Mumbai: Diabesity (diabetes + obesity) can lead to unexpected problems like erectile dysfunction (ED). It is a condition in which men are unable to maintain an erection during sex. According to doctors, it is a common medical disorder and many diabetic men suffer from this condition.
It has been estimated about 35-75 per cent of men with diabetes will experience at least some degree of erectile dysfunction or impotence in their lifetime. Men with diabetes tend to develop erectile dysfunction 10 to 15 years earlier than men without the disease.
“When erectile dysfunction occurs, it leads to a loss of confidence in themselves and in their ability to please their partner. Depression and anxiety are common in men with ED and this can affect not only their sex lives but social and work activities as well,” said Dr Manish Motwani, obesity surgeon, Aastha Healthcare.
According to research published in a leading obesity journal, obese men scored lower on parameters like sex drive, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory function, problem assessment, and sexual satisfaction than people with normal weight. The causes of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes are complex and involve impairments in nerve, blood vessel, and muscle function. Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves that control erection.
The leading cause of diabetes is obesity or excess body weight, and approximately 70 per cent of diabetic men in India are also obese. Because of their extremely high weight, men develop diabetes at a young age, which leads to further complications like erectile dysfunction and possibly, even impotence in the future.
In men, who are very obese and have diabetes, erectile dysfunction is most common. The cause for this disease is twofold, obese men have lower sexual drive because of physical appearance and to add to that obesity and diabetes lead to hormonal imbalances and nerve damage that can cause ED. “We have observed in our practice that the number of young obese male diabetics with erectile dysfunction is on the rise. These are also proven risk factors for developing cardiac diseases in the future,” Dr Motwani added.
Doctors say weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery can be effective in controlling diabetes, because of post-surgery hormonal effects. Losing weight can significantly reduce ED in male patients. “Weight loss surgery not only helps manage the hormonal imbalances leading to diabetes and ED but with proper and long-term weight loss, patients show improved physical condition and improved sexual function,” he said.
“We have seen live examples in our practice wherein after bariatric surgery, patients are leading happy lives after losing 85-90 per cent of their excess weight,” Dr Motwani said.