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Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction: How are they linked?

Thursday 30 August 2018
Erectile Dysfunction
4 minute(s) read
Dr.Marc Applestein

Medically reviewed by

Dr Marc Applestein, MD, MSB

on 22 February 2023

Table of Contents

I. Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction

II. Symptoms

III. Treatment Options

IV. Buy Viagra Online

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that can impact just about every part of the body. Most people know about possible complications like heart disease and kidney damage. But few men are aware of the link between diabetes and erectile dysfunction. Even doctors and researchers may have underestimated the connection between these two conditions. If you are at risk for diabetes and ED, you may want to talk to your doctor about ED to formulate a treatment plan.

According to multiple studies, more than half of men with diabetes also have erectile dysfunction. Compared with the rest of the population, ED is 3.5 times more likely to occur in diabetic men. [1] Luckily, You can save money on Canadian Cialis (tadalafil) and generic Viagra online through Canada Pharmacy Depot. Read on to learn more about the connection between ED and diabetes.

Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction

There are a variety of issues that can cause erectile dysfunction. Among the most common is a problem with blood flow, which is an essential part of achieving and maintaining an erection.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are characterized by high blood sugar levels. Over long periods, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves. Although it’s not clear exactly how high blood sugar harms blood vessels, this damage causes issues like heart disease, stroke, and erectile dysfunction in men.

Low testosterone also causes problems for diabetic men, including low libido and erectile dysfunction. Reduced testosterone is also associated with increased body fat, fatigue, and decreased motivation, all of which can contribute to sexual dysfunction.

Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms

Men who have already been diagnosed with diabetes may have been warned that erectile dysfunction is a common complication of the disease. But for men who think they’re otherwise healthy, erectile problems could signal undiagnosed heart problems, diabetes, or both.

If you’re developing erectile dysfunction and experiencing symptoms of diabetes – increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination – it’s a good idea to have your doctor check your blood sugar levels.

If you have diabetes, you may begin to notice symptoms associated with your sex life. If you are already undergoing diabetes treatment, you may be prepared for ED symptoms, but it may take some men by surprise, especially if they have undiagnosed diabetes. Common erectile dysfunction symptoms may include:

  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Reduced sexual desire  [1]

Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction

Prescription medications like Viagra and Cialis are popular treatments that help to increase blood flow. But these drugs tend to be less effective in diabetic men compared to the general population. For erectile dysfunction caused by low testosterone, Viagra, and Cialis alone aren’t usually effective and may need to be combined with testosterone therapy.

Men with diabetes and heart disease should take extra care when choosing an ED treatment. If you have a history of congestive heart failure or recently had a heart attack, it may be unsafe to take drugs like Viagra and Cialis. Men who use nitrates to control chest pain should never take Viagra, Cialis, or similar oral ED drugs. You may need to supplement your ED treatment with a penis pump or penile implant.

Making positive lifestyle changes can improve both your erectile dysfunction and diabetes condition. It's important to talk to your doctor about erectile dysfunction to gain a better understanding of the habits that can cause ED. If you enact the following changes you may notice benefits to your sex life along with your overall health:

  • Quit Smoking: The chemicals in cigarettes can contribute to the narrowing of blood vessels. If you smoke regularly, it can be a difficult habit to break, but cutting out cigarettes can significantly improve ED and your diabetes condition. Smoking also decreases nitric oxide in the body, which is an essential chemical that encourages blood flow to the penis.
  • Lose excess weight: Carrying excess pounds can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. If you have gained weight due to a high sugar diet, you are also at risk for diabetes. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of several dangerous health conditions, so maintaining a healthy weight is essential to your treatment. You can talk to your doctor to learn more about the ideal BMI (body mass index) for you.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a well-balanced diet can help you lose extra weight and reduce ED symptoms. A healthy diet may involve limiting alcohol consumption because alcoholic beverages contain a lot of empty calories and sugar. Alcohol also has a depressant effect on the body, which may make it more difficult to maintain an erection.

If you take Cialis or Viagra and make positive lifestyle changes, you may be able to kill two birds with one stone. Both of these treatment methods together can prevent diabetes complications and improve your ED symptoms. [1] You can gain a better understanding of your condition by reading our erectile dysfunction articles.

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The content provided in this article is based on thorough research and in some cases, reviewed by a medical professional. Our goal for the information is to provide helpful, general health informational. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice.