Diabetes is a disease in which the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high. This is because the body is not capable of producing insulin (type 1 diabetes mellitus ) or secreting enough insulin (type 2 diabetes mellitus ) to transform carbohydrates into food.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to maintain or achieve an erection continuously. A high level of glucose for several years can damage the tissues and fibers of the penis, making it difficult to have an erection.
How Does Diabetes Affect Erection Problems?
Diabetes can damage the nerves, erectile tissue, and small blood vessels in the penis:
Damage to the erectile tissue will not allow the muscle fibers in the penis to relax properly, so the penis cannot fill during an erection.
Nerve damage can lead to less sensation in the penis and less signaling to it from the brain, making it more difficult to get and maintain an erection.
Damage to the blood vessels will also prevent the erectile tissue from filling with blood.
The erection problem is a very common disorder among men suffering from diabetes. In fact, 50% of men with diabetes can develop this pathology, increasing this percentage as they age, up to 95% in 70-year-old diabetic men.
When to go to the doctor
Erectile dysfunction is a problem that can originate from various causes such as: high blood pressure, kidney disease, abuse of toxic substances and even as a side effect of some medication. Therefore, as soon as you have the problem, you should go to the doctor. The doctor can check the origin of the disorder, if there are alterations in the arteries or the nervous system. Even if there is undiagnosed diabetes. Sometimes these aspects need special attention by themselves.
Fortunately, treatment for erectile dysfunction in diabetes has improved considerably. Acknowledging the problem is often the first step, but this often comes across as the biggest hurdle. Once it has been overcome, and with the help and support of the couple and the doctor, treatment can begin.
What Treatments are Available
When the male patient has diagnosed diabetes. There are two types of approach to erectile dysfunction: preventive treatment and treatment of the disease itself. As for preventive treatment, controlling blood levels can help prevent nerve and blood vessel damage or at least delay its onset. One of the main challenges is for the patient to. Accept her illness and be responsible for complying with the treatment.
If erectile dysfunction has already begun to manifest, it is necessary to seek the most appropriate treatment for each patient. The vast majority of currently available treatments can be effective in men with diabetes.
Among the Most Common Treatments are:
Oral Medications – This is usually the first line of treatment. There are different options -sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil or avanafil- with different duration of action. These medications facilitate blood flow to the penis.
Prostaglandin : This is a vasodilator that can be injected into the penis or a compressed granule is inserted into the end of the penis.
Vacuum pump : it is a device with a tube that is placed in the penis and, Through the pump it has, it manages to bring blood to the penis and an erection is achieved.
Penile surgery – If none of the above treatments work, the alternative is to place an implant in the penis. These implants can be semi-rigid or inflatable, it is a minimally invasive surgery with very reliable results.