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Home / Diabetes / Impotence and Diabetes

Impotence and Diabetes

person checking his diabetesContrary to popular thinking, impotence is not an uncommon sexual disorder that only a handful of men experience. Studies show that one in every ten men suffers from impotence during attempted intercourse. Impotence differs from having low sexual desire or experiencing problems with your ejaculation and orgasm; being impotent means you have trouble sustaining an erection or maintaining an erection for long enough to complete sexual intercourse.

Men of all ages can suffer from impotence, but the condition is more pronounced in men with diabetes. Clinical studies suggest that around 80% of men with diabetes may develop impotence compared to approximately 22% to 25% of men who do not suffer from diabetes. Impotence can also strike at an earlier age for diabetics.

Diabetes does play a bigger role in accelerating the development of impotence. It can often contribute in three different ways:

  • Nerve disease arising on account of diabetes
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Poor management and control of blood sugar

If you feel your diabetes may be causing erectile problems including impotence, you should discuss the problem with your GP or diabetic clinic doctor. Some doctors will refer you to a specialist or your GP practice may already have a clinic within the surgery. Once you have been referred to a specialist, there will be a general assessment of your health which will include an evaluation of any medications you might be taking.

You can take several precautions to prevent impotence as a result of diabetes, such as making simple lifestyle changes to help you to live a healthy sex life. They include:

Eating well

Approximately 80% of diabetics are overweight when they are diagnosed. Eating a diet with low salt, sugar and fat levels with lots of fruit is an effective way to prevent diabetes.

Being physically active

Apart from achieving a sense of self-satisfaction, regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by up to 64%. Swimming and walking are particularly useful exercises that can also help you burn lots of calories.

Stopping smoking

Smoking is well known to cause high blood pressure which can cause heart disease. This is a major risk factor for developing diabetes. You can increase your chances of quitting with a quit smoking treatment like Champix.

Watching your waist

Men with a waist of 37 inches or more are at a higher risk of contracting diabetes. Excessive weight gain puts a strain on your body and can directly affect your sexual performance.

Getting checked out

Diabetes can lay undetected for up to 12 years, which means that by the time 50% of diabetics have been diagnosed, they will already be suffering from serious health complications.

Although diabetes can accelerate the development of impotence, it is not the only root cause. Physical and psychological causes including heart and liver disease, trauma and surgery as well as general or severe depression can all lead to impotence. Worries about sexual performance may also enhance the risk of men experiencing this sexual condition.

Blood tests can be performed to check your hormone levels, diabetes control, blood pressure and general fitness. You may also be asked about personal relationship issues such as your sex life between you and your partner.

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