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Metabolic Syndrome and Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Metabolic Syndrome and Erectile Dysfunction InformationThe ability to achieve and sustain an erect penis depends on a complex interaction of sensory information, nerves, blood vessels, hormones and emotions. In particular, vascular tissue in the penis needs to fill with blood after nerves have carried sexual stimulation from the brain.

Regular failure to achieve an erection is called Erectile Dysfunction or ED. Estimates of the total number of American men who suffer from ED range from 15-30 million, according to the National Institutes of Health.

This stressful disorder is often linked to Insulin Resistance, an imbalance in blood glucose and insulin levels associated with Metabolic Syndrome also known as Syndrome X. This latter disorder is a cluster of increased risk factors for heart disease which place extra strain on the cardiovascular system and can disrupt the delicate balance required to achieve an erection.

However, both Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome can be reversed, thereby often removing underlying causes of ED.

Excess insulin in the blood stream created by Insulin Resistance is implicated in ED because it damages the endothelium of cardiovascular vessels. The endothelium is the layer on the inside of blood vessels which secretes chemical mediators that instruct the vessel to contract or relax. To achieve an erection, a release of nitric oxide from the endothelium has to create vascular dilation, allowing vessels to fill with blood. This influx of blood is necessary for achieving an erection. Any decrease in nitric oxide supply to the penis caused by insulin-damaged endothelium lessens or prevents vascular dilation and contributes to Erectile Dysfunction.

Men with Metabolic Syndrome are particularly vulnerable to the onset of reversible Pre-Diabetes, another disorder closely linked with ED. If neglected, Pre-Diabetes may lead to Type 2 Diabetes, which must be managed for the rest of a Diabetic's life in the vast majority of cases and often requires daily insulin injections. Between 35-50% of men with Diabetes experience ED because the various forms of this disorder can damage nerves and arteries, making it difficult to achieve an erection.

Type 2 Diabetes, itself, is a severely increased risk factor for blindess, kidney disese and the need for amputation. Between 35-50% of men with Diabetes experience ED because the various forms of this disorder can damage nerves and arteries, making it difficult to achieve an erection.

A Complexity of Factors

Erectile Dysfunction in Daily Life Essentially, Erectile Dysfunction occurs when the body experiences a breakdown in the sequence of events that normally lead to an erection. This disruption can occur in nerve impulses to and from the brain, spine and penis or in the muscles, fibrous tissues and arteries in or near the corpora cavernosa – the two parallel chambers of the penis that fill with blood to create an erection.

Erectile Dysfunction is not the same as premature ejaculation, a low sex drive or a low sperm count that results in male infertility, though one or more of these conditions may accompany ED. Occasional failure to achieve an erection (less than 20% of the time) can occur for a variety of reasons – such as drinking too much alcohol or extreme fatigue – and is not considered unusual.

But a failure rate of more than 50% during occasions when a man wants to have an erection usually indicates a problem that requires treatment. Erectile Dysfunction is much more common in older men – researchers estimate that half of men over age 60 have ED.

A wide variety of physical and psychological conditions are associated with ED. As well as Pre- and Type 2 Diabetes, they can include prostate surgery, depression, stress, performance anxiety, kidney disease and hormonal imbalances. Because of the complexity of factors in an erection, ED can involve physical or psychological issues – or a combination of the two.

As many as 70% of cases of ED are caused by cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, which Metabolic Syndrome can set in motion. This disorder is a type of hardening of the arteries in which cholesterol, fat and other blood components build up in the walls of arteries via poor diet and lack of regular exercise resulting in excess weight gain.

As the condition progresses, the arteries to the heart may narrow, reducing the flow of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the heart and brain. This restriction damages the cardiovascular system and can also reduce blood flow to the tissues of the penis, causing ED.

Click here to read about the ground-breaking Insulite MetaX System, which is scientifically-designed to help reverse Metabolic Syndrome and its linked disorder, ED. The System includes numerous formulations like RejuvenX that, among other ingredients, includes Vitamin C to improves blood circulation by reducing damage to arteries.

