When you think of erectile dysfunction (ED), there are two assumptions that often come to mind: first, that ED only happens to old men and, second, that your sex life or appearance is to blame. I want to put both of these myths to rest. This blog will help you identify the cause of ED and what treatment options are available.
Recent research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that one in four men seeking help for erectile dysfunction is younger than 40 . What’s more, 50 percent of men over 50 are struggling with some variation of ED.
Men and their significant others would like to believe it’s all in their head, and women often put the blame on their sex life. Some women even wonder “if it’s me” or “is he having an affair?”—but these excuses are often never the cause.”
The actual culprit: his health and usually the blood supply to the penis.
Vasculogenic erectile dysfunction—which means his lack of erection is due to a blood flow issue, as opposed to erectile issues caused by neurological, psychological, or endocrinological complications—is a huge predictor for major health concerns like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure or hypertension.
The arteries in the penis are just like the arteries all over the rest of the body such as to the heart, the brain, the kidneys, only those to the penis are significantly smaller. So if there is a blood flow issue happening at the level of the penis, perhaps to due to plaque buildup, then it’s only a matter of time before he starts noticing issues with his heart.
ED is really just the tip of the blood vessel iceberg when it comes to deteriorating health. So if man suffering from ED wants to treat the issue, some lifestyle changes will have to be made. Here’s are some suggestions:
See a men’s health specialist
Primary care doctors and urologists don’t always have familiarities with the penis and may not understand the physiology as much as they should. What’s more, a primary care doctor will likely just prescribe Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra—which ultimately does nothing for his overall health. The man using these drugs eventually builds a resistance to the pills and they do nothing to reverse the process affecting the decrease in blood supply to the penis and other vital organs.
Step up your physical activity
As couples get older and their schedules become more hectic, going for walks often become the primary source of exercise. And while walking may help relieve stress, it’s not going to improve ED. You really need to work up a sweat and get your heart pumping to improve your cardiovascular health. Transition some of your walks together into runs, and incorporate 2-3 strength-training sessions into your weekly routine. But remember walking is better than being a couch potato or no exercise at all.
Develop better eating habits
Abdomen fat is a big predictor of poor health. It’s a major red flag because it leads to ED, diabetes, high blood pressure, and issues with the heart, he adds. Simply put: if your partner’s diet consists of meat, potatoes, pretzels, chips and beer, this has to change. Spouses are often enablers of lifestyle changes, which is why the woman’s workout and eating habits matter to his ED improvement. So if you’re looking for a diet that promotes good heart health, it should be packed full with fish, fruits, and vegetables.
Bottom Line: ED is a common problem affecting over 30 million American men. Help is available. See a male health expert to find a solution and to treat other health-related problems affecting your heart and other vital organs.