Europe's Leading Men's Health Shockwave Clinic
Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
In this article about Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes we discuss the following issues:
- Age and Diabetes Duration’s Impact on ED
- The Various Forms of ED in Diabetic Patients
- Treatment Options for Diabetic Patients with ED
- Strategies to Enhance Erectile Function for Diabetic Patients
- Clinical Studies into Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
- Innovative Approaches to Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Treatment
- FAQ’s about Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem for men suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that men with diabetes are 200 – 300% more likely to develop ED than non-diabetics. This heightened risk can be attributed to the detrimental effects of elevated blood sugar levels on nerves and blood vessels, both of which play vital roles in achieving a healthy and sustained erection. However, there is now promising hope for diabetic patients through ground-breaking clinical technologies like Focused ShockWave Therapy (FSWT).
Age and Diabetes Duration’s Impact on ED
The likelihood of encountering difficulties with erections tends to increase with age and the duration of diabetes. Over the age of 50, approximately 50% to 60% of diabetic men suffer with ED, and this percentage soars to approximately 95% among those over 70 (1).
Various Forms of ED in Diabetic Patients:
These are some of the various erectile dysfunction problems facing diabetic patients.
Neurological Issues: Diabetes can cause nerve damage throughout the body, including those governing penile function. This nerve damage can impede the brain’s capacity to transmit signals to the penis, thereby hampering essential blood flow required for achieving a satisfactory erection.
Blood Vessel Complications: High blood sugar levels can harm blood vessels throughout the body including those supplying blood to the penis. This vascular damage leads to reduced blood flow to the penile region, resulting in difficulties with both achieving and maintaining an erection.
Hormonal Imbalances: Diabetes may induce hormonal imbalances that contribute to ED. For example, diabetic men may experience diminished levels of testosterone, a hormone crucial for normal sexual function.
Psychological Factors: Coping with diabetes can be stressful, and stress can exacerbate ED. Additionally, diabetes can precipitate depression and anxiety, which further compounds the likelihood of ED.
Medication Side Effects: Certain medications employed in diabetes management can potentially trigger ED. For instance, some blood pressure medications may have this undesirable side effect.
The likelihood of having difficulty with an erection increases with age and diabetes duration. Over the age of 50, the likelihood of having difficulty with an erection occurs in approximately 50% to 60% of men with diabetes. Over the age of 70, there is about a 95% likelihood of having some difficulty with ED.
These are some of the various erectile dysfunction problems facing diabetic patients.
Neurological problems: Diabetes can cause damage to nerves throughout the body, including those that control the penis. This nerve damage can lead to ED because it affects the ability of the brain to send signals to the penis, causing a lack of blood flow, which is essential for achieving an erection.
Blood vessel problems: High blood sugar levels can also damage blood vessels throughout the body, including those that supply blood to the penis. This damage can lead to decreased blood flow to the penis, which makes it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection.
Hormonal problems: Diabetes can also cause hormonal imbalances that can lead to ED. For example, men with diabetes may have low levels of testosterone, which is essential for normal sexual function.
Psychological problems: Living with diabetes can be stressful, and stress can contribute to ED. Diabetes can also cause depression and anxiety, which can also contribute to ED.
Medication side effects: Many of the medications used to treat diabetes can have side effects that contribute to ED. For example, some blood pressure medications can cause ED.
Effective strategies exist to address ED in diabetic patients:
Blood Sugar Management: The initial step involves maintaining optimal blood sugar levels to mitigate nerve and blood vessel damage. Lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and smoking cessation can all contribute to improved erectile function.
Oral Medications: Commonly known as ‘little blue pills,’ oral medications can be effective in treating ED among diabetic patients. These drugs operate by enhancing blood flow to the penis, facilitating the attainment and sustenance of an erection. However, they often produce side-effects that include headache (7 – 30%), facial flushing (up to 25%), dyspepsia – indigestion and heartburn, etc. (up to 15%), nasal congestion (up to 10%) and visual disturbance (up to 10%)
Injection Therapy and Penile Implants: In more severe cases, injection therapy, entailing the direct injection of medication into the penis to augment blood flow, or penile implants, surgically implanted devices designed to assist in achieving an erection, may be necessary.
ED in Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetic Patients
Diabetes exists in two principal forms, type 1 and type 2, each with its unique characteristics:
Type 1 Diabetes: This autoimmune condition commences in childhood or early adulthood, with the body attacking and eradicating insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Type 2 Diabetes: Often associated with obesity and lifestyle factors, type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance or insufficient insulin production and is typically diagnosed in adults.
Research underscores that both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients are at an incteased risk of ED compared to their non-diabetic counterparts. However, the severity of ED may vary, with type 1 diabetic men potentially facing more severe ED than those with type 2 diabetes.
A study highlighted that men with type 1 diabetes exhibited a higher prevalence of severe ED, even with similar blood sugar control. Researchers suggest that this disparity may be attributed to the extended duration of diabetes in type 1 patients, heightening the risk of nerve and blood vessel damage. Furthermore, type 1 diabetic men may experience ED at a younger age, primarily due to the earlier onset and longer duration of diabetes-related complications.
In summary, while both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients encounter an elevated risk of ED, nuances exist in terms of severity and age of onset. It is crucial for diabetic individuals, irrespective of diabetes type, to collaborate with healthcare providers in managing blood sugar levels and adopting a healthy lifestyle to mitigate the risk of complications, including ED.
Strategies to Enhance Erectile Function for Diabetic Patients
For diabetic patients aiming to bolster erectile function, meticulous control of blood sugar levels is paramount. A qualified medical professional should prescribe a personalised dietary plan tailored to individual needs.
