And, truth is, many doctors don’t feel comfortable prodding patients for details on sexual function

And, truth is, many doctors don’t feel comfortable prodding patients for details on sexual function

For an oversexed culture that isn’t afraid to push boundaries on TV, in movies, on the radio and in books and magazines, male looking for female we’re awfully shy about sex when it comes to our health. In fact, even though people with diabetes are at a higher risk for sexual problems, a study in Diabetes Care found that only about half of all men with diabetes and 19 percent of women with diabetes have broached the topic with a doctor.

It’s why the newly diagnosed quickly learn about their risk for eye, nerve, kidney and heart complications, but hardly ever hear how diabetes affects sexual health. It is important for people to be open and honest with their doctors regarding all health concerns-even problems with sexual function. Problems with sexual performance and satisfaction can signal other health issues.

Many men with erectile dysfunction, for instance, later learn that they have diabetes. For people who already have diabetes, sexual problems can indicate nerve damage, blocked arteries, and even out-of-whack hormones. Though there’s a lot yet to learn about sexual dysfunction in people with diabetes, researchers are certain of one thing: Chronic high blood glucose (or blood sugar) is behind many sexual problems people face, and the first line of action is to improve glucose control.

What’s the deal with low libido?

Low libido, or sexual desire, is a real problem-and one that affects people with diabetes more than those without. Men and women experience low libido as a result of poorly managed diabetes. If your sex drive is stalled, first look to your diabetes management and take steps to lower your blood glucose levels. Then consider your medications. Certain drugs, such as antidepressants, can lower sexual desire, so be sure to talk to your doctor.

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