’t just quit your meds because you feel better at the moment.
As you correct your body’s issues with diabetes, you’ll notice your erection getting a bit more “impressive” per se.
If your doctor prescribes you insulin and orders regular blood sugar tests, don’t go against the doctor's orders and neglect those things. The doctor is telling you to use them for a reason.
Your ED can get better just by alleviating the symptoms of your diabetes. That is what insulin does, and the blood sugar tests, while insanely annoying, do help you alleviate your symptoms by giving you a head’s up when your blood sugar is spiking or dropping.
If you’re neglecting both these things, you’re allowing your diabetes to get out of hand, and that can make your diabetes worse.
Luckily, if you follow the first two tips, there is a chance you can minimize or entirely remove your dependency on insulin. This is highly dependent on the type of diabetes you have and your overall health, but if you start to feel amazing for long periods of time while improving your health, take the time to visit your doctor.
By the time that happens, you might get erections normally as-is.
Even if you get to such a high degree of physical fitness that you don’t need insulin anymore, you might still suffer from ED.
This is because scar tissue might have built up in your penis, and that prevents the chambers of the penis from filling with blood; even when you have healthy blood flow.
Don’t worry. Keep doing what you’re doing to maintain your health, and seek out Acoustic Wave Therapy. Acoustic Wave Therapy is a sound-based therapy where a specialist massages your penis with an acoustic wand, and scar tissue within your penis is slowly broken up. Depending on the amount of scar tissue, it might take a trip or two. However, once that’s out of the way, and you’re in good health, you can get firm, strong erections regardless of your erectile dysfunction.