November is Diabetes Awareness Month and, judging by the estimate that nearly 8 million people have undiagnosed diabetes, there is a conversation that needs to be had. Diabetes is a condition characterized by unregulated blood sugar. With too much glucose present in the bloodstream, nearly every system in the body is affected. One of them is the vascular system.
Diabetes and erectile dysfunction may not initially be two problems that we would put together, but we need to. A man may be diagnosed with erectile dysfunction if he is unable to get or maintain an erection. When the man also has diabetes, it can be beneficial to observe the way that nerves and blood vessels are performing. In fact, there is merit to the performance of an A1C blood sugar test for a man seeking answers to erectile dysfunction. In many cases, erectile dysfunction has come before the diabetes diagnosis.
Steps to Protect Sexual Function Alongside Diabetes
Men who are experiencing difficulty with their erection are encouraged first and foremost to talk with an expert. The team at Valley Urologic Medical Group has specific advanced training in the area of sexual health. One small conversation with your men’s health specialist can make a big difference in your quality of life.
- Schedule your consultation with a board-certified urologist or, at the very least, your primary care doctor.
- Be specific about the struggles and symptoms you are having.
- If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, talk with your doctor or a nutritionist about better ways to manage your blood sugar.
- Discuss the relevance of any other medical conditions you may have, such as high blood pressure or even anxiety and depression.
- Ask your doctor or specialist if any medications you are taking could be contributing to erectile dysfunction.
- Seek counseling to coincide with medical treatment. Erectile dysfunction carries an enormous emotional toll. Speaking with a psychologist or counselor can help a man and his partner find coping strategies to maintain the quality of their relationship as solutions are found to address the physical aspect of erectile dysfunction.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
Men with erectile dysfunction may have several options to restore their ability to engage in gratifying sex. Treatment plans are developed based on the severity of erectile dysfunction, symptoms, and contributing factors such as mental state (anxiety) and medical history (diabetes). Treatment may involve:
- Oral medications
- Hormone balancing
- Injection therapy
- Penile implant