While it may not always be the case, erectile dysfunction could be an indicator of an underlying health concern like heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, or kidney disease. In particular, men who have diabetes commonly experience ED as well; sometimes, erectile issues can even precede a diabetes diagnosis.
If you have recently had difficulty with having or maintaining an erection, reach out to your doctor to check for any possible underlying health issues. Let’s dive into four signs that your case of ED may actually be caused by diabetes.
You’re Extremely Fatigued
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms associated with diabetes. While a person who is tired usually feels better after resting, someone who has persistent fatigue does not feel relieved after resting and will continue to feel exhausted and lethargic. There are several significant reasons why someone with diabetes may experience fatigue, including changes in blood sugar levels, mental and emotional issues, diabetes complications, and other diabetes symptoms.
Because diabetes affects the way the body regulates and uses blood sugar, cells often do not take in enough glucose. When they don’t get sufficient levels of glucose, they aren’t able to produce energy, leaving your body weak and fatigued. If you are feeling particularly exhausted, even after getting a full night of rest, you may have diabetes and not even realize it.
You’ve Lost Weight
Unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more could be an early indicator of diabetes. Because diabetes prevents the body from using insulin to get enough energy from food, it begins to turn to muscles and fat for energy. The body will burn through muscle and fat rapidly, searching for a way to compensate for the loss of energy. This causes you to lose weight quickly with no explanation.
If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight with no explanation, you should reach out to your doctor just in case so they can help you can screen for any health issues that could be causing it—diabetes or otherwise.
You’re Urinating More Often Than Usual
Another symptom of diabetes is frequent urination. This is due to the high blood sugar levels that occur because of the body’s inability to use glucose to create energy. High blood sugar levels are particularly difficult for the kidneys to handle, as they have to process all of it. When they aren’t able to process all the sugar, they flush it out through your urine, which can cause you to urinate much more often than you are used to. As the kidneys attempt to deal with this overload of glucose, you also have a higher risk of developing a UTI or becoming dehydrated.
While there are other health concerns associated with frequent urination, if you notice yourself peeing more often, even in the middle of the night, you may have diabetes, especially if you notice this symptom alongside the others listed here.
You’re Hungry or Thirsty All the Time
Those with diabetes may also be more thirsty than usual. As your kidneys work overtime to process all the sugar in your blood and flush it out through your urine, they also flush out other necessary nutrients and liquids with it too. On top of the glucose being flushed from your body, fluids from your tissues can also be pulled along with it. Even those who drink plenty of water throughout the day may find themselves experiencing excessive thirst and a dry mouth as a result of diabetes.
Since a body dealing with diabetes is constantly searching for sufficient sources of energy, you may also experience extreme hunger. The most difficult aspect of diabetic hunger is that eating more food will not help, as the extra food will continue to add glucose to your body that it cannot handle. The cycle continues: Your body is unable to produce energy from the food you’ve eaten, it turns to other sources like your fat and muscles, and your energy depletes, causing you to eat even more food.
If you’re a man dealing with erectile dysfunction, it may be a sign of a deeper medical condition like diabetes. Watch for symptoms like extreme fatigue, extreme weight loss, frequent urination, or excessive hunger and thirst. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, reach out to your doctor immediately to create a treatment plan for you.