Erectile dysfunction a marker of undiagnosed diabetes in middle-aged men

Erectile dysfunction a marker of undiagnosed diabetes in middle-aged menErectile dysfunction doesn’t solely affect sexual ability; new research suggests it can be a marker of undiagnosed diabetes in middle-aged men. Published in the Annals of Family Medicine research shows that men suffering with erectile dysfunction should also undergo testing for diabetes.

Researchers analyzed data from males over the age of 20 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey dated between 2001 and 2004. The goal was to uncover a link between erectile dysfunction and undiagnosed diabetes.


Researchers found that men with erectile dysfunction were more than 50 percent more likely to have undiagnosed diabetes compared to men without erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, erectile dysfunction was not linked with undiagnosed hypertension or undiagnosed hypercholesterolemia.

For men with erectile dysfunction between the ages of 40 and 50, diabetes went undiagnosed for one out of every 10 participants, compared to men of the same age without erectile dysfunction where only one in 50 went undiagnosed.

Although the study posed limitations, researchers still suggest that doctors treating men with erectile dysfunction should also scan and test them for diabetes.

Causes of erectile dysfunction in middle age

Causes of erectile dysfunction in middle ageErectile dysfunction in middle-aged men is the inability to keep an erection and sustain it during sex. There are factors which can temporarily inhibit the ability to have an erection – alcohol, stress – but chronic erectile dysfunction can be a sign for other health issues and is a condition which requires treatment.

Other causes for erectile dysfunction include:

  • Heart disease
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Prescription medications
  • Smoking and tobacco
  • Alcoholism
  • Sleep disorders
  • Enlarged prostate or treatment of prostate cancer
  • Surgeries which affect the pelvic or spine area
  • Depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems

Natural ways to treat erectile dysfunction

Natural ways to treat erectile dysfunctionErectile dysfunction can be embarrassing, put strain on relationships and lead to high amounts of stress. Although there are medications available to treat erectile dysfunction, natural methods are often safer and can still offer good results. Here are some natural ways to treat erectile dysfunction.

  • Get moving: Weight gain and obesity have been linked to erectile dysfunction. Dropping weight and exercising regularly can help improve your erectile dysfunction.
  • Move it or lose it: Aside from exercising your whole body, you can specifically exercise your pelvic region by performing Kegels. Not only are they an effective way to improve urinary incontinence, Kegels help with erectile dysfunction as well.
  • Acupuncture: As an alternative form of medicine acupuncture has been used on numerous body parts to ease pain and reduce stress. A 1999 study revealed that acupuncture was beneficial for 39 participants who had erectile dysfunction.
  • Watermelon juice: Watermelon juice has the essential amino acids to boost blood flow to the penis thus creating an erection.

Although natural remedies are not a cure-all, they are safer ways to treat erectile dysfunction with minimal side effects. In fact, even practicing these tips may help you generally feel healthier and happier overall.

Related Reading:

Is gout the cause of erectile dysfunction?

Have your bedroom sessions been a little lackluster as you age? And no, we’re not talking about your ability to sleep. We’re referring to your ability to still get hot and heavy with your spouse or partner. Continue reading…


Erectile dysfunction raises risk of undiagnosed diabetes

According to the University of Wisconsin, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction is about five percent for men over 40, but jumps to 15 percent for men over the age of 70. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man can no longer have, or has difficulties holding, an erection. Continue reading…


Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.