Both relating to blood flow, diabetes and erectile dysfunction often go hand in hand. When it comes to finding an easy, everyday natural treatment to heart health and sexual heath, it helps to understand both these conditions and their relationship to each other.
What is diabetes?
The most common form of diabetes is type 2 or adult-onset diabetes. It affects more than 24 million Americans, and of those, 6 million don’t even realize they have it.
With type 2 diabetes, people are unable to produce enough insulin, a hormone that helps cells use sugar or glucose for energy. Without insulin, the sugar can’t get into cells and remains in the blood instead. As a result, blood sugar levels get too high, harming many parts of the body, including the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys.
What is ED?
Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects more than 30 million men in the U.S. It is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. ED is very common, and it happens for many different reasons – explore common answers to what causes of erectile dysfunction here.
Relationship between diabetes and erectile dysfunction.
What do these two have to do with each other? As mentioned, diabetes increases blood sugar levels, damaging small blood vessels and nerves and impeding blood flow. Many of these vessels and nerves are used to control sexual stimulation and create a firm erection. As a result, diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction. Reports indicate that men with diabetes are two to three times more likely to develop ED than men without diabetes.
On the flip side, having ED can be an indicator of also having diabetes because many of the risk factors that lead to ED also lead to diabetes. These risk factors include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight or obese
- Smoking cigarettes
- Not exercising
How to prevent diabetes and ED.
Taking steps to reduce your risk of diabetes and ED can help you attain better overall health and better sexual health. Natural treatment for diabetes and erectile dysfunction can involve easy, everyday things you can do, starting immediately.
- Know and manage your numbers. Schedule a physical and blood tests to get an accurate handle on your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, and talk to your doctor about your health risks. If any of your numbers are high, try to get them in control through diet, exercise, or medication. Know that certain blood pressure medicine can cause erectile dysfunction, so make sure you have a thorough understanding of any side effects. To get the most out of your physical, follow these seven questions to ask.
- Live a healthy lifestyle. The value of eating right and exercising can be realized in every aspect of your life – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Aim to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet as much as possible. Occasional “bad eating” days are fine, as long as you get right back on track with smart food choices. Also, try to exercise every day, even if it’s just a 10-minute walk. Don’t overthink this – everything you do adds up, whether it’s reducing portions or parking in a spot for away so you have to walk a little further.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Eating better and exercising will also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is imperative to reducing your risk of both diabetes and ED. According to one source, losing 5% to 10% of body weight over a two-month period was shown to improve ED. In addition, it was found that weight loss also increased the sex drives of obese men who had diabetes.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking causes plaque build-up in the arteries that can obstruct blood flow through the vessels. If you smoke, take active steps to stop, even if it means asking your doctor for smoking cessation solutions.
Diabetes and erectile dysfunction are often related, but natural treatment can reduce your risk factors for both. If you suspect you have ED, learn more about its signs and symptoms here. And for more information on natural treatment for both diabetes and erectile dysfunction, download our free ebook here.
If you're looking for a comprehensive resource on erectile dysfunction, check out our online guide, Everything You Need to Know About Erectile Dysfunction.