Sex and Diabetes: Erectile Dysfunction Fixes
Taking Control of Sexual Issues: Where to Start
If you have sexual problems and have diabetes, chances are you have chronic high blood sugar. Getting good control of your diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol is the No. 1 way to prevent and help ease sex troubles. It's a win-win strategy: You'll be healthier and have better sex. "Even if you already have nerve damage, it will help minimize sexual problems," Marrero says.
Make these tips part of your game plan:
Lose weight if you need to. Here's good news if you are overweight or obese. A small 2011 study showed that obese men with type 2 diabetes who lost 5% or more of their body weight had better erections and more sexual desire in a matter of weeks. Why? Extra weight raises your chance of problems like nerve damage because it makes your body less able to use insulin. It also raises your chance of low testosterone. "Even modest weight loss of 5% or 7% can have a big impact," Marrero says.
Get Moving. Being a couch potato makes you more likely to have ED. Regular exercise helps blood flow and protects against ED.
Talk to your doctor. Don't be shy. About half of men with diabetes say they bring up sexual concerns with their doctor. Other health problems, like high blood pressure and kidney disease, may be to blame for your ED. Or you may have lost interest in sex because you're depressed, not low in testosterone. Your doctor can help pinpoint the problem and guide you to the right treatment.
Learn about your medicines. This is another reason to talk to your doctor. You may take a medicine that causes sexual side effects. For instance, some blood pressure drugs can cause erectile dysfunction, and some antidepressants can lower sex drive. You may be able to cut back or switch to another medicine if one you take has stalled your sex life.