15% of people with erectile dysfunction have undiagnosed diabetes. So that's incredibly important, that's a very strong message to your body that we want to interpret and actually work on that diabetes, that blood sugar issue. Because if you have abnormal blood sugar swings that can affect your mood, which can affect your ability to perform, it can also affect your circulation. Often I refer to diabetes as a disease of the cardiovascular system because it causes oxidative damage. What that means is that when your blood sugar spikes high, it damages your cardiovascular system, and circulation becomes more difficult, and you can also develop atherosclerosis, which is the building up of plaques or the hardening of your arteries.
And so that's an incredibly important underlying cause and while some men may not want to live if they're unable to have an erection, to me, as a physician, the most important thing, even more important than having an erection, is going to be I want you live into a ninety and to your hundred and have a long healthy fulfilling life free of blood sugar disease, free of cardiovascular disease and probably being that horny old man at ninety that can still perform. That's what most men I think do want. So this is what I'm going to help you with today.
One important thing to do if you're starting to have erectile dysfunction is the pay attention, did it start suddenly, or has it been something that's been gradually coming on. If it's a sudden change, important things to ask yourself are “Is something changing your life, is there an emotional component?”. Because while most men may not want to admit it, there's a very emotional part of having an erection, and if you're under severe stress, you just lost your job, if you're in an unhappy relationship, then you may not be able to maintain or achieve an erection in that situation.
And one way that you can differentiate that is when you wake up in the morning do you have an erection? Because that's a physiologic process that often happens with men. And so if you're able to wake up in the morning with an erection but unable to perform later with your partner, or if you're able to have an erection in masturbation but not have an erection with your partner, that tells me that there's something going on in terms of stress but also maybe stress hormones. There could be a physiologic component to it, but we'll take a different course of treatment and ways of approaching that then I would for someone who has a circulatory issue or maybe prostate issue and other concerns like that, where it would be a different treatment root.
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