Diabetes is a well-known cause of ED, with prevalence rates approaching 50% in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Men who have diabetes are 3 times likelier to have erectile dysfunction than men who don’t have diabetes. Among men with ED, those with diabetes may experience the problem as much as 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes.

Why does this happen? High blood sugar levels affect blood vessels and nerves that are crucial for achieving or maintaining an erection. Complications progress when diabetes is left unchecked, much like the case in diabetic neuropathy. One common symptom among the two of these complications is that diabetic men lose sensation in the feet, or feel like they are walking on pillows.

Itching of the genitals or around the penis is yet another symptom of diabetes in men. Elevated blood sugar levels weaken the immune system, making diabetics more prone to yeast infections. The kidneys try to excrete excess sugar from the body via urine. Bacteria and yeast thrive on sugar, so this environment is perfect for them to multiply.