How Diabetes Affect Sexual Health
Certainly you have heard of diabetes, and it’s no wonder.
The numbers of those Americans afflicted with the condition have been rising dramatically in recent years. According to the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), in the past decade alone, the cases of people living with diabetes jumped more than 40 percent – to almost 26 million Americans. Worldwide the numbers are just as chilling.
DRI estimates there are 382 million people globally living with diabetes, and the World Health Organization believes that number will be more than double by 2030.
Did you know that diabetes claims more lives than AIDS and breast cancer combined – taking the life of 1 American every 3 minutes?
But what exactly is Diabetes?
Diabetes, technically called diabetes mellitus by medical professionals, is not a single condition. It is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels (“high blood sugar”) because the person with the condition is not producing enough insulin, because the cells of his or her body do not respond correctly to the presence of insulin, or both.
Insulin and Diabetes
To understand diabetes you must understand insulin, and its role in metabolizing, or processing the food that you eat.
In order to work, the cells of your body require sugar, or glucose, for energy. During digestion, when the sugars are released from the food, this triggers your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is what “knocks on the doors” of your cells, and tells them to open up and let the glucose in.
But in a person with diabetes, that either doesn’t happen, or the cells “can’t respond to the knock.” Either way, the glucose does not get into the cells where it needs to go, and instead builds up in the blood, causing the many problems associated with diabetes, such as fatigue, increased urination, excessive thirst, and increased hunger.
Untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, limb loss, kidney disease, and death.
There are two types of diabetes.
In Type 1, your body does not produce insulin.
In Type 2, your body produces insulin, but not enough for proper glucose metabolism. Type 2 is far more common. 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2.
There is no cure for either type of diabetes, but both can be managed.
People with Type 1 require insulin injections, and also a special diet. People with Type 2 diabetes usually take prescription medications, should watch their diet, and may also require insulin injections.
People have been able to manage the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise alone.
Diabetes and Sexual Wellness
Because diabetes effects blood circulation and nerve sensitivity, it can have a negative impact on sexual wellness in men and women.
Particularly with men, diabetes is often associated with, or the cause of erectile dysfunction, or ED. ED is often a complication of diabetes, not only because of the long term damaging effects on blood vessels and nerves, but also ED is often caused by other conditions common in men with diabetes, such as high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. While there are some well-known oral medications available to treat ED, many of these cannot be taken by men with diabetes.
The good news is there are some remarkable alternative treatments for men with sexual dysfunction and diabetes. Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, or PRP, such as used in the Gains Enhancement has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for men suffering with both diabetes, and erectile issues. In fact the very first tests of the effectiveness of PRP for ED were conducted on diabetic rats.
The University of California School of Medicine researchers concluded that the PRP injections resulted in, “improved erectile function and altered the micro architecture of the corpus cavernosum with an increase in the number of endothelial cells” In laymen’s terms that simply means the rats had developed a bigger, harder penis.
In men, PRP results in longer, more sustainable erections, in women, improved stimulation, lubrication, and ability to achieve orgasms.
Diabetes and Aging
Type 2 Diabetes, the most common form, used to be called “adult onset diabetes” because it showed up most often in people over 40. It is still not clear if Type 2 diabetes is a “symptom of aging,” or merely the result of the many biological and lifestyle changes that we go through as we get older. What we do know is that it runs in families, that certain ethnic groups such as African Americans and Latin Americans are more predisposed to the condition, and that it occurs slowly over time, with most people presenting with what we call “pre-diabetes” first.
That all adds up to mean that just like many of the other “symptoms of aging” you can take steps to minimize your risks, and we as age-management professionals can help by creating a custom anti-aging and overall wellness program for you, that will include diet, exercise, other life style changes, and any interventional treatments as needed.
Your age management professional is ideally equipped to not only help you minimize your risks of developing diabetes, but how to help you manage your condition, and continue to live life to its fullest.