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Diabetes and Your Sex Life

How to make sure one doesn’t rule out the other.

Sexual intimacy with your spouse or life partner is essential for a solid relationship in which both partners feel fulfilled and complete. But what happens if your medical condition makes it more difficult to perform sexually?

If you’re living with diabetes, this may be a reality you live with every day. But take heart. You’re not alone. And your diabetes doesn’t have to prevent you from leading a gratifying sex life.

New Study Proves It

A group of researchers at the University of Chicago studied approximately 2,000 men and women who were 57 to 85 years of age. Of these people, the following results were found:

  • men were less likely to be interested in sexual intercourse if they had diabetes
  • men with diabetes were more likely to experience erectile dysfunction
  • nearly 50 percent of men with diabetes who experienced sexual problems discussed the issue with their physicians, whereas less than 20 percent of diabetic women sought counsel from their physician for sexual issues
  • men and women with diabetes had a more difficult time reaching orgasm
  • despite these statistics, men and women with diabetes have intercourse at the same rates as their non-diabetic peers

Undiagnosed Problems

During the study, 40 to 45 percent of the participants had diabetes, and only half of them were aware of their condition before the study. Researchers found that individuals with diabetes had a greater chance of suffering lower libido or erectile dysfunction, regardless of whether the individual was aware that he or she had diabetes.

Why should this matter to you? First off, it should be a reminder of the need to be tested for diabetes on a regular basis. While you may be astounded that nearly half of those in this study who had diabetes were unaware of it, these statistics are not rare. In fact, millions of people across the globe have diabetes without knowing it. Secondly, in the event you’re suffering from sexual issues, be sure your physician rules out diabetes before prescribing any type of treatment for decreased libido or erectile dysfunction.

Pillow Talk

In addition to having a decreased sexual desire, diabetes can put you at risk for problems during intercourse. As sex is a physical activity that burns calories, making love can cause your blood sugar to drop, which can be very dangerous. To prevent this from happening to you, keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels and react accordingly to ensure your good health.

You may also want to keep a snack on your bedside table in case you need a quick boost during sex. This way, you can hopefully grab a quick bite without ruining the mood. It’s also a good idea to eat a little something immediately after intercourse, even if you feel well. Women may also need to keep artificial lubricant nearby, as diabetes can cause a woman to have issues producing sufficient lubrication for intercourse. Finally, men and women should get plenty of other exercise and take their physicians’ advice on ways to improve poor blood flow, one of the most common side effects of diabetes and a regular cause of sexual dysfunction.

A Sexually Satisfying Diet

If you have diabetes, maintaining good circulation and nerve health is important for many reasons, including having a good sex. To help your circulation and nerves, you should be careful to eat a healthy diet. What should you look for in your diabetic sexual diet?

Try to eat the following each day:

  • approximately two and one-half cups of vegetables (go for the ones with bright colors)
  • a couple cups of fruit (don’t eat the same fruit with every meal)
  • at least three ounces of whole grain foods
  • approximately three servings of dairy products
  • no more than three ounces of pasta, white rice, or other refined grains
  • approximately five teaspoons of oils
  • no more than 200 unnecessary calories from cakes, cookies, etc.
  • five ounces of protein-providing foods

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