Doctors are taught that erectile dysfunction (ED) is a red flag. It should encourage them to look for other health problems, such as heart disease or diabetes. Patients, too, are becoming aware that preventing ED might be preferable to treating it with a highly advertised pill. One gentleman is interested in natural ways to control his blood sugar so that it will benefit sex life.
Can You Benefit Sex Life with Natural Blood Sugar Control?
Q. I have read that high blood sugar can contribute to erectile dysfunction. My wife died more than two years ago, but I now have a lady friend. I want to be able to perform if called upon.
Can you tell me about natural ways to reduce my blood sugar levels? I do use a lot of sugar in my morning coffee, and I drink more soda pop than water.
Blood Sugar and Erectile Function:
A. Elevated blood sugar can affect blood vessels that are essential for erections just as it affects blood vessels in other parts of the body (Journal of Sexual Medicine, Dec. 2015). So you are wise to look for ways to control your blood sugar.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, we urge you to follow your doctor’s advice and take the medications that have been prescribed. Monitor your blood glucose on a regular basis, as your physician recommends. That will help you track how diet, exercise, supplements or sleep affect your blood sugar control.
If, however, you are trying to keep your blood sugar down though it isn’t yet at the level of diabetes, there are several things you can do.
Natural Ways to Control Blood Sugar:
You might want to experiment with stevia instead of sugar to sweeten your morning coffee. (Be cautious with this if you are on medication for diabetes; stevia may interfere.) On the other hand, hibiscus (rosella) tea sweetened with stevia lowers fasting blood glucose (Mayasari et al, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Feb. 9, 2018). Adding some cinnamon to your coffee grounds could also be helpful.
Drink Less Soda:
Try to change the ratio of water to soft drinks. Sugar-sweetened beverages provide a lot of empty calories. To get blood sugar down, you’ll want to reduce the amount of sugar and refined carbs in your diet. Exercise is also crucial for good blood sugar control. Certain herbs may be helpful: bitter melon, fenugreek or nopal cactus could help you maintain normal blood sugar.
We are sending you our Guide to Managing Diabetes for more details on these supplements and our ten key steps for keeping diabetes in check. They work for people with pre-diabetes, too.
Natural Approaches for People with Type 2 Diabetes:
A few years ago, another reader was searching for natural approaches to blood sugar control.
Q. My sweetheart developed type 2 diabetes a few years ago after decades of being overweight. Metformin caused severe diarrhea and other drugs the doctor tried were very expensive and caused nausea.
In desperation, she started exercising every day and eating very carefully. She lost nearly 50 pounds and doesn’t need insulin any more.
I am impressed that she has nearly reversed her type 2 diabetes and wonder whether there are any natural approaches she could incorporate into her regimen to help her keep her blood sugar under control. I’ve heard that cinnamon might help. Is that true?
Cinnamon and Other Foods:
A. Surprisingly, cinnamon and several other foods can help keep blood sugar from spiking after a meal. Nopal leaves from prickly pear cactus, bitter melon used in Asian cuisines and vinegar are all capable of blunting blood sugar spikes. There is more information about these and other natural approaches to controlling blood sugar in the Guide to Managing Diabetes that we are sending you.
It may also make sense for her to ask her doctor to test her vitamin D level and take supplements if needed to bring it up to an acceptable range. She is definitely to be congratulated on the wonderful effort she has made and encouraged to keep up the exercise and careful diet. We invite readers to share their successes in controlling blood sugar by posting comments below.
Two of my friends have reversed type 2 diabetes this year by following the glycemic index diet. Both lost the weight needed (50-70) pounds needed within 6 months and are off metformin and meds for high blood pressure.”
Can a person ever get off metformin? My husband’s doctor said no but his numbers are very good.”
Doctors do not agree on the normal range for A1C levels. When i lowered my A1C to 6.6 with diet exercise and metformin 1/2 metformin 500 mg. tablet twice a day, I was taken off metformin. 14 months later I was put on metformin by another doc when my A1C tested at 7.1. My present doctor believes my latest A1C is “too good” for someone 81 years old. I am off metformin again because she prefers my A1C to be between 7.1 and 7.2.
“Aside: why so many doctors? My doctor of 25 years retired and it has taken this long to find another doctor with expertise, an inquiring mind and an interest in explaining the science behind her recommendations.”
An endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic gave me the best advice ever. Try to follow The 17 Day Diet. Buy the book and follow the recommendations. She and her husband use it along with their 10 year old special needs child and it works. The deal is, the whole household has to do it. Teens who must have their ‘junk’ simply have to enjoy it outside the house. My household did this and saw immediate effects. It is actually 4 sets of 17 day plans that reset your glucose levels, cravings etc. Of course it is based on eating vegetables, salads and lean meats BUT you get immediate results. My husband lost over 50 lbs, I lost 30. The endo said this would happen because testosterone boosts weight loss.”