Metabolic Syndrome, Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes are closely associated conditions and there is new evidence which suggests Diabetic men with ED could be headed for cardiovascular damage leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Researchers in Hong Kong discovered that Diabetics with ED were twice as likely to suffer major cardiac trouble like a heart attack than Diabetics who had no trouble achieving and sustaining an erection.

Erectile Dysfunction is often linked with both Pre-and Type 2 Diabetes, which in turn, can be caused by Insulin Resistance - an imbalance of blood glucose and insulin, which can impair the vital conversion of glucose into energy as well as damage arteries and restrict blood flow to organs like the penis.

Insulin Resistance can also underlie excess weight gain and obesity, which also often contribute to ED as well as playing a key role in a multitude of other disorders. These range from some forms of cancer to Diabetes-linked blindness, kidney disease and the need for amputation of toes, legs and arms.

The researchers in Hong Kong studied more than 2,000 Diabetic men for four years. Diabetics in general are prone to ED and heart disease because they all share a common link - damage to blood vessels that impairs blood flow. But not all Diabetics suffer from Erectile Dysfunction and those participants in the study without ED had twice the chance of avoiding cardiovascular damage than those with ED.

Team leader Peter Chun-Yip told Health Daily that their findings suggested that Diabetics with persistent ED should seek a doctor's advice about excess weight. high blood sugar levels, elevated blood pressure and high LDL "bad" cholesterol levels - all symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome.

Weight loss via a healthier diet and regular exercise is crucial to reversing Insulin Resistance and losing weight to lessen the risk of heart disease. Losing weight also offers the chance to overcome many of the symptoms of ED itself.

You may be interested in some of our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Metabolic Syndrome and the Insulite MetaX System.

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"Researchers agree that insulin resistance is central to the metabolic syndrome. When target cells are unresponsive to insulin, the pancreas responds by pouring even more insulin into the bloodstream, leading to high levels of the hormone in the blood, a condition called compensatory hyperinsulinemia. The high level of insulin in the blood forces glucose into cells but also starts the events leading to arterial damage and eventually a heart attack. Under these conditions, a person may not manifest either diabetes or heart disease but could well be on the way to either or both."
A. MAUREEN ROUHI, Chemical and Engineering News. November 22, 2004.Vol. 82, No.47  
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"Simply losing 5-7% of your body fat (typically 10-15 pounds) and increasing your physical activity by taking a brisk walk 4-5 times a week can reduce your risk of developing Type II Diabetes by almost 60%."
Diabetes Prevention Program study 2001, study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, et al.
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"A non-pharmacologic treatment for these patients is needed, since drugs prescribed to lower blood pressure have been shown to actually worsen carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in Syndrome X patients, negating the beneficial effects of those drugs."
Duke University Study, results published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, September 2003.
Article by Dr. Sheri Colberg, Phd, FACSM
"I cannot believe the difference the Insulite System has made in how I feel. My appetite has changed tremendously. I do not crave carbs and sugar and my appetite is somewhat diminished."
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"...approximately 90% of overweight Hispanic children with a family history for type 2 diabetes have at least one feature of the metabolic syndrome and 30% possess the metabolic syndrome.

Our results support the view that improving insulin resistance may be crucial in the prevention of both type 2 diabetes and premature cardiovascular disease in this at-risk subpopulation of Hispanic youth."
Cruz ML, Weigensberg MJ, Huang TT, Ball G, Shaibi GQ, Goran MI.,J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jan;89(1):108-13.
"To gain the most benefit from modifying multiple metabolic risk factors, the underlying insulin-resistant state must become a target of therapy."
Bogdanovic, Streten and Langlans, Beata, "Metabolic Syndrome: New Opportunities in Diagnostics and Therapeutics", DMD Publications, 2004.  
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