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Conditions: Erectile Dysfunction

Diabetes - Erectile Dysfunction

What diabetes factors are predictors of ED?

Prolonged high levels of glucose in the blood of men with diabetes may be a predictor of ED. Control of blood glucose levels is an important risk factor for developing ED. Neuropathy, or damage to nerves in the body, including the penis, can also lead to ED.

Symptoms of coronary atherosclerosis (narrowing of the coronary arteries) or symptomatic coronary artery disease can be predictors of ED. Getting older, damaged nerves, retinopathy and long duration of diabetes can also be factors.

Also, many diabetic patients have asymptomatic (silent) coronary artery disease (CAD), which puts them unknowingly at risk for ED. In the case of CAD, high blood pressure and problems with cholesterol can also be predictors of ED.

Do men with diabetes and ED differ from the general population with ED?

Many oral ED medications may not work as well for men with diabetes. These men may need penile injections or penile implant surgery. ED can also indicate undetected cardiovascular disease in diabetic men.

Can ED in men with diabetes indicate other underlying conditions?

Erectile dysfunction with diabetes can indicate the presence of chronic diabetes complications, such as endothelial dysfunction. A healthy endothelium (a layer of cells that lines blood vessels) is important for cardiovascular health. Endothelial dysfunction is closely related to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. This can be a signifier of silent or early cardiovascular disease such as coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

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