It is been estimated that about 35-75% of men with diabetes will experience at least some degree of erectile dysfunction during their lifetime.

  • Men with diabetes tend to develop erectile dysfunction 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes.
  • As men with diabetes age, erectile dysfuncton becomes even more common.
  • Above the age of 50, the likelihood of having difficulties with an erection occurs in approximately 50-60% of men with diabetes.
  • Above age 70, there is about a 95% likelihood of having some difficulty with erectile function.
  • Erectile dysfunction is more common among men with type 2 diabetes than among those with type 1, according to newly published research. * (1)
  • Some 46 percent of men with type 2 diabetes have erectile dysfunction. This compares with 32 percent of those with type 1 diabetes.

Why Do Men With Diabetes Have Erection Problems?

The causes of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes are complex and relate to damage to nerve, blood vessel and muscle functioning. 

To get an erection, men need healthy blood vessels, nerves, male hormones, and a desire to have sex. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control erection. Therefore, even if you have normal amounts of male hormones and you have the desire to have sex, you still may not be able to achieve a firm erection.

New research studies have also identified too little or too much sleep and low testosterone levels as risk factors for men with diabetes. 
Read More About Sleep and Diabetes

Low Testosterone and Diabetes

Low testosterone production appears to be a common complication of type 2 diabetes in men, affecting 1 out of 3 diabetic patients, a new study has shown.* (2)

The low testosterone condition, (known as hypogonadism) is caused by improper functioning of the pituitary gland, which controls production of testosterone, or of the hypothalamus, the region of the brain that controls the pituitary.

Until this study, hypogonadism has not been recognized as a complication of type 2 diabetes, and the high prevalence of 30 percent was unexpected.

Although obesity is associated with hypogonadism and is prevalent among type 2 diabetics, only 10-15 percent of the variation in low free testosterone levels could be attributable to body mass index, the study found. More than 30 percent of lean patients also were hypogonadal.

The high prevalence of low testosterone in diabetic men is of concern because in addition to lowered libido and erectile dysfunction, the condition is associated with loss of muscle tone, increase in abdominal fat, loss of bone density, and can affect mood and cognition.

The study found that while obesity may explain part of the high prevalence of hypogonadism, it is likely that other factors associated with type 2 diabetes also contribute significantly.

Men with diabetes can help prevent impotence by:

Controlling blood sugar levels through regular exercise (30m minutes of moderate exercise like walking 3 to 5 days a week) and  diet.

  • Low fat high fibre diet.
  • Getting plenty of sleep.
  • Controlling stress levels and not worrying (fear of becoming impotent can sometimes be the cause) According to the Canadian Institute of Stress there are five stress types including speed freak and worrywart. What stresses you depends on your type as does the remedy.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption – large amounts can cause impotence.
  • Not smoking (smoking causes blood vessels to narrow, which can lead to impotence).

 * (1) Martyn A. Vickers, MD, Chief of Surgery, Togus (Maine) VA Medical Center, and Associate Professor of Urology, University of Massachusetts MedicalCenter. He writes in “Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in patients with diabetes mellitus,” International Journal of Impotence Research (2002) 14, 466-471; abstract online at PubMed. Some 46 percent of men with type 2 diabetes have ED.
* (2) Paresh Dandona, M.D., senior author on the study and director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University at Buffalo and Kaleida Health, where the study was conducted. Results of the study appear in the November issue of Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Is there Natural support for Diabetes-Related Erectile Dysfunction?

Many researchers give an enthusiastic yes to this question.

A range of herbs and nutrients have been found to have beneficial results in supporting normal sex life for men suffering from diabetes related ED.

However do not expect these natural products to work as quickly as pharmaceuticals, Natural sex boosters work a little slower, and may not be as consistent in causing erections, although they often provide additional benefits such as boosting libido and enhancing sensations.

Amongst the herbs which boost libido and sexual pleasure over several days of use:

Ginseng extract – taken at a dose of 100 mg to 200 mg daily in the morning, should produce results within days.

Horny goat weed - suggested dose 1 or 2g daily, effects noticed on the third or fourth day of use

Maca – dose of 1 to 3g, taken daily in the morning, enhances libido within a week. You may also an increase in energy and a slight improvement in mood.

Muira puama – dose of 0.5g to 1.5g taken daily in the morning, produces a sex-boosting effect either on the first day, or within two to three days of use. Many users also report a sense of well-being.

Tribulus – 1 to 3g taken for several days. May work after first day of use, but often the effects more pronounced after second or third day.

Kava – If you normally have a high libido and easily achieve erections but are very tense, kava can be of help. Take one capsule containing 70 to 100 mg of kavalactones about two to four hours before intimacy. You’ll feel more relaxed and in a better mood.

Ashwagandha – if you suffer from anxiety along with reduced libido, this Ayurvedic herb helps you relax and also has the potential to slighting increase your sexual interest. A dose of 500 to 1000 mg is usually sufficient.

Tongkat ali – Around 40 to 100 mg of 100:1 extract taken in the morning can be of benefit to libido, give more energy, longer erections and more sexual thoughts. Higher doses can lead to insomnia.

Dietary supplements containing some or all of these herbs are often beneficial for a lagging sex life. They can help in allowing you to enjoy a normal sex life and enhanced sexual pleasure.

Enjoy Sex More – and Live Longer

If anyone tells you that a declining sex drive is something that you just have to put up with as you get older – they’re wrong. Modern science and traditonal medicine can join forces to show how popular natural sex boosters work. Many of the active ingredients in traditional herbs have been investigated to work out just what it is in the herb which gives the good results.

Thousands of men and women are discovering the benefits of natural sex boosters like tribulus terrestris, horny goat weed, maca, muira puama, and ginseng.
However do not expect these natural products to work as quickly as pharmaceuticals, Natural sex boosters work a little slower, and while they may take a few days to work, they often provide additional benefits such as boosting libido and enhancing sensations.