DARE TO ASK: You were always on my mind
By PHILLIP MILANO, The Times-Union
If a man is medically impotent, as from diabetes, does he still have a sex
Amy, 56, Jacksonville
Sexual excitement is a personal matter that can vary, but where there is a
will there is a way! With a loving, caring partner, all kinds of good things can
still happen. Intimacy in sexuality and a broader repertoire of activities can
help. It depends on the degree of neuropathy as well. Diabetics often do not
respond as well to drugs such as Viagra, etc., but they have very good response
with the drug Caverject. It works with or without a strong libido.
Paul, 53, diabetic, Normal, Ill.
I've been on certain medications for some time that inhibit my sexual
performance. But I still have a sex drive.
Bill, 43, Naples
Many times someone who has this type of condition will still have a sex
drive; that is something that is biologically in you. Nerve damage and things
like that do not seem to have a relation.
Saluki Girl, Carbondale, Ill.
I am a borderline (Type 2) diabetic. A man can certainly continue to some
degree to have sexual desire and arousal and release. Unless something is really
wrong psychologically, a man desires sex, virtually all the time.
Jerry, 58, Jacksonville
The endocrinological, psychological and societal implications of diabetes and
other manifestations of impaired glucose metabolism in humans can impact
regimens such as insulin therapies conducted to ameliorate the disorder and/or
its inherent side effects.
(OK, now that all the kids have stopped reading, let's get on with the real
Why is Paul pushing this Caverject stuff, anyway? Does he realize where it's
To get at the nut of this matter, we must first remember that the question is
not about the heavy lifting, but wanting to do the heavy lifting.
And that desire is not affected by diabetes, says Robert Rizza, past
president of the American Diabetes Association and professor of medicine at the
Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
"Diabetes can affect a variety of things, but not libido," he said.
"It involves changes in blood flow in various parts of the body, and it can
damage nerves and blood vessels and cause impotence."
To prevent the impotence, take care of the diabetes that's causing it, he
added. That means healthful eating, exercise, blood glucose testing and possibly
insulin therapy. An aspirin a day helps control blood vessels, Rizza said.
Who should care? About 10 percent of all U.S. males over age 20 (and their
significant others, we guess). That's how many of them have diabetes, according
to the American Diabetes Association. And of those, up to 75 percent will
experience impotence because of it.
Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
moderates cross-cultural dialogue at Y? The National Forum on People's
Differences. Visit www.yforum.com to submit questions and answers, or mail to
Phillip Milano, c/o The Florida Times-Union, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL
32231. Include contact information. For Dare to Ask podcasts, go to
Jacksonville.com keyword: milano.