Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes
--How They Are Linked
September 15, 2008, last updated April 30, 2014

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
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Erectile dysfunction (ED) and diabetes are closely linked. So
linked, in fact, that many doctors now view sagging erections
as a symptom of diabetes.  Up to eighty-five percent (85%) of
men with diabetes also suffer ED, according to the National
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK).

What's going on?   What is the connection between ED and
diabetes?



























The answer is in the way sugar affects the body. When extra
sugar is present in your blood stream, the sugar molecules
attach to red blood cells, a process know as "glycation".  

Glycation is a vicious phenomenom.  When sugar molecules
glycate, they become jagged.  They act like little knives,
running trough your blood vessels, slicing and dicing anything
they come into contact with.

This effect is most severe in capillaries, the tiny blood vessels
that connect arteries to veins.  You see, capillaries are not much
bigger than a single blood cell.  As the jagged glycated sugar
molecules move through the tiny capillaries, they cause micro
clots and scar tissue.

Here is where the problems really begin. The micro clots and
scar tissue make it harder for blood to pass through the
capillaries. This blockage is what causes ED, high blood
pressure and heart disease. It even contributes to cold hands
and feet.

So, if you are diabetic, you have too much sugar in your blood
stream, and the conditions for glycation are perfect.

There are other reasons diabetes is related to ED. Diabetes  
causes "neuropathy" a deadening of the nerves.  When this
happens "down there" sexual activity won't feel so good, and
the intensity of the experience is weak.

In severe cases, neuropathy can also prevent ejaculation.

So, what should you do to improve diabetes caused by erectile
dysfunction?

Here are some strategies:


1.
Drink chamomile tea. Chamomile tea has been linked in
recent research to lowering blood sugar and reducing certain
complications of diabetes.

2.
Take Zinc. Eating foods high in zinc has been linked with
reduction in blood sugar and with improvements in erectile
dysfunction. Oysters, Brewer's yeast and wheat brands are
high in zinc.

3.
Use Cinnamon. Like chamomile tea, cinnamon is one of the
foods that lower blood sugar and reduce complications from
diabetes. (Read more about the Top 10
health benefits of
cinnamon.)

4.
Eat Vegetables Before Carbs. When you eat carbohydrates,
make sure that you eat the  vegetables in the meal first.
Research has found that eating your food in this order can
lower blood sugar. (Read more about
eating your vegetables
before your carbs to control blood sugar.)


Read More About Managing Diabetes:

Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics
Chamomile Tea Reduces Complications from Diabetes
Foods That Keep Your Blood Sugar Steady


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Eating vegetables before you eat carbs can help to lower blood sugar
levels.