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Type 2 Cause of Erectile Dysfunction - neuropathy or other?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by RickOBeans, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. RickOBeans

    RickOBeans Type 2 · Newbie

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    Can anyone throw any light on the physiological cause(s) behind sexual dysfunction (i.e. erectile dysfunction, or E.D.) in men suffering from diabetes mellitus?

    I know that neuropathy is a probable consequence of the occasionally or chronically high blood glucose levels that result from diabetes type 2, but I'd like to discover if erectile dysfunction is a direct consequence of damage to (parasympathetic?) nerves involved with that function, or if it is more complex than that.

    I've been told that the reason for checking touch sensitivity in the feet at diabetes check-ups is that neuropathy can be earliest detected in very long neurones, such as those to the feet, but I have been wondering if E.D. is a consequence of the same neuropathic effect, or not.

    Does anyone know, conclusively?

    Thanks
     
    #1 RickOBeans, Jun 28, 2017 at 12:10 PM
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  2. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that this is known conclusively.

    One complicating factor is that ED is also common in non-diabetics when they reach a certain age.
    I think from mid fifties onward, but more likely as you get older.

    Healthy living, no booze or smoking, fitness and normal weight all are said to reduce the risk.

    However it will come to many eventually regardless of their blood glucose control.
     
  3. RickOBeans

    RickOBeans Type 2 · Newbie

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    Thank you. I had forgotten that older men, diabetic or not, tend to suffer from ED - that makes sense. As a nurse friend I once knew used to say; "GBC - general body crumble"

    I have another related question, as you seem to be knowledgeable in this area:
    Is it known whether ED can be reversed if one adopts a healthier (but some may say more boring) lifestyle, giving up alcohol and smoking, eating more healthily, and taking more exercise?

    It's the rejection of the convivial enjoyment of wine and spirits that I would find most regrettable - I am 67, drink more than the 'authorities' say I should, but never to excess since my youth, gave up smoking 30 years ago, and try to eat healthily (reduction of carbohydrate intake, but not a strict 'low carb' diet). I know I should take more exercise.

    Have you any views?
     
  4. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Well, I have ED and I have good BG control now. I eat LCHF.
    I will be 67 later this year, and I am slim(ish) and fit(ish) depending on who I am compared to.

    My main remaining weakness is booze.
    I keep meaning to give it up for a while to see what happens, but I suspect that I would just get irritable and difficult to live with.

    The answer is probably that it could be reversed in some people. However there is no guarantee. Some people have reversed their T2 through LCHF, exercise and weight loss. I am doing that but although my last HbA1c was in the normal range I am certainly still diabetic.

    I had my testosterone tested a while back and it was in the normal range.

    My main issue is lack of sex drive. If I had a massive sex drive but no erection then there are all sorts of inventive way to enjoy yourself and please your partner. No erection does not mean no orgasm, as I understand it. All that you would miss would be traditional penetrative sex.

    Hope this is of some help.
     
  5. RickOBeans

    RickOBeans Type 2 · Newbie

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    Thank you.
    I'm aware that T2 Diabetes has been known to be reversed by sticking to a strict low-carb diet - whether those cases were from the recently-diagnosed group, and/or from the more well-established diabetic group, I don't know, but it would be informative to find out.
    It's the reversal of diabetes-derived neuropathy and/or ED that I had meant to be specific with. I don't know if already-diagnosed neuropathy is reversible - I imagine that once a nerve has been damaged in any way, it cannot regrow, although in some instances I believe nerves can be driven to form anew to make new nerve pathways - such as in cases of brain damage - stroke, etc - where faculties that are lost as a result of injury have been known to revive, because the brain can somehow re-route functional nerve control.
    I'm aware that I'm at risk of taking this thread into too-wide a context - that is not my intention.
    Also, it seems it seems not to be clear whether ED is actually caused by neuropathy - perhaps it isn't.
     
  6. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. RickOBeans

    RickOBeans Type 2 · Newbie

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    Thanks, Dark Horse.
    I haven't yet read the article you mentioned, but it sounds like that 's an issue with restricted blood flow, as can be temporarily treated by the group of drugs including sildenafil and vardenafil, discovered I understand quite by accident.
     
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