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PRE-DIABETES AND ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (ED)


Pre-Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction InformationThe ability to achieve and sustain an erection depends on a complex interaction of sensory information, nerves, blood vessels, hormones and emotions. In particular, vascular tissue in the penis needs to fill with blood after nerves have carried sexual stimulation from the brain.

Regular failure to achieve an erection is called Erectile Dysfunction or ED. Estimates of the total number of American men who suffer from ED range from 15-30 million, according to the National Institutes of Health.

This stressful disorder is often linked to Insulin Resistance, an imbalance in blood glucose and insulin levels associated with Pre-Diabetes.

If neglected, Pre-Diabetes can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. In the vast majority of cases, this latter condition can only be managed, for the rest of Diabetic's life and may require daily injections of insulin. Type 2 Diabetes, itself, is a seriously increased risk factor for blindness, heart and kidney disease and the need for amputation.

Between 35% and 50% of men with Pre- or Type 2 Diabetes suffer from ED. However, both Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes can be reversed, thereby often removing underlying causes of ED.

Essentially, Erectile Dysfunction occurs when the body experiences a breakdown in the sequence of events that normally lead to an erection. This disruption can occur in nerve impulses to and from the brain, spine and penis or in the muscles, fibrous tissues and arteries in or near the corpora cavernosa - the two parallel chambers of the penis that fill with blood to create an erection.

Excess insulin in the blood stream created by Insulin Resistance is implicated in ED because it damages the endothelium of cardiovascular vessels. The endothelium is the layer on the inside of blood vessels which secretes chemical mediators to instruct the vessel to contract or relax. To achieve an erection, a release of nitric oxide from the endothelium has to create vascular dilation, allowing vessels to fill with blood. This influx of blood is necessary for achieving an erection. Any decrease in nitric oxide supply to the penis caused by insulin-damaged endothelium lessens or prevents vascular dilation and contributes to Erectile Dysfunction.

ED is not the same as premature ejaculation, a low sex drive or a low sperm count that results in male infertility, though one or more of these conditions may accompany Erectile Dysfunction. Occasional failure to achieve an erection (less than 20% of the time) can occur for a variety of reasons - such as drinking too much alcohol or extreme fatigue - and is not considered unusual.

Erectile Dysfunction in Daily LifeBut a failure rate of more than 50% during occasions when a man wants to have an erection usually indicates a problem that requires treatment. Erectile Dysfunction is much more common in older men – researchers estimate that half of men over age 60 have ED.

A Complexity of Factors

A wide variety of physical and psychological disorders are associated with ED. These include the cluster of increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease called Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X). Other disorders include excess weight and obesity, prostate surgery, depression, stress, performance anxiety, kidney disease and hormonal imbalances. Because of the complexity of factors in an erection, ED can involve physical or psychological issues – or a combination of the two.

As many as 70% of cases of ED are caused by cardiovascular diseases associated with Diabetes, such as atherosclerosis. This latter disorder, which accounts for 50-60% of ED cases in men over the age of 60, is a type of hardening of the arteries in which cholesterol, fat and other blood components build up in the walls of arteries. As the condition progresses, the arteries to the heart may narrow, reducing the flow of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the heart and brain. This restriction can also reduce blood flow to the tissues of the penis, causing ED.

Other Pre-Diabetes-linked cardiovascular diseases that can cause ED are hypertension (high blood pressure) and elevated levels of triglycerides and LDL "bad" cholesterol in combination with low levels of HDL "good" cholesterol – all factors in Metabolic Syndrome.

Between 35-50% of men with Diabetes experience ED because the disease can damage nerves and arteries, making it difficult to achieve an erection.

Left unchecked, Pre-Diabetes often leads to the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. Both forms of Diabetes increase the risk of kidney disease, which, in turn, can affect hormones, blood circulation, nerve function and energy levels – all factors which influence the libido (sex drive) and the ability to achieve and sustain an erection. Even drugs used to treat kidney disease can cause ED.

Since the nervous system plays a vital role in an erection, it is common for men with Diabetes-linked conditions such as stroke and Alzheimer's Disease to experience ED.

Though hormonal imbalances only account for 5% of all ED cases, a man's response to sexual stimulation can be affected by problems with the pituitary gland, which regulates hormones such as prolactin and testosterone. Hormonal imbalances from Diabetes-linked kidney disease can also result in Erectile Dysfunction.

Click here to read about the new and unique Insulite Pre-Diabetes System, which is scientifically-designed to reverse a disease which often underlies ED, namely Insulin Resistance. The system includes formulations like RejuvenX, which features ingredients such as bilberry extract, a powerful antioxidant that improves circulation.

You may be interested in some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Pre-Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, Stress and the Insulite Pre-Diabetes System.

Click here to read about Pre-Diabetes and Stress

 

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Diabetes and Its Awful Toll Quietly Emerge as a Crisis"
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Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes Now Strikes One in Four Americans:
The number of Americans with diabetes has grown to about 24 million people, or roughly 8 percent of the U.S. population. Read more...
7/25/2008, Mercola.com
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"Simply losing 5-7% of your body fat (typically 10-15 pounds) and increasing your physical activity by taking a brisk walk 4-5 times a week can reduce your risk of developing Type II Diabetes by almost 60%."
Diabetes Prevention Program study 2001, study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, et al.
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"...approximately 90% of overweight Hispanic children with a family history for type 2 diabetes have at least one feature of the metabolic syndrome and 30% possess the metabolic syndrome.

Our results support the view that improving insulin resistance may be crucial in the prevention of both type 2 diabetes and premature cardiovascular disease in this at-risk subpopulation of Hispanic youth."
Cruz ML, Weigensberg MJ, Huang TT, Ball G, Shaibi GQ, Goran MI.,J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jan;89(1):108-13.
Article by Dr. Sheri Colberg, Phd, FACSM
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