ED | Can Diabetes Cause Erectile Dysfunction? | StreamingWell.com

Male impotence and erectile dysfunction are common in men with diabetes because of the restricting effect diabetes have upon blood flow.

In this short film, the link between erectile dysfunction and diabetes is explored. It is explained that because diabetes can restrict blood flow around the body, this can make it difficult for men with diabetes to achieve an erection as blood flow to the penis is restricted.

The video also highlights that there are drugs and advice available from healthcare practices which can help with male impotence. It does, however, emphasize the importance of assessing whether a lack of diabetic control is leading to erectile dysfunction.

Streaming Well is a healthcare-focused, award-winning video production company which operates in the US and Europe.

Diseases which are related to blood vessels are called vascular diseases. Blood vessels play an important role in the process of erection. The two chambers of penis (corpora cavernosa,) which run throughout the organ are filled with spongy tissue. The corpora cavernosa are surrounded by a membrane, called the tunica albuginea. The spongy tissue contains smooth muscles, fibrous tissues, spaces, veins, and arteries. The flow of blood creates pressure in the corpora cavernosa, making the penis expand. The tunica albuginea helps to trap the blood in the chambers, thereby sustaining erection. Any variations in penile arteries like reduction of diameter, hardening of walls etc may cause erectile dysfunction. Conditions like Diabetes mellitus, High blood pressure and high Cholesterol cause significant damage to arteries. Smoking is another cause which harms arteries. Diabetes Mellitus: Fluctuating levels of blood sugar in diabetes mellitus damage minute arteries and nerves throughout the body. This impairs the flow of nerve impulses and blood causing Erectile Dysfunction. According to ayurvedic text “ashtanga sangraha, diabetes is caused due to vitiation of Vata. pitta, kapha and rakta (blood). Vitiated doshas affect almost all tissues of body in diabetes. According to Ayurveda the process of erection occurs due to the involvement of vata, pitta and rakta . The process of erection will be normal when vata, pitta and rakta are in normal and balanced condition. Vitiated vata fails to cause normal flow of signals and arousal does not occur. Vitiated pitta and rakta fail to complete the process of blood flow to penis.High Blood Pressure: It is a known fact that High blood pressure injures small arterioles. Researchers argue that this may be happening in penis also. When small blood vessels of penis get damaged, body tries to repair them. In this process the scar tissues may form on blood vessels reducing the elasticity of penile arteries. This hinders blood flow to spongy tissues of penis. Apart from this High blood pressure affects Hormone balance and nitric acid levels. This may lead to erectile dysfunction. Few claim that erectile dysfunction is caused due to side effects of anti hypertensive medications used by patients. According to principles of Ayurveda, Hypertension is caused due to imbalance of Vata and pitta. When Vata gets imbalanced it imbalances its 5 subtypes (Vyana, Udana, Samana, Prana, Apaana ). Erection happens when apaanavayu gets stimulated through various factors like Sparta (touch), gandha (pleasant scent), erotic talks etc. It gets associated with tejas (heat of pitta) to cause erection. In Hypertension Erectile dysfunction appears when Apana Vayu and pitta get vitiated. High Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in our body. Cholesterol is produced by liver and also derived from diet. But cholesterol produced from liver is important as it strengthens cell membrane, helps in production of hormone and vitamin D. The cholesterol in blood stream, which blocks arteries, comes from diet. Increased cholesterol gets accumulated on walls of arteries as hard plaques. This narrows the lumen of arteries.(Diameter of the arteries reduces. ). Due to reduced diameter the blood flow through arteries also gets reduced. The same process occurs in arteries of penis. When arteries of penis gets blocked it reduces blood flow through penis and reduced blood flow causes erectile dysfunction. The risk of Erectile dysfunction is nearly two times greater in men with total cholesterol levels above 240 than in men with total cholesterol levels below 180 . In men erectile dysfunction may be an early symptom of high cholesterol. Adults should get their blood cholesterol level checked frequently. A quote in Ayurveda says “Hritpaandurogatamakakaamalashrama…” – which means diseases of liver , heart etc cause erectile dysfunction smoking: Smoking causes blockage of arteries. Smoking impairs erections and can become a reason for erectile dysfunction. It affects semen and also reduces sperm count and impairs sperm motility. But these are reversed after stopping smoking.

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