Many men assume their erectile dysfunction (ED) is part of the aging process or might be due to medication. Women assume their lack of sexual response is due to aging and/or menopause.
In the US alone, over 100 million people have prediabetes or diabetes! (26 million with diabetes, 80 million with pre diabetes). Diabetes is almost a 50/50 disease with almost equal amounts of men and women having the disease. Over 100 million people in the US alone can be suffering in their sex lives because of a problem that undiagnosed and untreated, will only get worse.
For men, blood sugar related sexual issues include erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation. Erectile dysfunction is the consistent inability to have an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Among men with ED, those with diabetes can experience ED 15 years earlier than men without diabetes. ED in men under the age of 45 is often a marker of diabetes.
Another less known sexual issue, retrograde ejaculation, is also more common in men with prediabetes and diabetes. Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in which a man’s semen goes into the bladder instead of out the tip of the penis during ejaculation. It is caused by an improper opening/ closing mechanism of a sphincter. Semen can enter the bladder, mix with urine, and eventually exit the body during urination. Although this does not harm the bladder, it can cause fertility issues.
Regarding women, blood sugar related sex problems may include decreased vaginal lubrication, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, lack of desire for sexual activity, and decreased or absent sexual response (inability to become aroused, lack of sensation, or lessened ability to reach orgasm).
Why are these sexually related problems more common in those with blood sugar disturbances? Prolonged levels of high blood sugar cause damage to nerves and small blood vessels. When you move an arm or leg….the movement is triggered by nerve responses from the brain to the appropriate muscles. When your heart beats or food moves down the GI tract, it’s because of nerve conduction. The nerves involved in the functioning of internal organs are called autonomic nerves. These nerves signal the organs to work without the person having to think about it.
Involuntarily, autonomic nerve signals control the body’s response to sexual stimuli. These nerves should signal an increased blood flow to the genitals. If nerves are damaged, blood flow is hampered. Damaged blood vessels can reduce blood flow to inner organs that can also contribute to sexual dysfunction.
Blood sugar aberrations can lead to depression, fatigue, melancholy, decreased joy. So…those with diabetes can have unnecessary problems with nerves, blood vessels and blood flow, and lack of energy or desire.
Over 100 million people have this potential? What can be done?
The good news is that improvement in sexual problems for those with diabetes can be as easy as making proper lifestyle changes. The “medicine” to stop the progression of blood sugar complications is to normalize blood sugar. Living a lifestyle that normalizes blood sugar will improve nerve function, stop damage to blood vessels, and improve the symptoms of fatigue, depression, melancholy, lack of desire . Change your diet, exercise, lifestyle to improve your sex life and make you feel younger, sexier, and more sexual.
You may pop a pill like Viagra…but that’s a temporary fix. If the underlying cause of your ED is diabetes and it is poorly controlled, Viagra is not designed to stop the damage. If blood sugar is the cause of your ED, and you never treat the cause…there will come a time when Viagra won’t help.
You may take an antidepressant…but they are designed to treat an imbalance of brain chemicals. If your depression is caused by blood sugar, your depression will not resolve from antidepressants.
You may consume energy drinks, increase coffee or colas, pop an energy shot….but if your fatigue is due to poorly controlled or untreated diabetes, these stimulants won’t give you sustainable energy.
The bad news…over 100 million people in the US have the potential to develop sexual problems that can greatly affect their health of mind and body.
The good news….over 100 million people in the US have the potential to treat the underlying cause of diabetes related sexual dysfunction….and the treatment is in self management.
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