Lifestyle changes for diabetes care
When Dr. Andrew Kramer urologist physician and penile implant surgeon, sees male patients having issues with getting or maintaining an erection, or dealing with other sexual dysfunction problems, the very first thing he checks is the patient’s medical history because often, an underlying medical condition is the root of the problem, whether directly (as a symptom of the medical condition) or indirectly (as a side effect of medication/s).
In one of the videos Dr. Kramer shared on popular video-sharing site YouTube, he discussed the step-by-step process involved in the penile implant surgical procedure he was performing on a diabetic patient dealing with erectile dysfunction. ED is a common symptom of uncontrolled diabetes, specifically type 2 diabetes.
Diabetic patients with persistent ED may be advised to undergo an implant surgery as their ED may have already progressed into a permanent condition, shares Dr. Andrew Kramer, Urology.
Can ED in a diabetic patient be prevented?
As a urologist who specializes in penile implant surgery, Dr. Kramer is often asked by his diabetic patients if there was a way they could have prevented their erectile dysfunction, and the quick answer is “yes.” However, he adds, there may be certain factors in the patient that increase his risk of ED. The chances of developing ED varies per case.
In general, what causes ED in a diabetic patient, says Dr. Andrew Kramer, urology specialist and penile implant surgeon, is damage to nerve and small blood vessels as this may constrict blood flow, and also affect a man’s physiological response to sexual stimulation.
Damage to small blood vessels and nerves occurs when the patient’s blood sugar level is uncontrolled. Contributing factors to uncontrolled diabetes include poor diet, lack of physical activity or exercise, and neglecting to take prescribed diabetes medication. In some ED patients, they are unaware that they have diabetes, which means ED was the “trigger” that prompted them to seek medical attention.
Diabetic patients dealing with occasional erectile dysfunction may still prevent permanent ED with a few lifestyle changes, shares Dr. Andrew Kramer, Urology. The key is to maintain your blood sugar levels and make more health-conscious choices.
Here are some healthy changes recommended for diabetic patients to lower the risk for erectile dysfunction:
1. Eat a diabetic-friendly diet
Eating healthy among diabetic patients and people without diabetes or other medical conditions is quite different. If you’re a diabetic patient, keeping your sugar intake in check won’t be enough; you may have to completely eliminate it from your diet. This means looking for alternative sweeteners for your foods and beverages. And as always, natural (directly sourced from fruits, not processed) is the safest choice.
2. Keep an active lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is a dangerous lifestyle choice because it increases your risk for a number of diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. On the other hand, an active lifestyle can keep these potentially fatal diseases at bay. Doing a few simple exercises everyday for at least 15 minutes per day can already have a positive effect on your physical health. Exercise helps improve blood circulation, which in turn helps prevent damage to blood vessels and nerves.
3. Kick bad habits to the curb
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can cause damage to the blood vessels, and as mentioned above, damaged blood vessels may cause erectile dysfunction as they constrict blood flow to the penis. Quit smoking and keep your alcohol intake in check to keep ED at bay, and manage your blood sugar levels at the same time. To read more on topics like this, check out the blog category.