How to Reverse Erectile Dysfunction from Diabetes
Is there anything that can be done to reverse erectile dysfunction from diabetes? Fortunately, there is.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) from diabetes is extremely common, affecting up to 75 percent of men with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes (Cowley, 2017). It doesn’t have to be a permanent condition. Understanding the causes of ED and the workings of diabetes can help you know what you can do to reverse erectile dysfunction from diabetes.
Diabetes and ED each have complex causes and effects. They can be physical, psychological, or both ("Is It Erectile Dysfunction from Diabetes or Performance Anxiety?"). Likewise, the effects can be physical and psychological. For example, erectile dysfunction can be caused by diabetes; it’s an effect of the high blood sugar of the disease. It also can be a result of stress and anxiety over having the disorder. Effective ED treatment should address both causes and effects, physical and psychological.
How to Reverse Erectile Dysfunction from Diabetes: Know and Address the Risk Factors
While up to 75 percent of men with diabetes develop ED, 25 percent do not. ED is not inevitable. If you do develop ED, you’re not doomed for life. Knowing risk factors for this sexual disorder can help you prevent it from happening or treat it when it develops. Common risk factors for erectile dysfunction in diabetes include:
- Poorly managed blood sugar levels, including chronically high blood sugar
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a poor diet
- High blood pressure
- Taking certain medications, such as for diabetic nerve pain, blood pressure, or depression
Part of reversing erectile dysfunction with diabetes involves managing these risk factors, for the more you can eliminate, the better your chances of ending ED.
In addition to addressing the risk factors, there are other treatment approaches to reverse ED: medication; herbs, supplements; and alternative remedies, and lifestyle. Let’s explore each of these.
Reversing Erectile Dysfunction from Diabetes with Medication
You may have heard of Viagra. It’s practically a household name thanks to effective advertising. Viagra is one of several medications used to treat erectile dysfunction. There are several different medications in the class. Together, they’re the phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. Available medications are
- sildenafil (Viagra)
- tadalafil (Cialis)
- vardenafil (Levitra)
- avanafil (Spedra)
Approximately 50 to 70 percent of men with diabetes respond favorably to the phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. If this medication doesn’t work for you or you’d rather not take it, there are a few other options for medication.
Testosterone replacement therapy is a common approach. Additionally, doctors sometimes prescribe medication in the form of pills, suppositories, and injections, all designed to increase blood flow to the penis.
If pharmaceutical treatment isn’t effective, herbal treatments and alternative remedies might work well instead.
Herbs, Supplements, and Alternative Remedies to Reverse Erectile Dysfunction from Diabetes
Herbal remedies and supplements have been found by some to be successful in reversing ED. Consider these with two important caveats: While there have been some studies into their effectiveness for ED from diabetes, the numbers are small and more research is needed to determine their safety and efficacy; also, herbs and supplements can have very dangerous side effects that impact the brain and the body. This list contains items that have been successful for some for treating ED with diabetes. It’s here as a starting point for your own research, which should include a talk with your doctor.
- Folic acid
- Vitamin E
- Amino acid (l-arginine and l-citrulline)
- Maritime pine extract
Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, massage, and other mind-body approaches may also help both ED and diabetes. Because of the nature of diabetes, it’s important to check with your doctor before starting any new activity or medication of any type.
Reversing Erectile Dysfunction from Diabetes with Your Lifestyle
Making healthy changes helps erectile dysfunction, and it improves diabetes as well. That’s a double bonus for ED because controlling blood sugar in itself is a way to reverse ED.
Some healthy lifestyle changes you can make for ED and diabetes are
- Increasing physical activity
- Lose weight
- Find and use stress management techniques (such as developing a hobby, etc.)
- Stop smoking if you smoke
- Limit or eliminate alcohol
- Physical therapy to strengthen the pelvic muscles
An important part of reversing ED from diabetes is keeping an open relationship with your doctor and the rest of your care team. Adding or continuing mental health therapy is important, too. Many times, people don’t want to talk about ED. Given that it’s so common, though, doctors know the reason and are there to work with you.
Understanding erectile dysfunction and diabetes helps you to take the right action to reverse it.
Peterson, T. (2022, January 4). How to Reverse Erectile Dysfunction from Diabetes, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/diabetes/complications/how-to-reverse-erectile-dysfunction-from-diabetes