Recent research has uncovered a new twist on the diabetes-ED connection: If you’re a younger man experiencing ED, it might be because you already have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes that has yet to be diagnosed.
Researchers at Saint Louis University (SLU) in Missouri found that men 40 and younger with ED have an increased risk for either prediabetes or type-2 diabetes when compared with men who are not impotent.
If you’re a young man with ED, it may not only be a warning sign of prediabetes or type-2 diabetes, it can also signal other serious illnesses such as atherosclerosis, heart disease or high blood pressure.
The results of this study may offer doctors a new diagnostic tool and a way to get a jump on treatment for diabetes. “This indicates a remarkable ability to predict the potential onset of illness and treat it early with lifestyle or medication,” study co-author, Jane Tucker, an associate professor of family and community medicine at SLU, said in a news release.
Even though undiagnosed diabetes declined from 1988 to 2020, about 8.5 million U.S. adults have undiagnosed diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What’s more, about one-quarter of these cases are in folks between the ages of 18 to 44. If left untreated, diabetes can have serious, even life-threatening consequences. If diagnosed, it can be controlled with lifestyle changes and medication.
Any man can develop erectile dysfunction at any time, but you are more likely to have ED if you have an underlying physical or mental health issue, take certain medications, or have health-related factors such as smoking or obesity. If you’re a young man with ED, it may not only be a warning sign of prediabetes or type-2 diabetes, it can also signal other serious conditions such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart disease or high blood pressure.
If you have been experiencing ED, speak with your healthcare provider. There are also steps you can take that will not only improve your ED, but can also help you live a healthier lifestyle. For example:
Left untreated, diabetes can have serious, even life-threatening consequences. If diagnosed, it can be controlled with lifestyle changes and medication.
- Eat well. The Mass Male Aging study showed that eating fewer processed foods and less red meat, while consuming a diet rich in veggies, fresh fruit and whole grains, decreased the chance of getting ED.
- Walk! A Harvard study showed that walking a half hour a day reduced the risk of getting ED by forty-one percent.
- Stay slim. If you keep your waist at 32 inches — as opposed to 42 inches — you’ll be 50 percent less likely to have ED.
The study is published in the journal, Preventive Medicine.