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Can good control of diabetes help improve erectile dysfunction?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Good control of diabetes may help improve erectile dysfunction (ED) in two ways. Tight control of blood sugar levels can help avoid nerve damage that interferes with transmission of signals related to arousal and sexual function, as well as blood vessel damage that reduces blood flow to the penis needed for an erection.

In addition, many diabetics also have high blood pressure. Diuretics and beta blockers, used to treat high blood pressure, can cause ED. Losing weight and exercising are two effective ways diabetics can get their blood sugar and blood pressure under control, while helping to treat the symptoms of ED.

Psychological factors, depression in particular, are also common culprits in men with diabetes.

  • Expecting ED to happen if you know you are at increased risk because of your diabetes may lead to ED.
  • You may be unable to have an erection if you feel pressure to perform.
  • You may develop a great deal of fear and anxiety after a single erection problem, which can eventually lead to ED.
  • Worry and stress can decrease your brain’s response to testosterone.

Managing your diabetes can help you avoid these psychological stressors.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.