Did you know that men with diabetes are three times more likely to have problems with sex than non-diabetic men? The most common symptom is Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Since this can feel like such a private issue, many feel too embarrassed to discuss the issue with their doctor or GP. What you need to know is that its treatable! Proven treatments are available for diabetic men with ED.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
ED is the repeated inability to sustain or achieve an erection. Regardless of a man’s age, if he is healthy, he should be able to produce an erection and enjoy sexual intercourse. It is important to note that ED is a repeated inability, those who have an occasional failure to achieve an erection do not have ED. All men experience occasional difficulties, sometimes related to stress, alcohol or illness. A lower sex drive is also not a sign of ED. Even though many men with diabetes do experience a decrease in their sex drive, it is another diagnosis and is treated separately and in a different way from ED.
How Diabetes Causes ED
Diabetes can have direct effects on nerves, blood vessels, hormones and psyche, all of which are involved in a males’ sexual response. Another common cause of ED in diabetes patients is medication. Many common diabetes medication – such as blood pressure drugs, antidepressants, appetite suppressants and even over the counter eye or nose drops – have been known to cause ED. That does not mean you should stop taking your medication! Simply discuss your symptoms with your doctor or GP, as they may be able to recommend lower dosages, alternate medication or additional treatments.
Treatments for ED
This is an easily treatable symptom for men with diabetes, but you need to discuss it with your GP. It will not just go away on its own, so don’t ignore it. It may even be a sign of a bigger issue, so beat the embarrassment and talk about your ED. There are many different, easy treatments available that they can prescribe you based on your specific diagnosis.
Treating and preventing your ED is not entirely left in the hands of your doctor. You need to take care to manage your health correctly. Bad blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels as well as smoking and alcohol intake are all going to cause complications which can lead to ED. Taking proper care of your health and following your doctor’s advice to carefully manage your diabetes can help you prevent the symptoms of ED.
All of the doctors at Southport Metro Medical’s clinic have a strong commitment to general practice and continuing medical education. Whenever possible it is in your best interest to see the same doctor, who then becomes familiar with your history and can therefore give you the most appropriate advice and treatment.