Understanding The Link Between Diabetes And Erectile Dysfunction Among Men

What is Type 2 Diabetes and its Effects

Being a healthcare professional, my area of expertise is Diabetes. And I have many experiences in dealing with diabetic patients. Diabetes is a common disease and most of the people suffer from this irrespective of their ages. Different medical approaches and therapies are being used in treating this disease across the globe. The people who are suffering from the disease undergo many issues in their life too. They need to maintain several restrictions as well. Their lifestyle changes a lot. Diabetic patients use several kinds of medicines too. This result in many complications among people and one of the most common complications among male is erectile dysfunction (Alwaal et al. 2015). This is basically an inability to achieve or sustain the erection while having sexual intercourse among men which can create a massive physical as well as mental health and affect the relationship also. Among the diabetic male the complication is becoming common and in this paper I am going to describe that how diabetes becomes the reason for erectile dysfunction among men, and what are the ways to recover from it. I will consider some patients issue regarding this in the following paper but their identity will be kept hidden in order to maintain the confidentiality of the patients. In the whole paper I am intending to cover erectile dysfunction as an important aspect of diabetes among males. Erectile dysfunction happens to the people mostly who are suffering from type 2 diabetes, not type 1. So, I am not going to include type1 diabetes in this discussion.

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First of all, before going into the depth of the paper, I will explain what Type 2 diabetes is and how it affects the life of patients. Type 2 diabetes, which is termed as diabetes mellitus, is a very serious chronic disease and it is not curable. In the sequence of common disease, this holds the place of four across the world (American Diabetes Association 2014). Glucose is the main source of energy and it is supplied in the body with the intake of food. Within the body of a normal human being, pancreas detects glucose and release insulin which is a hormone that facilitates the transportation progress of glucose through blood stream (Ayano-Takahara et al. 2015). There are two methods of detecting the right amount of glucose in blood. One is done by using haemoglobin blood test by the pathologists and another way is to use the system of self-monitoring of blood glucose. In this process home glucose meter is used and all the people can perform it at their home. There is a link between stress and diabetes and with the increase of stress; a patient’s glucose level in the blood stream also increases.  Another reason of diabetes which has been recently found in the studies that there is a hormone known as Cortisol and it put gas in the tank of body which increases the level of glucose in the blood stream of the body and as a result it prompts the craving of high calorie food (Balhara, Sarkar and Gupta 2015). People eat such types of food to relieve stress and as a consequence that intake of junk food or high calorie food can create several health issues.  With the increase of obesity, sedentary lifestyle and family history the chances of this Type 2 diabetes increases among the people. This disease can cause some serious health complications like kidney failure, heart attack, blindness, nerve damage and many others. Untreated and uncontrolled diabetes can cause loss of consciousness and even it leads to the death of the patients (Bolinder et al. 2014).

Factors Responsible for Erectile Dysfunction among Diabetic Men

Males, who are the patient of diabetes mostly reports that they face problem in their sexual life due to erectile dysfunction. It is a common problem among males and as it is the most private issue, sometimes male hesitate to consult about this and they also feel embarrassed to visit a doctor for the treatment procedure even sometimes they do not discuss it with their partners and as a result it creates distance in their relationships (Brooke et al. 2014). Diabetes and even the medicines which are used in the treatment of diabetes also result in erectile dysfunction. The treatment of diabetes affects the functionally of many organs inside the human body.

Nerve: The damage in the nerve which is termed as neuropathy is the most common issue of diabetes and erection is basically the function of parasympathetic nervous system. If the nervous system is not working properly, then erection is almost not possible (DeFronzo et al. 2015). So, problem in the nervous system which takes place due to diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction.

Blood vessels: The blood vessels, specially the small blood vessels which are present in the penis are also damaged as a consequence of diabetes. Even, diabetes can also affect the circulatory system and erection cannot be achieved properly if the blood flow is not appropriate. No matter how strong the sexual desire is, if the blood flow is not taking place properly then the erection cannot be achieved or sustained during the intercourse (Fox et al. 2015).

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Hormones: Diabetes is a disease, which affects the functionality of kidneys. If the kidney is not working properly then it can bring chemical changes in the hormones of body. Hormones are directly associated with the sexuality of human being. If hormones are not functioning or if there is hormonal disorder then it also affects the erection which in turn results in erectile dysfunction among men (Green et al. 2015).

Psyche: The issues, which are related to human psychology, can also be responsible for a diminished sex drive. If any person is suffering from diabetes, then due to lifestyle change, the person undergoes many psychological issues like stress, depression which affects the sexual life and creates erectile dysfunction (Inzucchi et al. 2015). So, psychological issues are severely associated with it.

Medication: Some common medicines which are prescribed in diabetes can create the erectile dysfunction among males according to the physical condition of patients. Even, most of the males suffer from this sexual problem due to their intake of drug prescribed by the doctors to treat their diabetes (Kovanecz et al. 2016).

