Every year, November 14, is observed as World Diabetes Day. The day is dedicated to increasing awareness about Diabetes Mellitus. The day was first observed in 1991 by IDF and the WHO when the effects of the metabolic disease on overall health first started drawing concerns. WHO picked November 14 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sir Fredrick Banting who co-discovered insulin. Known as the “Silent Killer”, type 2 diabetes slowly affects the body over time, damaging the nervous and vascular system. Erectile dysfunction is commonly seen in men who are diabetic. But apart from ED, diabetes is known to also cause other forms of sexual dysfunction.
Diabetes affects the human body’s ability to use insulin properly. This leads to the build-up of glucose in the blood. With time, the accumulated sugar causes nerve and cardiovascular damage. One of the implications of diabetes is sexual dysfunction, which is seen in men and women. World Diabetes Day 2019: Theme and Significance of the Day Dedicated to Diabetes Mellitus.
Problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, which are comorbid conditions, also worsen sexual performance.
Erectile dysfunction is seen three times more in diabetic men than in men in the general population. Excessive blood sugar levels impair nerve functions that are responsible for causing erections. Diabetics are also at risk of low testosterone level, which directly impacts sexual desire in men.
Diabetes impairs the nerves that control the closure of the connection between the urethra and the bladder, which could disrupt ejaculation. From Skipping Breakfast to Sleeping Late, 5 Dumb Ways to Give Yourself Diabetes.
In women with diabetes, sexual dysfunction manifests in many ways. Many women with diabetes suffer from diminished sex drive, genital arousal disorder, orgasmic disorder and pain during sex.
Nerve damage caused by diabetes can reduce women’s ability to feel sexual arousal and affect the release of vaginal fluids for lubrication. Both cause discomfort during sex.
Psychological and mood changes brought on by diabetes such as low self-esteem, depression, weight gain and anxiety also impair sexual desire.
Measures such as routine exercises, careful monitoring of glucose, taking medicines to prevent hyperglycaemia, following a Mediterranean diet, treating ED with sildenafil, etc. can help in treating sexual dysfunction in diabetics.