The inability to achieve and sustain an erection during sex can be quite embarrassing. Known as erectile dysfunction, this condition can hit any man, whether young or old, and cause serious damage to anyone’s sex life. If you have it, you might feel less of a man and experience a decline in your self-confidence. You might also fail to satisfy your sexual partner, which can lead to relationship conflicts.
How do you know if you have erectile dysfunction?
Having trouble getting or maintaining an erection once in a while is not really something to be worried about. Many men encounter erectile issues whenever they are exhausted, stressed, or have a lot going on. However, if the problem occurs frequently, such as almost every time you have sex, it might be time to go see a medical professional and find out what is wrong.
Erectile dysfunction typically causes the following signs and symptoms:
- A decrease in one’s sexual desire or libido
- Difficulty getting an erection even after some sexual stimulation
- Difficulty maintaining an erection for you and your partner’s sexual pleasure and satisfaction
If you manifest any of these, you should get in touch with your doctor to undergo a medical exam for a proper diagnosis of the disease.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by different things, and many cases are due to some underlying health problems or medical conditions that arise from poor nutrition and diet, lack of exercise, bad lifestyle habits, and others. Below are four examples of underlying medical conditions linked to erectile dysfunction:
High blood pressure
Also called hypertension, high blood pressure is a prevalent health problem that occurs when the long-term force of blood that pushes against your artery walls increases to higher than normal levels, causing health issues and increasing your risk of heart disease and others.
It does not usually trigger signs and symptoms, but there are people that experience shortness of breath, headaches, or nosebleeds due to it, especially if they have reached the disease’s severe stages.
If not diagnosed and treated right away, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke, heart failure, aneurysm, dementia, erectile dysfunction, and kidney problems.
To control your blood pressure levels, your doctor may prescribe diuretics and other high blood pressure medications. They may also advise that you lessen your consumption of foods that are high in salt or sodium and get into a regular exercise routine.
The human body needs cholesterol to carry out its many functions. However, if there is too much of it, your body’s cholesterol levels will increase and cause a medical condition known as high cholesterol. People who eat a lot of saturated fat and trans fats, do not exercise, or smoke generally have a greater risk of high cholesterol than those who eat a balanced diet, are physically active, and live a healthy lifestyle.
High cholesterol does not cause noticeable signs and symptoms. To know if your cholesterol levels are high, you need to undergo a blood test.
If you have high cholesterol, cholesterol deposits in your arteries and blood vessels can disrupt blood circulation and flow in your body, increasing your risk of different health problems, such as heart attack, chest pain, stroke, and erectile dysfunction.
There are a variety of treatment options available for high cholesterol. Your doctor may advise you to take prescription medications like statins, bile-acid-binding resins, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, fibrates, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acid supplements. They may also suggest that you make better and healthier lifestyle choices by eating more nutritious foods, being more physically active, and losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.
Also known as cardiovascular disease, heart disease refers to a number of diseases that affect the heart and generally involve blocked, clogged, or narrowed blood vessels, which increase your risk of stroke, chest pain or angina, and heart attack.
There is a long list of signs and symptoms that can occur if you have heart disease. Some of the most common ones are chest tightness or discomfort, weakness or pain in the legs or arms, shortness of breath, pain in the back or neck, extreme fatigue, and pain in the jaw, upper abdomen, or throat.
The moment that you experience any of the symptoms above, you have to see your doctor and get the proper diagnosis and necessary treatment to avoid severe complications, such as a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, aneurysm, sudden cardiac arrest, and erectile dysfunction.
Different treatments are available for different heart disease types. Your doctor may recommend aspirin or beta-blockers if you have coronary artery disease, or antibiotics if you have a heart infection. In addition, you may be advised to make healthier lifestyle choices and quit smoking and other bad habits.
Having an excessive amount of fat in the body increases your risk of obesity. If you are obese, you are very likely to develop many health problems and diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
The body mass index or BMI is used to determine obesity. It is computed by finding the quotient of your weight (pounds) and your height (inches) squared, and then multiplying by 703. If the final value is within 18.5 and 24.9, this means you have normal weight. If the answer is below 18.5, this means you are underweight. If it is between 25.0 and 29.9, this means you are overweight. However, if you get a number that is 30.0 or higher, this means you have obesity.
There are many serious and severe health problems connected to obesity. If you are obese, your risk of the following tremendously increases: stroke, heart disease, liver cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and erectile dysfunction.
Many cases of obesity can be treated by changing your eating habits by reducing your calorie intake and eating more nutritious foods and exercising regularly. However, in more severe cases, your doctor may recommend medications like Orlistat and Lorcaserin, and endoscopic procedures and surgery for weight loss.