Through our years of treating diabetic patients we have come across with many myths, two of them are most common: Men with diabetes are bound to develop erectile dysfunction and women with diabetes suffer few or no sexual side effects. Truth is both men and women suffering from diabetes are equally affected by sexual issues. The most common sexuality issue in patient of type 2 diabetes is decrease in libido, or loss of sex drive and which physiologically includes:
· Lack of energy
· Stress and Anxiety
· Sexual side effects of medicines
· Hormonal changes due to varying blood sugar level
Now, many of you may think that for any chronic ailment patient, sex will be at least of their concern. However, I’m sure you all will agree that if improving quality of life is anyone’s concern, sex will definitely be one of the priorities.
Sexual issues for Men suffering from diabetes
For men suffering from diabetes, Erectile Dysfunction is the most commonly reported problem. Though, Diabetes & Erectile dysfunction (ED) are two separate medical situations, they do incline with each other. There are many researches to establish the fact that men with diabetes are two to three times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction. Many a times, it has been observed that erectile dysfunction can be an early clue that you may get affected by diabetes.
ED can be caused from nerve or muscular damage, changes in testosterone level, emotional issues like depression, too little exercise and the resulting obesity, high blood pressure, and even the anxiety plays its part in contributing to erectile dysfunction.
Smoking cigarettes is a common concern affecting diabetes as well as your sexual lifestyle. Another sexual issue concerning men suffering from type 2 diabetes is retrograde ejaculation. It is a medical condition where all or part of the semen is ejaculated back into the bladder instead of coming out of the penis. The high glucose levels results in nerve damage to sphincter muscles - a muscle which has ability to contract or close a bodily passage or opening, and thus resulting in retrograde ejaculation.
Sexual issues concerning a Women suffering from diabetes
The most commonly reported sexual problem amongst women suffering with type 2 diabetes is vaginal dryness. It can be caused by hormonal changes or from blood flow problems. A diabetic woman has increased occurrences of vaginal infections and inflammation; there are situations where a woman can suffer from frequent urinary tract infections, which all can make sex painful.
Maintaining proper blood sugar levels is a part of sustaining a healthier sex life. Sex is just like exercise: it uses energy, so you will have to be aware of your glucose levels. Your blood sugar can drop low during sex, as it may happen during exercise; hence always keep a check on your blood sugar levels before engaging in sexual activity. It is also advised to discuss the sexual issue with your doctor if you are suffering from diabetes. The continued sexual dysfunctions are signs of the development of a disease or a sign that the disease is not under control. Discussing sexual side effects of medication with your doctor is also encouraged. Asking for different medication to help overcome the side effects of a particular medicine is the least you can do to start taking care of your diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes may make sexual activity more challenging but it does not mean you skip the sexual side of life completely. Many times if the disease is brought under control, sexual dysfunctions resolve themselves. The most important thing is not to give up on what is an important quality of life issue. Eating a healthier diet and following a routine exercise helps in achieving the basics of living healthier.
Over two decades of our services to diabetic patients through Singhal Diabetic Clinic located at Haridwar, has made us thinking of the health status of current generation. Be it the fast paced lifestyle lived by our younger friends or the life lived by middle aged generation under tremendous physiological career pressure, all this takes its toll on their health. If this lifestyle is clubbed with your genetic composition i.e. your family’s history of diabetes, the threat of diabetes will be one of the major concerns. As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure, your knowledge towards your own body and the lifestyle you chose determines your future. You are welcome to explore and know more about your risk of diabetes at www.Grass-Diabetes.com
Of course you know that stress is bad for your health. But, have you ever thought how stress affects your diabetes? Stress not, we have got it covered in our next issue, “Stress Not, it helps in diabetes”.
Lately, a lot of queries we have received about what to eat and what not to eat. Don’t stress our forthcoming article will cover the simpler way to identify the good food & bad food for your diabetes. Stay Health and do your best to avoid diabetes. If you too have any queries, feel free to contact us:
Dr. M Singhal
Reach us at Singhal Diabetic Clinic, Haridwar | Call us at +91 - 1334- 224625