Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for his sexual needs or the needs of his partner. Erectile dysfunction is sometimes called as “impotence”.
The term “erectile dysfunction” can mean the inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or the ability to achieve only brief erections.
Men with diabetes usually face erectile dysfunction. About 75% of diabetic men suffer from erectile dysfunction or impotence. The erectile dysfunction develops earlier in diabetic men than non diabetic men.
Erection requires a sequence of events. Erectile dysfunction can occur when any of the events is disturbed. Nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, around the penis and response in muscles, fibrous tissues, veins and arteries in and around the corpora cavernosa constitute this sequence of events. Injury to any of these parts which are part of this sequence (nerves, arteries, smooth muscles, fibrous tissue) can cause ED.
In ayurveda physiology of erection and ejaculation is described as follows
Vrishunow basthimedram cha naabhyuuru vankshnow gudam| Apaanasthaanamantrasthaha shukra mootra shakrunti cha||
The “apaanavayu” one of the five types of vayu is located in the testicles, urinary bladder, phallus, umbilicus, thighs, groin, anus and colon. Its functions are ejaculation of semen, voiding of urine and stools”.
Shushruta explains the process of erection and ejaculation as ” When a man has desire (iccha) to have sex, his response to touch increases ( Vayu located in skin causes flow of signals from skin to brain, thus causing sensation of touch. Generally Vata controls the flow of signals in nervous system.). This causes arousal or “harsha” . Arousal or Harsha intensifies actions of vayu and at this moment highly active vayu liberates the ” teja “or heat of pitta. Thus tejas and vayu increase body temperature , heart beat and blood flow causing erection. ”
Diabetes damages blood vessels and nerves (neuropathy) throughout body. When blood vessels and nerves which control erection, are damaged, they do not communicate properly and the blood flow to penis tissue is impaired. This causes erectile dysfunction.
According to ayurvedic text “ashtanga sangraha”, diabetes is caused due to vitiation of vata. pitta, kapha and rakta (blood). Vitiated doshas affect almost all tissues of body in diabetes. According to ayurveda the process of erection occurs due to involvement of vata, pitta and rakta . The process of erection will be normal when vata, pitta and rakta are in normal and balanced condition.Vitiated vata fails to cause normal flow of signals and arousal does free por occur. Vitiated pitta and rakta fail to complete the process of blood flow to penis.
Simple remedies to avoid erectile dysfunction in diabetes:
Mix a pinch of turmeric with juice of embelica officinalis (Amla) and consume this in early morning.
Drink triphala concoction daily in early morning.
Juices of neem, guduchi (giloya) and Embelica officinalis prove beneficial if consumed in early morning.
Obese patients have to exercise regularly and aim at reducing weight.
Practice yoga and meditation regularly to keep stress level low.