The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention and Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

Erectile dysfunction doesn’t mean that a person is not interested in having sex but it means that even though the person is interested in having sex, but he is unable to achieve or maintain the erection while having sex with partner. It can affect the sexual life of people irrespective of their ages. Various reasons may be their behind the occurrence of this disease. This dysfunction does not happen to everyone but most of the time, it is the diabetic patient who is suffering from such issue (Lind et al. 2017). In order to achieve or sustain the erection while having sex with partner, it is important to have healthy nerves, blood vessels, hormones and other psychological aspects. Diabetes, and its medication, affects the nerves, blood vessels, hormone system as well as psychology of human being. All of these factors directly associated with erection.

From My experience in my workplace, I have seen many people suffering from erectile dysfunction and almost all of them are diabetic patients. Even in many studies it has been found also that erectile dysfunction is being noticed among the males who are suffering from diabetes in a wider way than the men who are not a diabetic patient (Macaluso et al. 2016).  So, I have chosen this aspect in this paper as erectile dysfunction is a very common issue but it can be very dangerous that sometimes it brings peoples’ life at risk due to depression and dissatisfaction in the sexual life as it might break some relationships also due to misunderstanding.

Erectile dysfunction is one of the most curable aspects of diabetes and with proper medication, support and healthy lifestyle it is possible to achieve recovery from this issue. If a person is experiencing problem in achieving or maintaining the erection since 4-5 weeks then he is suffering from erectile dysfunction and he should consult a doctor immediately after noticing it without any hesitation (Malavige et al. 2015). Erectile dysfunction should not be avoided as this can be sometimes life threatening to because it causes kidney disease and congestive heart failures. If someone is ignoring it just because it looks weird to him, then it can jeopardize his health and his sexual life with partner also. Among the diabetic patients, the blood sugar level does not stay under control and as a result, human body cannot produce enough amount of Nitric Oxide. Vascular tissues become unresponsive to the Nitric Oxide. If the blood flows through the penis all the veins of it close off and stops the blood from flowing out which results in the erection (Marso et al. 2016). But, if the body do not produce enough Nitric Oxide and the penile tissues do not respond to the Nitric Oxide then as a result, blood is not flown inside the penis. So, penis will not be erected or hard enough to hold the blood also. This results in erectile dysfunction among diabetic males.

A Real-life Example

I have been working with this organization for many years and I am taking a care of one of the patients who was affected with type 2 diabetes, and after the diagnosis of his disease, he was instructed to avoid unhealthy living habits and exercise regularly along with taking some healthy food and diet. But, after some days, he came back with another issue that after having the medication procedure started, he is noticing that his sexual life is getting affected due to erectile dysfunction. He came to the clinic to consult with the doctor that if this is the side-effect of medicines which he is using in the treatment procedure of diabetes. Although, he just predicted this but his assumptions were quite correct also because diabetes is severely associated with such sexual problem that occurs due to erectile dysfunction. So, he was sent to laboratory in order to diagnose the real issue behind his problem. The report produced that his penile nerves are damaged and that happened due to the medication of the diabetes. If nerves of penis are not working properly then they do not support the penis to get erected while having sex. So, in his case diabetes was the main responsible factor.

Another patient can be considered in this paper in order to discuss how diabetes is associated with erectile dysfunction. The diabetic patient who was taking treatment from our clinic went under some minor psychological disorder which may affect or hamper the treatment procedure also and it can increase the blood sugar level too. When he was asked about his depression the patient at first hesitated, but after that, he revealed that he is suffering from erectile dysfunction which is affecting his sexual life and making him depressed. After the lab diagnosis, it was confirmed that his kidney was affected due to diabetes and it was responsible for producing chemical changes in the hormones, which as a result affected his sexual life with erectile dysfunction. So, from my personal experience in the clinic, I have seen how diabetes played an important role in the erectile dysfunction. Again, the risk of erectile dysfunction also increases among the diabetic men. It has been found in a study organized in specific clinics that 75% of diabetic patients experience erectile dysfunction during sexual intercourse with their partners which is not only affecting their sexual life but also they are getting weak mentally (Marso et al. 2016).

Due to all these reasons, the erectile dysfunction is an important aspect of diabetes which should not be avoided rather, treated by the specialists immediately to enjoy a sexual life properly.

The essay clearly mentions that diabetes is linked with erectile dysfunction and some studies have also proven this fact. From my personal experience, while working in the clinic I have also learnt that most of the diabetic males face problem in erection which affects their sexual life. But, diagnosis and medication is possible for this disease as this aspect of diabetes is completely curable with proper treatment done by appropriate specialists (Nowotny et al. 2015).

