Diabetes and Impotence

Being diabetic can often lead to quite a few complications if your blood glucose goes up and down and if your HBA1C is repeatedly over 7.5.

Impotence is one of the most common diabetic complications, but doctors and diabetic nurses seldom talk about it. Perhaps they are ashamed to bring it up, or they simply don’t know where to start the discussion. Luckily for you, our team here at Diabetic.org.uk is not shy to speak about how diabetes can lead to impotence, how you can improve your erections, and which treatments you can choose between.

Why do so many diabetics suffer from impotence?

Erections may sound simple, but in reality, it’s a complex process. When getting aroused, the body’s own nerves, blood vessels, and muscle cells must interact. When having diabetes type 1 or 2, you are more likely to get complications affecting the nerves and blood vessels. High blood glucose simply makes the blood vessels clog, making it harder to get an erection. If you are overweight and smoke at the same time, while doing too little exercise – the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) increases drastically. There are also many different medications that can give ED as a side effect.

How to improve your erectile function?

If you have a healthy lifestyle and steady blood glucose, you are way less likely to discover erection problems. Some of the tips below might be obvious, while others might come as a surprise:


  • Avoid smoking: While smoking can increase the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and lung cancer, it is also one of the major reasons people get impotence. However, if you quit smoking early it’s often possible to reverse the damage to some extent.
  • Exercise: Daily walks, jogging, or going to the gym a few times a week can increase blood flow and help maintain stronger erections. The body also produces testosterone when doing exercise, which is essential for hard erections.
  • Antioxidants: Powerful antioxidants found in dark fruits such as blackberries can help to attack the free radicals, before they try to lower your nitric oxide levels, according to research from Indiana University.
  • Eat less fat & red meat: Too much red meat and fat can lead to high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases, which is often closely related to erectile dysfunction.
  • Cut down on drinking: Drinking too much alcohol can also have a negative effect on your erectile function.

How many male diabetics suffer from impotence?

According to some statistics, over 40 % of men with diabetes suffer from some form of erectile dysfunction. It’s common to get the first signs of impotence 10 or 15 years earlier than men who do not suffer from diabetes. The good thing is that poor erectile function can often be reversed if you keep good control of your diabetes.

Impotence treatments for men with diabetes

There is a wide range of medical treatments for those diabetics suffering from erection problems.

1. Viagra

The effect usually starts within 30-45 minutes and may last up to 6 or 8 hours. However, if you consume fatty food a few hours before taking the Viagra pill, it might reduce the effect or it might take longer to get any effect at all. In general, Viagra is a safe medication, unless you use any pharmaceuticals containing nitrates. Side effects are usually limited to headache, dizziness, temporary flushing, or short time visual disturbances.


You can buy Viagra from regulated online clinics such as euroClinix, which apart from the UK also serves Sweden and other Scandinavian countries where diabetes is very spread out. If living in the UK, you can of course always find a health service near you at the NHS website.


2. Cialis

While this usual medication starts to work within 20-30 minutes, it often lasts for up to 36 hours. In other words, you don’t need to take this potency pill as often as the others. Among the other advantages, you find that anything can be eaten with Cialis, while it still gives the same effect. The most common side effects include headache, indigestion, back pain, flushing, or a stuffy nose. You can order Cialis from the usual places or from your nearest pharmacy after speaking to your doctor.


3. Levitra

Vardenafil, the active ingredient in Levitra, has been efficient enough to help diabetic men get an erection within 20-30 minutes when they are aroused. This pill lasts for about 10 hours and is one of the fastest-growing medicines to treat impotence.  Headaches, dizziness, visual changes, sleepiness, or increased heart rate are among the possible side effects. However, Levitra is said to have among the least side effects of all potency pills and is often the medication of choice for men with diabetes and for men over 50.


4. Natural remedies

If you are looking for alternative, herbal remedies for impotence treatment, you might consider Gingko, Horny Goat Weed, Ginseng, or Spanish fly. While it may enhance vitality and erection among some men, many claim the natural remedies are nothing compared to the prescription medications mentioned above.

Besides problems with impotence, another common condition associated with diabetes is obesity. If you are seeking medical treatment for these conditions, consider visiting IES Medical Group for a beneficial endoscopic procedure.

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