If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, a condition that often transforms into full-blown type 2 diabetes within a few years, there’s a good chance it has an effect on your ability to get and keep an erection. What does a new study say about prediabetes and erectile dysfunction, and what can you do prevent both of these conditions?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100 million Americans have either prediabetes or diabetes. The breakdown is 30.3 million (9.4% of the US population) with diabetes and another 84.1 million with prediabetes. If this latter condition is not addressed, it often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.
A relationship between diabetes and erectile dysfunction has been established. In a new study appearing in Current Medicine Research and Practice, experts reported the prevalence of erectile dysfunction among men with diabetes was 78.7 percent versus 46.0 percent in nondiabetic men. Of the diabetic men with ED, their impotence was severe in 16.4 percent.
But what about prediabetes and ED?
Another new study looked at prediabetes and ED in 372 white European men. Here’s what the authors discovered when they evaluated the clinical, laboratory, and demographic data:
- 1% (86) of the men had prediabetes
- Men with prediabetes had lower total testosterone, higher triglycerides, and higher total cholesterol values than men without prediabetes
- Men with prediabetes more frequently had severe ED, even after taking into account factors such as alcohol consumption, smoking, and body mass index
It’s also important to mention that identifying prediabetes in men with erectile dysfunction is clinically relevant so clinicians can initiate preventive methods to reduce the risk of developing full-blown diabetes and the cardiovascular diseases that are so often associated with it.
Based on the findings of this study, nearly one quarter of men who seek medical help for new-onset ED had sugar values suggesting undiagnosed prediabetes. In addition, these men also had a greater risk of severe ED. These are findings that clinicians and patient should keep in mind when presented with erectile dysfunction.
How to prevent prediabetes and diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or if you have a predisposition to develop diabetes, it does not mean you will absolutely develop the disease, especially if you take the following steps:
- If you are overweight, begin a healthy weight-loss program now that includes healthy eating and exercise
- When it comes to diet, focus on whole, natural foods (organic when possible), avoid processed and fast foods, and talk to a knowledgeable dietitian for help
- Stay active, which means develop a fun, regular exercise program that you follow for at least 5 days a week
- Get sufficient sleep
- Have your blood sugar levels checked regularly (e.g., every six months)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New CDC report: more than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. 2017 Jul 18
Luca Boeri L et al. Unrecognized prediabetes is highly prevalent in men with erectile dysfunction—results from a cross-sectional study. Journal of Sexual Medicine 2018 Aug; 15(8): 1117-24
Sondhi M et al. Prevalence of erectile dysfunction in diabetic patients. Current Medicine Research and Practice 2018 May-June; 8(3): 88-91