Impotence is a medical disorder characterized by the loss of bodily function. The loss of any type of bodily function is not a normal occurrence and should be regarded as a sign or symptom of some underlying and possibly very serious medical condition. For this reason, no thorough physical examination of a patient is complete without systematic inquiry into the matter of sexual performance. Unfortunately, this is not often the case.
Good medical practice mandates the careful examination of a patient reporting impotence symptoms, especially for possible diabetic and cardiovascular problems. Diabetes mellitus is a serious disease characterized by the failure of the pancreas to secrete a sufficient quantity of the hormone insulin to allow for the proper absorption of glucose, a sugar critical in providing for the body’s energy needs. Type I diabetes is largely a disease of children and has noticeable symptoms that develop over a short period of time. Obviously, impotence is rarely one of the symptoms of Type I diabetes. Type II diabetes, which may develop in men in their young and middle adult years, is another story. Often the symptoms are slow to appear and are not obvious in nature. Early treatment is important, and impotence may be the first real sign that Type II diabetes exists.
Vascular disorders are a frequent factor underlying much erectile dysfunction. Problems in the vascular system are often silent in nature and may not be apparent until there is some life-threatening event. It is reasonable to suspect that when vascular deterioration is taking place in the penis, an organ along the periphery of the body, it could also be taking place at critical points elsewhere. Promptly paying heed to the importance warning might save some patients from possible heart attack or stroke.
Even when impotence can be ultimately linked to psychological factors, prompt investigation of the initial symptoms has been well justified, since the underlying psychological causes are best identified and treated as early as possible.