The latest statistics show that up to 75% of men with diabetes will experience chronic impotence. It is one of the most common male medical conditions.
Although it's not clear why diabetic men are more prone to diabetes impotence, medical experts believe it's because diabetes affects blood flow, particularly to the body's extremities, such as the penis.
Long-term diabetes also causes nerve damage, which may be a contributing factor.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when your body is unable to produce or process insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone required to convert sugar and starches into energy, which is needed to make the body work efficiently.
There are 2 types of diabetes:
Type I diabetes is usually called insulin-dependent diabetes. Type I diabetics don't make insulin at all, so they require regular injections of insulin to survive.
Type II diabetes is usually called non-insulin dependent diabetes and is more common. Type II diabetics don't produce enough insulin to meet the body's requirements, or the insulin is not processed correctly.
Two of the basic physical requirements for producing an erection are healthy blood vessels AND healthy nerves in the penis. Because both the blood supply and nerve endings are affected by the condition, the chances of getting and sustaining an erection are reduced in diabetics.
In many cases, once impotence starts to become a regular occurrence, depression and feelings of lack of self-worth take over, resulting in psychological impotence.
But it's not all bad news.
Blood circulation problems and nerve damage caused by diabetes can be controlled by maintaining good blood sugar (glucose) levels.
Lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol and high blood pressure are not only major contributing factors to diabetes, they also contribute to impotence. So adopting a healthier lifestyle will help reduce your risk of developing diabetes impotence.
Take a look at A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes of Impotence for more information about the physical, psychological and lifestyle factors that contribute to impotence.
The good news is that there are now a number of very effective medications and treatments available for diabetes impotence.
Since the introduction of impotence drugs like Viagra®, Cialis® and Levitra®, the treatment of male impotence has been revolutionized. This group of drugs work by relaxing the blood vessels and smooth muscles in the penis and stimulating blood flow.
However Viagra and the other impotence medications aren't always successful with men who have suffered blood vessel and nerve damage as a result of diabetes.
The most suitable treatment for diabetes impotence depends on a number of things, including your general health and wellbeing, the severity of your diabetes, and your personal choice.
We suggest you contact your medical specialist, who will discuss the range of impotence treatment options available and their suitability.