In general, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels necessitates regular physical activity, a low-carb, fibre-rich diet, proper hydration, stopping smoking, and moderating alcohol consumption.
While blood sugar control plays a pivotal role, it’s essential to acknowledge that if nerve and blood vessel damage has become permanent due to prolonged diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar levels, simply managing blood sugar may not suffice to restore erectile function. In such cases, ED treatments may be indispensable to reclaim healthy and spontaneous erections.
Using Focused Shockwave Therapy to Treat ED
To get an erection, men need healthy blood vessels, nerves, male hormones, and a desire to be sexually stimulated. Focused Shockwave Therapy (FSWT) rejuvenates the blood supply to the penis. Focused shockwaves are directed at various muscle groups, including those in the anterior, superior, and pelvic floor regions, as well as the perineal area under the testicles and the shaft of the penis. This approach facilitates the restoration of blood flow to the penis, ultimately revitalising the sexual lives of diabetic men. The benefits include the ability to experience spontaneous erections and engage in vaginal penetration.
One of the key advantages of FSWT is its relatively pain-free and non-invasive nature. During the treatment, patients may experience mild tingling sensations, but the procedure is of short duration and yields long-term results. There are many success stories published, particularly among men with diabetes, where FSWT has shown remarkable efficacy. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2021, investigated the effects of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) for ED in diabetic patients. The study concluded that ESWT therapy was not only safe but also effective for treating ED in subgroups of diabetic patients, specifically those in the PDE5I-R and PDE5I-NR groups (1).
Furthermore, research published in the Asian Journal of Andrology in 2020 unveiled the advantages of combining FSWT with daily ‘little blue pills’ for men with Type 2 Diabetes and ED. This combined approach demonstrated significant improvements in terms of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) scores and durability compared to using ‘little blue pills’ alone (2).
Our own research and results from treating many men with Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes backs these clinical studies up.
At our clinic, we employ cutting-edge Swiss-engineered technology in shockwave systems. The STORZ DUOLITH® SD1 is the pinnacle of shockwave therapy devices, offering ultra-focused shockwave therapy. This technology surpasses the radial shockwave method employed by many other clinics and stands as the most advanced device of its kind available today.
Complementary Non-Invasive Therapies
In addition to FSWT, we use complementary non-invasive therapies to enhance the treatment of ED.
Extracorporeal Magnetotransduction Therapy (EMTT): EMTT therapy harnesses powerful magnetic fields within endothelial cells of blood vessels. This approach enhances endothelial function, increases blood flow in penile tissues, and accelerates the body’s recovery process. Precise frequency and power level adjustments are tailored to individual conditions, ensuring optimal outcomes.
Functional Magnetic Stimulation (FMS): FMS is a non-invasive treatment modality leveraging high-intensity electromagnetic fields to stimulate nerves in the pelvic area. This stimulation improves blood flow to the penis, addressing two key factors contributing to ED in diabetic patients: neuropathy and endothelial dysfunction.
Neuropathy: A common diabetic complication that interferes with nerve function in the penis. FMS stimulates pelvic nerves, promoting nerve regeneration and potentially enhancing erectile function for those with neuropathy-related ED.
Endothelial Dysfunction: A prevalent diabetes-related issue that hinders blood flow to the penis. FMS triggers the release of nitric oxide, a vasodilatory substance that relaxes blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow. This effect facilitates penile blood flow and aids in achieving erections.
Additionally, FMS may foster other beneficial outcomes for erectile function, such as promoting the growth of new blood vessels and enhancing smooth muscle tissue health within the penis. Notably, a study published in the Minia Journal of Medical Research explored the use of Functional Magnetic Stimulation in the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. It concluded that FMS activated the cavernous nerve even among diabetic men (3).
You can read our FAQ’s about Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes below the form.
(1) Journal of Sexual Medicine – 2021 – Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction in Diabetic Patients
FAQ's About Erectile Dysfunction in People Suffering with Diabetes
ED in people with diabetes is usually caused by damage to nerves and blood vessels, which can occur over time due to high blood sugar levels.
ED is more common in people with diabetes than in the general population. Studies have shown that over 50% of men with diabetes experience some degree of ED.
Preventing ED in people with diabetes involves managing blood sugar levels, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
If blood sugar levels get out of control then it can induce ED in men, however with healthy lifestyle and by controlling blood sugar level, men can reverse the ED and regain healthy erectile function. But if prolonged diabetes causes permanent damage in nerves and blood vessels, then patients will need to undergo ED treatments to obtain strong and spontaneous erections yet again.
f blood sugar level stays out of control for extensive period of time, then the risk of permanent damage of nerves and blood vessels gets increased. This can induce permanent ED in male patients. Though, treating ED is not impossible.
Yes, shockwave therapy and other non-invasive treatments, such as functional magnetic stimulation and electromagnetic transduction therapy, have been shown to be effective in improving erectile function in men with diabetes.
Treatment options for ED in people with diabetes include medications such as ‘little blue pills’, (these may not work for everyone, and they can have side effects) vacuum devices, penile injections, and penile implants. Nowadays, the treatment options have expanded to include Focussed ShockWave Therapy and associated new clinical techniques. Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet, can also help improve erectile function.
Our ED treatments are extremely effective in treating various types of ED, even diabetes induced ED. The treatments we provide are completely non-invasive and pose no major side-effects whatsoever. Our treatment protocol for ED and other male sexual issues consists of shockwave therapy, Extracorporeal MagnetoTransduction Therapy, NanoVi, and Tesla Chair. These treatment technologies target the root cause of diabetes induced ED, such as blood vessel damage and nerve damage, and enable improved blood flow in the penile tissues which provide long term effectiveness.