How diabetes and erectile dysfunction correlated?

Sexual dysfunction is not new, it is very common among both genders. There are many sexual dysfunctions and there are many causes of it. In men, erectile dysfunction is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions and millions of men throughout the world are living with this disease. Every partner has some desires and when her partner fails to fulfill the desires, it affects their relationship. Erectile dysfunction is one such sexual dysfunction which can have an adverse effect on the quality of life of the sufferer as well as his partner’s.

Erectile dysfunction is a medical issue which is defined by the inability of a man to satisfy the sexual needs of his partner. Men having erectile dysfunction finds it difficult to attain and maintain erections that are sufficient enough to have a satisfactory sexual intercourse.

Sexual relationship is an important aspect in the lives of a couple and a healthy sexual relationship involves the interaction and coordination of multiple components, including psychological, physiological, social, religious and emotional factors. Similarly, the development of sexual dysfunction occurs due to various factors. There are multiple factors that could be responsible for the development of erectile dysfunction such as stress (psychological factors),  smoking and drinking (lifestyle factors), and certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes (physical factors).

Multiple studies have been conducted to investigate the relationship between diabetes and erectile dysfunction. During the research, it was observed that a high sugar level in the body is one of the common cause of the development of erectile dysfunction in men. It was noticed that almost 28% - 30% of men having erectile dysfunction were diabetic and it was the primary causative factor of erectile dysfunction.

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus is a disorder which is characterized by an increased  blood sugar level for over a prolonged period. Diabetes occur due to either pancreas fails to produce insulin properly or the cells of the fails to use insulin properly. Insulin is an important hormone and is responsible for regulating the blood sugar level in the body. Primarily, diabetes mellitus is of two types:

Type 1 diabetes - It occurs due to the failure of pancreas to produce enough insulin to fulfill body’s needs.

Type 2 diabetes - It occurs due to the failure of cells of the body to respond to produced insulin effectively.

Diabetes mellitus is a lifelong condition and requires proper management. Management of diabetes is extremely important as an untreated or severe diabetes mellitus can lead to the occurrence of many complications such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, impotence, and many more. It is associated with a wide range of symptoms such as:

  • Increased thirst
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow wound healing

What is the relationship between diabetes mellitus and erectile dysfunction?

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As stated erectile dysfunction is associated with many complications and have some major side effects. Diabetes mellitus is associated with many side effects and some of the effect of diabetes mellitus includes long term damage, dysfunction, and failure of many organs of the body. It is one of the most common chronic diseases that has affected millions of people throughout the world and at the same time, it is the common cause of the development of erectile dysfunction.

Nerves and blood vessels are at high risk due to the high glucose level in the blood. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels of multiple organs in the body, including penile region.

Normal erection requires smooth muscle relaxation and an adequate flow of blood to the penile region. Diabetes mellitus have an effect on both the requirements. The high sugar level in the blood affect the release of nitric oxide and nitric oxide is considered to be the principal neurotransmitter causing the relaxation of penile cavernous smooth muscle. Insulin resistance and visceral adiposity,  are the two traits of diabetes type 2 can lead to the decreased availability and the activity of nitric oxide. High sugar level also damages the nerves and blood vessels that carry blood to the penile region, hence an erection is disrupted.

Also, diabetes mellitus and erectile dysfunction have some common causative risk factors such as stress. Stress is one of the most common risk factors for both, diabetes mellitus and erectile dysfunction. When an individual is under stress, it results in the release of various hormones that leads to an increase in the blood sugar level. Stress also causes erectile dysfunction as it affects the production of the hormone testosterone in the body and testosterone is an important hormone required to attain a firm erection. Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in men and is vital to maintain men’s health.

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