Type 2 Diabetes and Testosterone Deficiency

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a very common complication in men with diabetes mellitus (DM).  Diabetes causes changes to the endothelium and penile vascular system.

What is less often acknowledged is that men with type 2 diabetes also have higher prevalence of testosterone deficiency. In fact, testosterone deficiency in men precedes the development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Low levels of testosterone in men can lead to lower libido and poor erectile function.

testosterone with diabetes and ED graph

A six-year study conducted in the UK on 518 men demonstrated a bidirectional relationship between obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, insulin resistance, and testosterone deficiency. The study also found that testosterone replacement therapy could delay or prevent many of these conditions.

There is other data supporting a direct role of testosterone in insulin sensitivity. In one study, men who had lower than average testosterone levels were taken off testosterone replacement therapy. After two weeks, these men showed an increase in insulin sensitivity without apparent changes in body composition. This suggests that sex steroids have a direct effect in modulating insulin sensitivity, which also affects erectile function. Other studies have demonstrated the interplay between insulin sensitivity, triglycerides, and sex steroids. The effects of testosterone is immediate and not due to weight gain or increased obesity.

If you have type 2 diabetes, the next time you see your physician ask about your testosterone levels to find out if testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.

Good News About Treating Erectile Dysfunction

The good news about treating erectile dysfunction that is connected with type 2 diabetes is that studies show that it responds to treatment with SONICWAVE.

A 2022 study published in the journal of the American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology concluded that “results of the clinical studies suggest that Li-ESWT is a safe and effective treatment in men with well-controlled DM and moderate or better ED.”  See details here.