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Diabetes & SEX

Diabetes is a common problem among the world’s population today, and particularly so in India, the world’s diabetes capital. Along with diabetes, come other problems related to the body and the mind. Since diabetes is a lifelong disease, it can only be kept under control by healthy lifestyle and proper medicines. However, the damage caused by the high levels of glucose in the blood cannot be altogether stopped. Whether one develops diabetes during childhood juvenile diabetes – or it is acquired later on in life, it definitely seems to have some effect on a person’s sexual life.

The Three Letter Word
In men, the most common problem is that of the function of erection. Eventurally, most diabetics develop an inability to maintain an erection for long. This definitely has its effect on the length of sexual intercourse, which in turn can cause a lot of conflict between the partners. If the disease is not diagnosed at a proper time and adequate medication not taken, it can lead to severe stress and even lead to martial disharmony.
How it Happens
Over a long period of time, diabetes damages the small nerves of the penis,which are essential for erection. Diabetes also speeds up the process of atherosclerosis. As a result, the blood vessels get coated from within with fat, and the lumen of the blood vessels to the penis gets narrowed. This reduces blood flow to the penis.

The erectile problems in a person, can in turn affect a person’s psychology so tremendously that he may get nervous and anxious resulting in no erection. Thus, it becomes a vicious cycle. Sometimes, other associated diseases like pneumonia, high blood pressure or kidney disease may put the blood sugar out of control, which can again give rise to erection issues.
The Test
First and foremost, it is necessary to find out the exact cause of the erectile problems. Even if a person is a confirmed diabetic, an NPT(Nocturnal Penile Tumescence) test should be done. This test measures the number and strength of erections a person has during his sleep.

Normally, a healthy man has erections lasting for 20 to 30 minutes. Erectile problems in diabetes can be due to physical problems caused by diabetes itself, as well as due to phychological stress. A person not having normal erections in sleep every one-and-a-half hour might assuredly be having some physical problem.
Diabetes and Women
In women, the sexual side effects caused by diabetes are comparatively less. Diabetes may affect the blood vessels and nerves of the vagina, thereby reducing vaginal lubrication in some women. However, diabetic women are prone to vaginal infections, fungal infections and secondary bacterial infections.

Controlling diabetes with proper medicines is essential. Regular monitoring of the blood sugar is also very important. Eating a low fat, low cholesterol diet with a lot of fibre, plenty of water and good exercise is mandatory for maintaining food health.

A ‘Sugar Clinic’ is a complete and integrated solution
to manage diabetes and offers customized solutions to
different sections of the diabetic population.
Diabetes & Nutrition Education Services
A specialist diabetes educator works with the patient to equip them with the skills to better manage diabetes. Some of the aspects covered include understanding diabetes, good glycemic controls and sick day management, importance of self blood glucose monitoring, and training on insulin delivery/blood glucose monitoring device. In people with diabetes, food also becomes an integral part of the treatment. The trained dieticians help with individualized assessment and meal plans, education on healthy nutrition, and dining out tips, with specific recipes.
Eye & Foot Clinics
Fundus photography is offered as part of the eye test, to give the most comprehensive eye care experience. The state-of-the-art fundus camera captures a photograph of the back of the eye, enabling the spotting of any anomalies or early changes set in the eyes as a result of diabetes. The optometrist then explains the photograph so that the patients can fully understand the results of their eye test. Having diabetes puts you at risk for developing a wide range of foot problems- often because of two complications of diabetes-nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor blood circulation. The Sugar Clinic ensures screening for the same in line with international recommendations (physical examination, Peripheral Doppler – for checking the blood circulation, and Biothesiometer – for checking sensation of the feet), as peripheral vascular disease is the most neglected part of diabetes management in our country. Each patient is screened in the Foot Clinic and advised by clinicians on the appropriate footwear. Customized foot wear is also available at the clinic.
Diagnostics & other features
All diagnostics required to screen the general population and manage the pre-diabetic and diabetic population including the complications of diabetes. It has a full-fledged laboratory, ECG, X-Ray, peripheral Doppler and fundus camera as part of the diagnostic facility at these clinics. Qualified full time physicians trained in diabetology, along with endocrinologists, man the ?Sugar Clinics. As risk stratification is a critical component of managing diabetes, the Sugar Clinics follow the Staged Diabetic Management protocol.

Diabetes Monitoring/testing equipments for urine sugar, blood sugar etc. are readily available at the attached pharmacy, along withtherapeutic agents like insulin and oral hypoglycemic agents. Diabetes education material – audio, video cassettes, books and pamphlets on diabetes and related complications –are also available.
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