With about 50 million people suffering from diabetes, India has become the diabetes capital of the world. About half of the men who are diagnosed with type-2 diabetes develop Erectile Dysfunction (ED) within five to 10 years of their diagnosis. Long work hours, fatigue and stressful work environment is often blamed for the lower sex drive in men. This is often associated with their partner’s reluctance to discuss their sexual problems.
Hence, ED remains an under-discussed, under-recognized and commonly untreated complication of diabetes. According to studies, 35 percent to 75 percent of men with diabetes experience ED (impotence) during their lifetime. Diabetic men are more prone to erectile dysfunction as compared to the non-diabetic males.
About 60 percent of men with diabetes above the age of 50 have difficulty having an erection. Signs of a normal erectile function must be exhibited by every male such as –
● He must have libido (sex-drive) for his partner,
● He should be able to divert blood from the arteries into the penis to achieve tumescence adequate for penetration
● He should also be able to discharge sperm and seminal fluid through his urethra and experience a sense of orgasm.
All these functions must be present in a sexually healthy and potent male. In India, Erectile dysfunction has been considered as a matter of shame or embarrassment for the male. People don’t want to talk about it, they think of it as a taboo to have ED and talk about it. So people visit the quacks more often than the qualified doctors or andrologists. Treatment of Erectile dysfunction is possible, one just needs the right doctor for it.
How is Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes Related?
Nitric oxide is the main chemical that is released into a male bloodstream when he becomes sexually aroused. Nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels in penis which results in improved blood flow to it. This relaxation of the blood vessels helps the chambers inside penis to get filled easily, thereby making it erect. However, if the diabetes is not managed properly , then these unstable blood sugar levels lead to the damage of the nerves and arteries. If the blood sugar levels are high, less nitric oxide is produced in the body which in turn leads to difficulty or inability to keep an erection.
“Due to low levels of nitric oxide in diabetes patients, erectile dysfunction is quite common. Some quite effective lifestyle changes to treat ED are
● Weight reduction (in obese patients)
● Quit Smoking
● Less Consumption of alcohol
● Physical Activity
● Discuss the sexual issues with your partner ,” said Dr. Vineet Malhotra.
What are the Treatment Measures for Erectile Dysfunction