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From Wisconsin, USA:

I am a 24 year old male and have been diabetic since I was 8 years old. Begining in my teen years I have had a incredibly hard time controlling my diabetes. This has continued to this very day. My question is concerning impotence. In the last few years my sex drive has steadily declined. I can still achieve an erection but have difficulty maintaining it. Could you possibly relay the major symptoms in regards to this area? If this was some sort of nerve damage how come there is no pain also? And does impotence caused by diabetes affect the sex drive itself? Also, even when my sugars are stable for awhile I still have find myself fatigued, is there any relation to my other problems?


Impotence (erectile dysfunction), one of the main features of diabetic autonomic neuropathy, is relatively common among adult male diabetics after long period of poor metabolic control. (Generally it takes more than 8 years to occur but this depends also depends on how bad your average metabolic control has been over these years.) Pain and paresthesias occurs in the other form of diabetic neuropathy, called peripheral neuropathy, which affects the peripheral nerves of the extremities.

The diagnosis needs to be confirmed first by your diabetes team and subsequently by further specialists (urologist, and perhaps a psychiatrist if the impotence has made you anxious and has caused your sexual desire to deteriorate). Nowadays there are choices of treatments that should help many men with diabetes.


Original posting 21 Feb 1999
Posted to Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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