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Published On: Tue, Aug 6th, 2013

Men’s Health: Learn The #1 Reason You Might Want To Keep Your Diabetes In Check

This guest post is part of the #PorTuFamilia campaign to raise awareness in the latino community about the dangers of Diabetes.

dsDiabetes doubles or even triples the chance that a man will have erectile dysfunction and that he could develop it a decade earlier than other men. In fact the two conditions are so closely linked that some experts believe that for men younger than 45, erectile dysfunction could be an early warning sign of diabetes. Erectile dysfunction (ED) also known as impotence, is the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sex.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and is the only type which is actually preventable. Type 2 diabetes which occurs, when the body doesn’t use the hormone insulin properly, this hormone helps your body absorb glucose and use it for energy. If your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use it properly, you develop a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance requires the body to produce higher levels of insulin and overtime your body cannot keep up with the demand for extra insulin and type 2 diabetes develops. A total of approximately 18.2 million people in the United States have diabetes and another 41 million have a condition known as pre-diabetes. Diabetes tends to affect Latino’s at a younger age than the non-Latino white population and Latino men have a 45 percent lifetime risk for developing diabetes. The good news is that diabetes treatment, especially if ou identify type 2 diabetes early, can also ease erectile dysfunction.

Somewhere between 20 to 75 percent of men with diabetes also have erectile dysfunction. The problem is that uncontrolled high blood sugar damages the blood vessels throughout your body. The blood vessels in the penis are already very tiny, so when uncontrolled diabetes starts to undermine your blood vessels, the penis may experience the consequences early on. Keep in mind that diabetes affects more than the blood system. Diabetes also results in nerve dysfunction and in the penile shaft, eventually the muscle starts to atrophy and is replaced by scar tissue rather than smooth muscle. This is what could undoubtedly happen to a man if he does not get and keep his diabetes under control.

Knowing your risk factors will help you make the best health decisions. Men who are most at risk for erectile dysfunction related to type 2 diabetes:

 

  • Have high blood sugar (glucose)
  • High have cholesterol
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have low testosterone
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are 40 or older
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Do not exercise
  • And know they have diabetes but do not have it well controlled

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to live with erectile dysfunction. Prevention and early diagnosis are two ways to break the link between ED and type 2 diabetes. If diagnosed with diabetes, the right treatment and following these guidelines can help:

 

  • Get your diabetes under control. The most important number you need to stay on top of is your Hemoglobin A1C, which is a blood test that lets you know how well your blood sugar has been controlled for the past few months.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle changes to include eating a well balanced diet, exercise and medications can help both your diabetes and erectile dysfunction. Diabetes medications do not add to your risk for erectile dysfunction.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, losing even a small percent of your body weight can help control diabetes.
  • Get risk factors under control. If you have any of the above mentioned risk factors, getting them under control will help in your treatment process.
  • Seek treatment for ED. There are many ways to treat ED including pills, injections, vaccum pumps, and surgery. Seek treatment with a urologist and they will be able to best tell you the steps to take to treat ED while you are working on controlling your diabetes.

 

The connection between impotence and diabetes is undeniable, but that doesn’t mena you have to accept this outcome. In being accountable and proactive about your health and taking the steps to prevent or control diabetes you can reduce ED and will improve your quality of life.

 

myfavepicBio for Maria G. Rodriguez, RN, BSN, CHHC

Maria was born and raised in New Jersey to immigrants parents; her father from Cuba and her mother from Mexico, she therefore considers herself to be Cubexican. From a very young age, Maria had an innate sense to be a healer. After writing a 13 page letter to her father and convincing him to grant her permission to work on the town’s volunteer ambulance squad, she knew healing was the path she wanted to walk. After graduating from high school she was granted a partial scholarship through Seton Hall University’s (Educational Opportunity Program) where she began pursuing her career in nursing. She has been a Registered Nurse since 1991 and is the first in her family (in the US) to graduate from college.

Her professional background encompasses having worked in management, Adult ER & Trauma, Hospice, Internal Medicine/Medical Surgical nursing, travel nursing, College Health, ENT/Plastics, Oncology, as a Clinical Instructor, a Legal Nurse Consultant and in Outreach/Public Speaking regarding HIV/AIDS prevention/education.

In continuing with her studies and evolving both personally and spiritually, she has obtained certifications as a Reiki Master, Gemstone Healer (balancing the Chakras) and a Holistic Health Coach. She is currently pursuing the certification as a board certified Meditation Specialist. On a personal note, in being authentic and true to herself, Maria (finally) surrendered to the fact that she was born with the gift of Mediumship/clairvoyance. Embracing that reality lead her on a blessed journey and she was ordained as a Lukumi Priestess, in 1997 to the Yoruba deity known as Ochun. She incorporates her spiritual healing work with the mind, body, spirit connection in order to teach others the appropriate tools to live a spiritually and physically balanced life.

Currently Maria is in the process of establishing her Holistic Health Coaching business, Connect My Mind, Body and Spirit, LLC, where her primary focus will be prevention, and the underserved Latino community living with Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Obesity. Please “like” her Facebook page by the same name for daily educational articles on health and spirituality; follow her on twitter @portalofspirits and you can also visit her website: www.connectmymindbodyandspirit.com. Maria is living a purposeful life in gratitude in Miami.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Men’s Health: Learn The #1 Reason You Might Want To Keep Your Diabetes In Check