Hormonal Causes of ED: The Story Begins in the Brain

Back in the day an insufficiency of the male hormone testosterone was considered the main physical cause of impotence. These days it is clear that it plays a bigger role with libido than with performance.

Other conditions involving hormonal imbalances such as diabetes, thyroid disease, adrenal disease, or pituitary (the master gland) disorders are also related to impotence.

The intricate saga of testosterone begins in the brain. The tiny pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain in the sella turcica, a little bony fortress named after the Turkish saddle it resembles.

Being considered the most protected single site in the human body, it is built to shield this tiny “master gland” that controls most hormonal processes.

The pituitary gland just rests back keeping track of the hormone levels under its control. When one gets low, the pituitary cranks up to activate the organ of interest to kick in a little more work.

In cases like this, the hormone of interest is testosterone. Once the pituitary notices the levels falling, it transmits out luteinizing hormone, testis fuel made to crank up testosterone production. When testosterone rises, the pituitary relaxes or finds another hormone that is low to keep it busy.

Occasionally the pituitary-testis team can’t sustain because of a failure on either end. The pituitary can get worn out, or a small (usually noncancerous) tumor may take up a lot of room in the sella turciea, crowding the master gland so much that it is unable to operate effectively.

On the testis end, primary testicular failure takes place when the Leydig cells just degrade. After that, the pituitary gland can serve the maximum amount of luteinizing hormone as required and the Leydig cells can’t do their function.

This is similar to dumping a greater number of fertilizer on your lawn at the end of the growing season. The grass would just continue to do poorly no matter how much stimulation was provided.

Another gland at the lower part of the brain whose function can affect erections is the pineal gland. This tiny gland was of great interest to early anatomists due to its deeply hidden and safeguarded location.

To get this kind of crucial tactical location, it obviously had to be worth addressing well beyond its size, French philosopher Descartes declared that the pituitary was actually the seat of the soul-a vital organ if
ever there was one.


The vast majority of all male diabetics become impotent. These men may start having issues earlier in life, often even in their teens, particularly if they have the more severe, insulin-dependent type (also known as Type 1 diabetes).

Those with Type II, or non-insulin-dependent, diabetes have sluggish and less intense problems with erections, but most of them may ultimately develop problems as well.

A Person suffering from diabetes is at risk of erectile dysfunction for a number of reasons. To begin with, they have microvascular disease. This implies they acquire damage and narrowing of the tiniest vessels, such as those offering the penile tissue.

Subsequently, these people suffer neurological damage as a direct consequence of their fundamental disease.

This implies the nerves to the penis don’t send signals as successfully to result in an erection. The nerves exiting the penis may also reduce the enjoyable signals sent to the brain as well, contributing to the problem in achieving an erection.

Meaning they are unlikely to enjoy penile stimulation, while restricting the stimulatory signals required to commence the erection to begin with.

Last but not least, diabetes sufferers may have poorer overall health than nondiabetics. Just like any other generalized setting of poor health, sexual health will undoubtedly be part of the equation.

A good thing diabetics can do to try to slow this damage is to keep their sugar levels and blood pressure under control. They naturally can’t smoke and have any hope of sustaining normal erections.

That does not imply diabetics can’t have healthy and balanced and satisfying sex lives. Instead, they have to be more conscious of their sexual health as vigilantly as they do to their overall health. If they do, success is certainly reachable.