Erectile Function and Nerve Disorders Penis Effects of Diabetic Neuropathy

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    Feb 22, 2013
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Erectile Function and Nerve Disorders Penis Effects of Diabetic Neuropathy Photo by John Dugan

At one time or another, most men are likely to run into problems with impotence - even younger men may have erectile issues once in a while. For men who are otherwise healthy, an unresponsive penis can be an embarrassment and an inconvenience; but for men who are affected by diabetes, loss of erectile function can be a chronic problem. Ongoing impotence can have a negative effect on a man’s emotional well-being, in addition to putting the brakes on a satisfying sex life.

Diabetes affects erectile function in a number of ways. Vascular disorders, medications, and even the stress of dealing with a chronic condition can interfere with the ability to achieve and maintain an erection. In this article, the role of the neural tissue in erectile function and the effects of diabetes are described, as well as some preventive measures and tips for improving overall penis health.

What do the nerves have to do with erections?

The nerve tissue that connects the brain to the penis serves erectile function in two different ways. First, it transmits tactile and visual stimulation - from a touch on the penis or the sight of an arousing image - to the brain, letting it know that an erection is called for. The brain then sends an impulse along the nerve tissue to the penis, triggering the release of nitric oxide, a chemical that signals the blood vessels to dilate and allow a rush of blood into the penis. Any interruption along these nerve pathways disrupts the process, causing a breakdown in communication that prevents an erection from occurring.

How does diabetes affect the nerve tissue?

Diabetic neuropathy is a disorder caused by diabetes. While medical scientists are not completely sure how it works, a combination of issues including vascular damage, metabolic issues, genetics, and lifestyle factors (such as diet, use of alcohol, smoking, and medications) are all believed to contribute to the destruction of the nerve tissue that serves the hands, feet and other extremities.

Can loss of erectile function related to nerve damage be prevented or reversed?

Men with diabetes can take steps to control their blood sugar, weight, cardiovascular health and other aspects of their lifestyle in order to reduce the risk of nerve damage and resulting loss of erectile function. In some cases, men who take the proper steps can regain function as nerve tissue regenerates.

Substances such as alcohol, certain medications, and especially tobacco can also affect penis sensation and nerve function; limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and discussing alternatives for medications can have a positive effect on erectile function, as well.

Men who are experiencing ongoing problems with impotence should talk to their doctor honestly about the issue. A large number of factors can contribute to loss of function, and in order to address the problem, the doctor needs to be aware of all of the issues that may be interfering with an individual’s erectile ability.

Caring for the penis and protecting against loss of penis sensation

Men who are coping with diabetes, as well as healthy individuals, can improve their penis health and protect against loss of function and reduced penis sensation by taking good care of what nature has provided. Wearing non-restrictive clothing and refraining from sitting for long periods of time can prevent restriction of blood flow to the area; and men who get plenty of regular exercise generally have a lower body weight, more stamina, and harder, stronger erections than those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle.

Keeping the penis skin clean and well moisturized, as well as applying an all-natural penis nutrient creme (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) enriched with vitamins, amino acids and minerals to support nerve and circulatory health, may also promote increased erectile function.

Author's Profile

For additional information on most common penis health issues, tips on improving penis sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy penis, visit: John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.

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