Diabetes in the Bedroom
I have often wondered why ears perk up when sex is mentioned. Advertisers use sex to sell very non-sexual items. Just putting a picture of a beautiful woman on the box of tools increases men’s interest, somehow making them think the tools work better! 😊 For this reason, it seems that people with diabetes would be more forthright about their sexual difficulties to their doctors. However, most don’t bring it up if the doctor doesn’t say anything, and most doctors don’t ask. So, people get drugs for blood sugar and related issues, but their sexual dysfunction remains unaddressed.
For this reason, I will try to address at least the major concerns of sexual dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and find a solution to the problem. These include:
- Decreased libido. Pain, weakness, fatigue and stress all contribute to desire. If you don’t feel well, it might be difficult to feel a desire for sex.
- Decreased function. Sometimes the body doesn’t work, preventing a sexual satisfaction.
- Decreased arousal. Even if you have the desire, it may take longer to become aroused; some will give up on themselves or their partner.
- Decreased sensation. The nerves are very sensitive to circulation and energy. Diabetes is an energy issue which affects the sensitivity of nerves all over the body.
- Especially for women, less lubrication can lead to painful intercourse.
- A low-grade, or underlying urinary tract, prostate or vaginal infection can affect sensation and performance.
After explaining the causes of these issues, I will enumerate what you can do to repair the damage and return to normal, youthful function.
Neuropathy and Sexual Dysfunction
Diabetes is a metabolic problem that affects energy production. The nervous system is the most sensitive to energy. Those who have peripheral neuropathy, such as numbness or tingling in the toes or feet, also tend to have decreased sexual function. The autonomic nervous system is even more directly related to sexual function. Those who have blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature changes have significantly increased risk of sexual dysfunction.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and Diabetes Connection
The most common sexual dysfunction in men with diabetes is ED. As discussed above, the nervous system controls the sexual response. When the nerves aren’t functioning well, ED becomes common, even in young men. The following chart shows ED rates in men with T2DM who have two types of neuropathy. Clearly peripheral neuropathy increases ED, but autonomic neuropathy almost guarantees it at any age.
Hormone Imbalance Due to Diabetes
T2DM affects hormones as well. Insulin resistance causes more belly fat, which changes testosterone into estrogen. Men develop “man-boobs” and lose their libido. Women likewise get “estrogen dominance” syndrome, and lose their libido. Moreover, other hormone changes lead to sleep issues, fatigue, and vaginal dryness in women.
Diabetes Medications and Sexual Health
There are many medications recommended by doctors for those with T2DM that can cause sexual dysfunction. Chief among them are the blood pressure medications. An erection requires good blood pressure and tight sphincter muscles. Many blood pressure medications lower blood pressure and relax smooth muscles that make sphincters work, leading to ED. Some are diuretics that cause dehydration that can lead to vaginal dryness. Thus, both men and women may be sexually diminished by medications for hypertension.
Other medications that can lead to sexual dysfunction include:
- Parkinson’s Disease medications
- Heart medications for rhythm
- NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, aspirin, and so forth)
- Seizure medications
Most of these affect men, causing ED, but many affect the libido and ability for women to have orgasm as well.
Blood Flow Damage and Diabetes
One of the most important problems in T2DM is blood flow. Lack of blood flow is the cause of most of the complications of diabetes including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney failure
As you can see, this is not a small issue. Well, of course, lack of blood flow will affect sexual function, by causing ED in men and painful intercourse in women. It may also increase the risk of infections of the urinary tract, prostate, and vagina.
Energy and Desire
Imagine feeling tired all the time, having a hard time getting out of bed. What if you had no joi de vivre in your life? You wouldn’t have the energy for walking, much less sex. Sex is exercise and so requires energy. If there is no energy, it’s hard to be sexually active. Remember, T2DM is primarily a metabolic problem, which means it is mostly concerned with energy production.
There are lots of other issues surrounding sexual problems, most of which should be brought to the attention of a doctor or therapist. It is truthfully said that the brain is the most important sex organ. People have sexual dysfunction for reasons other than diabetes, even when they have T2DM, for example:
- Relationship concerns
- Emotional issues
- Menopause/Man-opause – or other hormone imbalances
Diabetes Solutions for the Bedroom
Each of the problems above that can create sexual dysfunction are resolved by reversing the process that caused the T2DM in the first place. There are imbalances that must be addressed in the proper way. Treating ED with Viagra might give temporary relief but doesn’t address the reason why you might have it. Neither do lubricants address the cause of vaginal dryness. So, rather than give a bunch of things to do for relief of each symptom, I would like to address the underlying problems so that by removing the roots, you will not need most treatments.
- Fix your blood sugar! T2DM is simply sugar toxicity. You wouldn’t say, “I’m toxic on lead so I’m going to cut back!” No! You would avoid lead like the plague! Right?! So, that is the way you look at sugar and starch. If you need help with this, there is a great book called The Diabetes Solution Kit by Barton Publishing. Phase 1 is your detox.
- Start by doing what you can, and gradually increase it as tolerated. If you can only walk 1 block, then just do that for a couple of weeks. You can increase by a few steps each day, and in a year, you’ll be walking a mile!
- Increase your blood flow with Benfotiamine 150mg per day, and ALA 1200mg per day. You can get “NERVALA” which contains both here.
- There is no better way to return to youth than fasting. While we fast, our “starvation mode” is called the “anabolic metabolism” where we stop breaking down our body, and instead rebuild, repair, and detox everything. Start by just skipping dinner. Eat two meals daily, 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. After a couple of weeks. You can go for a whole day, eating only 7:00 a.m. breakfast, 2 days in a row, once per week. The longer you have an empty stomach, especially in the evening, the faster you will gain your youthful vigor and return to normal sexual function.
- Hormone balance. Very often, the four items above will restore hormone balance because it will use up the abdominal fat. However, women going through menopause may still need to take some bioidentical hormones (natural estradiol, progesterone, and/or testosterone) to have normal sexual function. This is, of course, done on an individual basis after testing, with a competent health care practitioner.
All the same ways you would reverse diabetes will also reverse each of the complications, including sexual dysfunction. These restore sexual function because they remove all the underlying causes. Once you have good nervous system function you may not need prescription medications for blood pressure, heart disease, or depression. Normal blood flow restores erectile function and prevents infections and vaginal dryness or pain. Restoring energy allows you to be free to express your intimate desires whenever you want. The cool part is it doesn’t require a prescription!