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The Link Between Diabetes and ED

The Link Between Diabetes and ED

Erectile dysfunction is every man's nightmare, as it's embarrassing and affects relationships. While it's sometimes related to aging, other medical conditions like diabetes also affect ED.

The team at NY Urology understands the importance of your sexual health. If you have diabetes, Dr. David Shusterman and Dr. Chong-Min Kim offer treatments like the erection wave to reduce your symptoms and improve your sexual health.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that affects a man's ability to achieve or maintain an erection for sexual pleasure. While it's often associated with old age, ED can affect any man.

ED used to be considered a psychological condition, meaning stress or self-esteem problems were the roots of the problem. However, that's not usually the case.

Many medical conditions or lifestyle choices contribute to your risk for ED. For example, medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes contribute to ED.

Smoking, using alcohol, and living a sedentary lifestyle are also lifestyle risk factors for developing erectile dysfunction.

If you're over 50 with a medical condition like diabetes, your chances of developing ED are substantially higher than that of a man in his 50s without any medical conditions.

How is diabetes linked to ED?

Type 2 diabetes affects how your body uses sugar for fuel. Your pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, and your cells don't take in enough sugar, causing your blood sugar to rise. When left uncontrolled, high blood sugar leads to various health issues, including erectile dysfunction.

Not every man who has diabetes ends up with ED. However, certain factors cause ED when you have diabetes, including the following:

Nerve damage

Chronically high blood sugar leads to nerve damage, especially in your legs and pelvic region. Your penis has numerous sensitive nerves, and when they're damaged, it may lead to decreased sexual arousal and problems maintaining an erection.

Decreased blood flow

Diabetes also affects blood flow to various areas of your body, including your penis. You need good blood flow to get and maintain an erection, which is why many men with type 2 diabetes suffer from ED.


Diabetes often leads to other health issues, such as high blood pressure and depression or anxiety. If you're on medications to treat these conditions, you're at risk for ED due to some side effects. 

Diabetes also affects your mental and emotional health, affecting your sexual health and ability to maintain an erection. The lows of dealing with diabetes affect your self-esteem and emotions, which leads to sexual disinterest and ED.

Reducing your risk for ED

Uncontrolled diabetes leads to various issues in your body, including your ability to get and maintain an erection. If diabetes is the culprit behind your ED, getting the condition under control is the best way to improve your sex life.

Type 2 diabetes significantly impacts your health when it's uncontrolled. Keeping your blood sugar at an average level is the best way to prevent ED and other issues. You can exercise regularly, watch what you eat, and take your medications.

However, you should follow other lifestyle tips to decrease your risk of erectile dysfunction further. Our team provides you with the tools you need to keep your sexual health in tip-top shape, including:

If lifestyle modifications alone aren't successful in preventing ED, we offer several treatments that can help. Our team evaluates your overall health and the severity of ED to determine the best treatment route for you.

If you have diabetes and are concerned about ED, call NY Urology today to make an appointment with our team. You can also book a consultation online using our convenient scheduling tool.

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