Erectile Dysfunction Not Just A Recreational Issue for Diabetics

Erectile Dysfunction

There have been a number of articles recently concerning Erectile Dysfunction being connected to Diabetes and Heart Health and the information is worth summarizing and passing along.

Findings from two studies of men with diabetes add to the evidence that erectile dysfunction can be a powerful early warning sign for serious heart disease. There’s a physical connection between male sexual failure and heart disease, involving the effect of diabetes on the nervous system and the blood vessels, said Dr. E. Scott Monrad, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Another article advised telling your Doctor about it, but make sure that they don’t ignore the importance of recognizing this connection with your heart. According to Dr. Geoffrey Hackett from Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham (UK), patients show up at a doctor and bravely share their suffering with erectile dysfunction, hoping for a cure, and the doctor misses the fact that ED can be a serious warning sign for heart disease.

Many times there may be a couple of years before there are recognizable heart disease symptoms. This could lead to being more aggressive about lifestyle change, in diet and exercise, plus looking at risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol, to lower the risk of a heart attack, or stroke, but unfortunately it is often missed.

Some experts feels that ED is still mainly considered a “recreational or lifestyle issue” rather than a true medical event with serious health connections and implications.  Dr. Hackett in the UK finds it amazing that the government has pledged to lower the death rate associated with heart disease and stroke, but has not implemented an ED screening process, especially in diabetic patients, whose ED plus diabetes can signal an imminent heart event.

So maybe we as patients need to bring it up.  Something like, “hey doc, I’m having some trouble in the erection department and while we are checking on that, can you see how the old pump is working?”  That should start things off. Learn more about ED from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.