A topic that can be sensitive among men is erectile dysfunction. Many men find themselves uncomfortable discussing their sexual health if there is a problem. Since it is such a sensitive subject, many men avoid talking about it with their doctor or even their significant other. This can be a problem when erectile dysfunction is linked to other health problems. Erectile dysfunction has been found to be caused by diabetes in some cases. Diabetes is the number one component in men developing erectile dysfunction. More studies have found that men with diabetes are found with erectile dysfunction as well. Studies are suggesting up to fifty-three percent.
The correlation between diabetes and erectile dysfunction is damage in the man's blood vessels, nerves, or muscle function due to complications with the disease. This damage or change in the body is one of the first indicators that something is wrong with the body. However, many men ignore this symptom due to social stigma about impotence.
The treatments for erectile dysfunction are not always appropriate for someone with diabetes. The medications that many men take for this problem should not be taken when there are issues with their heart. If a doctor or patient does not take erectile dysfunction as a symptom to a larger problem, there is a risk that medications could cause further complications with the undiagnosed disease. If it goes undiagnosed too long, major complications may be the only way the doctor learns about the bigger problem.
Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
A report in Diabetic Medicine has published a study that took data from ninety-thousand men. Out of these men, the ones that had diabetes were three and a half times more likely than a man without diabetes to have experienced issues with libido. This is concerning with how taboo it is for men to talk about their sexual health. These men may have avoided diagnoses due to the social pressure put on them to perform as expected.
Erectile dysfunction sometimes has a culprit. It actually can show that a man may be suffering from underlying cardiovascular problems. These health problems are linked with diabetes. The problem with cardiovascular issues is that they do not present themselves in a manner that is noticeable until there is a larger problem.
When a man is having difficulties with maintaining an erection, it is an indicator that he may also have cardiovascular issues. Doctors need to concentrate on considering the man as a whole instead of concentrating on one issue. Problems with maintaining an erection could help the doctor find symptoms for diabetes or heart disease.
Getting Diagnosed Early
An early diagnosis for a patient with diabetes is preferred to begin treatment as quickly as possible. Many of the indications a person is developing diabetes are not obvious. Since erectile dysfunction is a symptom that is obvious to the patient, it can be an early sign that something is wrong in their body. There are more people being diagnosed with diabetes than ever before. Since the 1980's, the numbers have jumped from one hundred and eight million to four hundred and twenty-two million. There are more people to treat and help maintain their diabetes. This number will continue to increase and any help diagnosing the health problem early should be utilized.
Any man can experience erectile dysfunction. Men that are over forty are more likely to see issues with erectile dysfunction. Although it is more common to see in younger men who may have diabetes or heart disease. This uncommon symptom can help doctors look deeper into problems that they might have missed.
There have been a variety of studies done relating diabetes to erectile dysfunction. These studies include over eighty-eighty thousand men who participated in one hundred and forty-five studies. Many of these studies were based out of Asia and Europe. The researchers concentrated on different aspects including age, obesity, and some focused strictly on type two diabetes.
Results of the Study
The rates that were found in these studies varied. There was no consistency in data when comparing countries. The rates were lowest in North America and highest in South America. Thirty-seven and a half percent of men with type one diabetes also has problems with erectile dysfunction. Over sixty-six percent of men with type two diabetes did as well.
Researchers are urging people to talk more about this issue. If more men feel comfortable speaking to their doctors about health problems like erectile dysfunction, more diseases like heart disease could be caught earlier. The presence of erectile dysfunction appeared ten to fifteen years earlier in men that had diabetes than in men that did not. This emphasizes the importance of speaking to a doctor when the problem first begins instead of waiting until larger problems appear.
There needs to be a change in the way many doctors approach erectile dysfunction. This is a health issue that needs to be treated less like a recreational want and more like a health necessity. When the body is failing to function as designed, there can be underlying problems that need to be addressed. Doctors need to take reports of this issue as a serious indication of other health problems.
Overall Health of Men with Diabetes
Similarly, doctors who have patients that are diabetic should be checking the man's overall health. This includes asking about their sexual health. During appointments there should be consistent assessments of sexual health that encourages men to speak out if they are experiencing erectile dysfunction. A healthy and open doctor-patient relationship is key to diagnosing diseases earlier.
While the many studies that have been done do indicate a link between erectile dysfunction and diabetes, there is still much more that needs to be studied. The studies changed variables so often that it is hard to compile data into one cohesive blanket statement about the situation. Many of these studies did not look at the problems that have come from diabetes. They also did not account for the other factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction. The researchers did not look into the mental health, religious beliefs, or cultural pressures that these men may be under. All of these factors can change how the data is interpreted.
Many people are not aware of erectile dysfunction being tied to diabetes, but it is very prevalent in the lives of these men. It is actually third on the list of common complications with diabetes. Men should be encouraged to speak about their concerns. They do not need to talk with anyone but their doctor about erectile dysfunction, not even their partner. However, they should find a doctor that they are comfortable enough with that they are willing to divulge private information to better treat and care for their health.
With an open line of communication, doctors, patients, and researchers can all benefit. As more data is collected and learned, researchers and doctors can better treat people that have been diagnosed with diabetes and erectile dysfunction. A comprehensive treatment that concentrates on the whole person is a much better option. Instead of just concentrating on a small portion of health problems.