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Erectile Dysfunction a sign of Heart Disease

How are Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Problems Linked?

The same process that creates heart disease may also cause erectile dysfunction, only earlier.

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and or keep an erection firm enough for sex — can be an early warning sign of current or future heart problems. Likewise, if you have heart disease, getting the right treatment might help with erectile dysfunction. Understand the connection and what you can do about it.

Experts now believe erectile dysfunction preceding heart problems is due to the dysfunction of the inner lining of the blood vessels and smooth muscle The Endothelial dysfunction causes inadequate blood supply to the heart and blood flow to the penis.

Erectile Dysfunction Predicts Heart Disease

Studies now show that erectile dysfunction puts men at double the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, cardiac arrest and stroke.

Analysis revealed that men with erectile dysfunction the risk was as twice as high for heart problems.

Men with even mild erectile dysfunction — but no known heart problems — face a major extra risk of developing cardiovascular conditions in the future. And as erectile dysfunction becomes more pronounced, signs of hidden heart disease and earlier death risk grow.

Among men aged 45 and up without diagnosed heart disease, those with moderate or severe erectile dysfunction were up to 50 percent more likely to be hospitalized for heart problems, according to an adjusted analysis. Erectile dysfunction boosted the risk for hospitalization even more when men had a history of cardiovascular disease. (www.webmd.com/heart-disease)

What are the Risk Factors?

  • Diabetes – Men who have diabetes are at high risk of erectile dysfunction and heart disease.
  • Smoking –  Increases your risk of developing vascular disease and can cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Alcohol –  Alcohol also impairs erections.  Drinking too much alcohol can cause heart disease and might contribute to other causes of heart disease, such as high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol.
  • High blood pressure – Over time, high blood pressure damages the lining of your arteries and accelerates the process of vascular disease. Certain high blood pressure medications, such as thiazide diuretics, can also affect sexual function.
  • High cholesterol – A high level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis.
  • Age – As you get older, erections might take longer to develop and might not be as firm. The younger you are, the more likely that erectile dysfunction signals a risk of heart disease. Men younger than 50 are at especially high risk. In men older than 70, erectile dysfunction is much less likely to be a sign of heart disease.
  • Obesity –  Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors for heart disease.
  • Low testosterone – Men with low testosterone have higher rates of erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease compared to men with normal testosterone levels.

Erectile Dysfunction and High Blood Pressure

According to authors, findings confirm the link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease. They also suggest that erectile dysfunction could be an independent risk factor for heart disease, similar to risk factors like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Your blood pressure is high for an extended time, it can damage the lining of your arteries and interfere with your blood flow. This appears to affect your ability to get and maintain an erection. A 2012 study published in the journal Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension Trusted Source found that approximately 30 percent of men with hypertension complain of ED.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

There are physical and psychological issues that are attributed to erectile dysfunction. In many cases erectile is caused by physical issues.

·         Heart disease
·         Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
·         High cholesterol
·         High blood pressure
·         Hypertension
·         Diabetes
·         Obesity
·         Enlarged prostate
·         Metabolic syndrome — a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
·         Parkinson’s disease
·         Multiple sclerosis
·         Certain prescription medications
·         Tobacco use
·         Peyronie’s disease — development of scar tissue inside the penis
·         Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
·         Sleep disorders
·         Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
·         Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord

The brain is an important role in experience of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement. There are psychological issues that interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. These include:

·         Anxiety
·         Depression
·         Stress
·         Relationship problems due to stress

How much Cholesterol is too Much?

High blood cholesterol can also damage your arteries. The buildup of cholesterol in your arteries can clog them and restrict your blood flow. This can contribute to ED, as well as heart disease.

Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high. LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.

Cholesterol levels vary by age, weight, and gender. Over time, a person’s body tends to produce more cholesterol, meaning that all adults should check their cholesterol levels regularly, ideally about every 4 to 6 years.

Cholesterol is measured in three categories:

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol”
  • HDL, or ‘good cholesterol”


What’s so Bad About Cholesterol?

When you have too much LDL cholesterol in your body it can build up in your arteries, clogging them and making them less flexible.

The build-up of  plaque in coronary arteries can disrupt the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. This may cause chest pain called angina.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the “bad,” unhealthy kind of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can build up in your arteries and form fatty, waxy deposits called plaques.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the “good,” healthy kind of cholesterol. It transports excess cholesterol out of your arteries to your liver, which removes it from your body.            

(www. Healthline.com)

How Can I  Lower My Cholesterol?

A few changes in your diet can reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health:

Healthy food choices are essential, a well balanced diet containing fruits, vegetables, fiber, and lean protein.

  • Eliminate trans fats. sometimes listed on food labels as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” are often used in margarines and store-bought cookies, crackers and cakes and other processed products.  Trans fats raise overall cholesterol levels. 9ik and products are required to list trans fats.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect LDL cholesterol. But they have other heart-healthy benefits, including reducing blood pressure. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts and flaxseeds.
  • Increase soluble fiber. Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Soluble fiber is found in such foods as oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears.
  • Reduce saturated fats found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products. Decreasing your consumption of saturated fats can reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol.
  • Lean protein is needed such as fish and chicken.  Whey protein is another alternative to obtaining protein in your diet.
  • Eat more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as avocados and olive olives

Exercise can improve cholesterol. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol.

Adding physical activity, even in short intervals several times a day, can help you begin to lose weight. Having a work out partner will help keep you accountable. Consider:

  • Taking a brisk daily walk during your lunch hour
  • Riding your bike to work
  • Playing a favorite sport

Stop smoking improves your HDL cholesterol level. The benefits occur quickly:

  • Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced spike
  • Within three months of quitting, your blood circulation and lung function begin to improve
  • Within a year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker

Lose Weight , extra pounds contribute to high cholesterol.  There are small changes that can make a difference.  Cut back on sugar and sugary drinks. Limit eating out, fixing healthy delicious food from home help with the waistline and wallet. Choose healthy food over processed food and meat and drink more water.

Moderate use of alcohol has been linked with higher levels of HDL cholesterol — but the benefits aren’t strong enough to recommend alcohol for anyone who doesn’t already drink.

Too much alcohol can lead to serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart failure and strokes.

Men With Erectile Dysfunction Should Discuss Their Risk for Heart Disease With Their Physician

There is a direct correlation with heart disease and erectile dysfunction men face nearly twice the risk for heart attack and stroke. It is vital you discuss with your doctor any erectile dysfunction concerns you are experiencing.

If you have Erectile Dysfunction , call us for a consultation so we can carefully walk you through the treatment options best for you. Please see Our Services or call us at (916) 245-3043 to schedule an appointment!