A number of treatment options are available for the erectile dysfunction among diabetic male. Some oral medication processes are there in which pills help in the ease of blood flow through the penis of the patient which makes it easier to achieve erection and to sustain it for a long period of time while having sexual intercourse. Specialists help to choose the right pills considering the condition of the diabetic male patient. There is another option of using vacuum-constriction device which is also termed as vacuum pump or penis pump. It is a hollow tube and it is put over the penis and it pumps blood result in blood flow through the penis which helps in achieving erection (Patel et al. 2017). At the base of the penis, another band is placed in order to sustain the erection after the removal of the tube from the penis (Santi et al. 2016). The last option is surgery. Two types of surgeries are possible. One is vascular reconstruction and another is implantation of a penile prosthesis. In the vascular reconstructive surgery, the corrections are made in the defective blood vessels of penis (Skeldon et al. 2015). But, this surgery is crucial and it is not so effective in the improvement of functionality. In prosthesis or implantation process, mechanical devices or parts are inserted into the penis surgically and when the erection is desired the entire unit it activated and it results in the erection among men even who cannot sustain their penis while having sex also get benefitted with this process (Tangvarasittichai 2015).

Diabetes is a very common health issue among the people from all over the world and it has many affects on the life of people. It not only creates issue in the functionality of heart, kidney, blood pressure, psychology but also contributes in hampering the sexual life of patients (Wang et al. 2015). However, while working in the clinic I have found that medication is possible for every aspect of diabetes and some are curable, some are controllable but not curable. Erectile dysfunction is one of the aspects of diabetes which is completely curable with some proper treatment. But, the main problem which is associated with this disease is hesitation and shyness. People find it embarrassing to discuss it with the doctors and even with their partners also. As, a result this disease is kept untreated and it increases the stress and decreases the happiness of one’s life because an individual’s sex life gets hampered due to erectile dysfunction. Not only that, if it is kept untreated for a long period it increases the change of cognitive heart diseases and also affects the kidney function. Apart from that, it also affects the relationship status among the patients’ life (Wanner et al. 2016). So, right treatment at the right time can help a person to recover from the disease to live a happy life.

In the treatment of diabetes in our clinic sometimes, if the patient is not interested, then the psychological questions are skipped. Their personal problems are not too much considered while doing the treatment. But, before beginning the treatment procedure, the doctors should let all the patients aware of the chance of having the disease of erectile dysfunction increases after diabetes. If they are aware, they can visit the doctor without any hesitation. Many men are reluctant to talk about this matter but they should be aware of that treatment is possible. A small conversation with the concerned doctors can change their life. Before beginning the treatment, the clinic should let the patients aware of the following things.

Open up to the doctors: Whenever, they find difficulty in their sexual life they should consult the urologists, and the doctor will consider all the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction and will start medication according to that (Wanner et al. 2016).

Managing diabetes: Managing diabetes is also necessary in the treatment procedure of erectile dysfunction. Improving the blood sugar levels, can prevent the damage of kidneys and the blood vessels which are considered as biggest reason of erectile dysfunction. In order to control the blood sugar level, a proper and healthy life is necessary. Leaving the consumption of alcohol, and smoking is very much essential in controlling blood sugar. A healthy and balanced diet along with regular exercise can also help in the controlling of blood sugar. Doctors can play the roles of consultants to convince a patient that how to live a quality of life with a healthy living style. So, if a patient gets expert suggestion about the process of controlling blood sugar can get help in the erectile dysfunction too (Zhang et al. 2016).

Medication process check up: Drugs used in diabetes, can also be the cause of erectile dysfunction among the diabetic men. Doctors can say which medicines are creating such issue and they can omit that from the treatment procedure for the betterment.

Psychological issue and other health problem: The diabetic patients generally experience stress, depression in their life which affects their sexual intercourse by occurring erectile dysfunction. So, the stress and depression of the diabetic patients should be managed. Some other chronic health related issues may be the cause of erectile dysfunction. Having a conversation with the patients it is also possible to point out if any chronic illness is associated with him or not (Wanner et al. 2016).

So, in my clinic if all the diabetic male patients are informed about the possibility of having erectile dysfunction after diabetes and the treatment procedure also, then the diabetes care would be better.


So, from my experience while working as a healthcare professional, it is clear that diabetes is a common health disorder among the people from all over the world and it not only affects the physical but also the mental health of the patients. The paper also mentions that there are numbers of treatment and prevention procedures have been invented by the physicians and clinical professionals that help the patients in managing and controlling the disease. But, the risk is mainly associated with the living habits and lifestyle of the patients. The disease is not curable and in this purpose, it should be prevented first. Diabetes has many aspects and one of them is erectile dysfunction which is also very common among diabetic males. Erectile dysfunction is curable, so if diabetic males are suffering from this issue they should overcome their hesitation and consult the concerned physicians immediately they can also recover the issue and enjoy a happy sexual life. Lifestyle management can also help in this regard.   


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