Gary Wittert, MBBch, MD, FRACP, FRCP, of the University of Adelaide in Australia explains:
"Our findings are consistent with the evidence that not only erectile function, but also lower urinary tract symptoms are a marker of cardio-metabolic risk. The evidence that improvement can be achieved by modest weight loss, in particular when a diet is of high nutritional quality, is of public health significance in framing public health messages that resonate with men."
The study looked at 31 obese men with type 2 diabetes over 8 weeks. The men received a meal replacement-based low-calorie diet or a low-fat, high-protein, reduced-carbohydrate diet prescribed to decrease intake by 600 calories a day.
So what happened? In obese men with type 2 diabetes, results found that, a modest weight loss of 5%, resulted in a rapid reversal of sexual and urinary problem, within 8 weeks, and the improvement continued out to 12 months.
The causes of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes are complex and involve impairments in nerve, blood vessel, and muscle function.
To get an erection, men need healthy blood vessels, nerves, male hormones, and a desire to be sexually stimulated. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control erection. Therefore, even if you have normal amounts of male hormones and you have the desire to have sex, you still may not be able to achieve a firm erection.
Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, and also the publication in which the study was made public said:
"This important paper supports earlier publications that lifestyle is relevant and can positively affect sexual function. At a time when oral drugs are very popular, it can now be shown that weight loss is an important non-pharmacologic therapeutic intervention in restoring erectile and urinary function and cardio-vascular health. Obesity is an epidemic, and such data reinforce the positive relationship between eating right, losing weight, improved sexual function and voiding and overall cardiovascular health."
In addition, tobacco use narrows blood vessels, which can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction. Smoking can also decrease levels of the chemical nitric oxide, which signals your body to allow blood flow to the penis.
Drinking too much alcohol, more than two drinks a day, can also damage blood vessels and worsen erectile dysfunction.
Stress can reduce erections. To keep stress under control, evaluate and prioritize tasks. Set realistic expectations and try relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
Finally, is it important to get regular exercise. Regular exercise can increase blood flow, improve your mood and energy levels, and reduce stress.
Erectile dysfunction herbs and other natural remedies have been used in Chinese, African and other traditional medicines for many years. But finding out whether erectile dysfunction herbs or supplements work, and if they're safe, can be tricky. Unlike prescription medications for erectile dysfunction such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis), most erectile dysfunction herbs and supplements haven't been well studied or tested. Some can cause side effects or interact with other medications.
Keep in mind that these meds can have serious heart problem risk, so in combination with diabetes medications, could prove fatal.