How diabetes can put a hurting on your sex life — NOT the kinky kind.
When blood sugar is high or, conversely, too low, a person with diabetes will have distortions, both, mentally and physically. When blood sugar levels return to normal and reality kicks us right between the eyes, what then? Every situation is different. There are ways to prevent these distortions from happening or managing them so less or no personal damage occurs during sex.
A few years back John was dating this beautiful woman, that he'd think about all day. When he was with her, excitement and delight filled him. But, something unexpected happened at the end of their sixth date. John always considered himself a virile man who could sustain an erection for hours on end, so erectile dysfunction was the furthest thing from his mind.
Well (with that said), you probably know what happened next, but let me move along and not belabor the point. This was an embarrassing and scary moment for John (as I imagine it is for all men) when he didn’t have an erection. Luckily, she was really cool about it.
The next day, they went out to dinner and shared a great chocolate lava cake. John adjusted his insulin and thought things were going great, but in the back of his mind he was still thinking about it and thus, very worried. They got back to his place and set the mood with scented candles, soft jazz in the background, and dim lighting.
Everything was perfect, except John, that is. He was excited and eager, but he did not rise to the occasion. What is wrong with me? John thought to himself. Then a little voice in the back of his head answered him. John went to check his Blood Glucose (BG) levels. 390 — John couldn't believe it. John calculated everything perfectly, but somewhere he missed it. Here's what John missed:
- the fact that they finished dinner an hour ago! It's hard for insulin to burn off complex sugars like Chocolate Lava Cake, so his blood sugar went higher than normal for after dinner.
- he underestimated the amount of carbohydrates in the meal itself.
- he was so stressed out about the previous night that his body was releasing extra cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone released when in a stressful state. Anxiety activates cortisol (glucose) secretion, which releases it into the body. This can and does cause BG imbalances such as, hyperglycemia. So John went around for several days worried that he was going to have to take Viagra to rise to the occasion.
In reality, John just needed to test his blood sugar and wait. The next time they met, they watched a movie while waiting and enjoying their time together. A few hours later after making sure that his blood sugars had stabilized at 120, they tried again and no erectile dysfunction for this virile man this time. They did it right!
In reality, the symptoms of diabetes can mimic other psychological and physical illnesses. Be careful and double check with your doctor to confirm or rule out that it is, in fact, diabetes-related.
This article was originally published at DiabeticTalks. Reprinted with permission from the author.