Erectile dysfunction: A sign of heart disease?
The same process that creates heart disease may besides cause erectile dysfunction, only earlier .By Mayo Clinic Staff
Erectile dysfunction — the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex — can be an early admonitory sign of current or future kernel problems. Likewise, if you have heart disease, getting the mighty treatment might help with erectile dysfunction. Understand the connection and what you can do about it.
How are erectile dysfunction and heart problems linked?
In the past, the buildup of plaques in the arteries of your body ( atherosclerosis ) was believed to be the rationality why erectile dysfunction often precedes heart problems. The idea was that plaque buildup reduces blood hang in the penis, making an erection unmanageable .
however, experts nowadays believe that erectile dysfunction preceding heart problems is more much ascribable to the dysfunction of the inner line of the blood vessels ( endothelium ) and smooth muscleman. endothelial dysfunction causes inadequate blood provision to the center and mar lineage flow to the penis, and aids in the development of atherosclerosis .
How strong is the connection between erectile dysfunction and heart problems?
erectile dysfunction does not always indicate an implicit in heart trouble. however, research suggests that men with erectile dysfunction who have no obvious cause, such as trauma, and who have no symptoms of heart problems should be screened for affection disease before starting any treatment.
What are the risk factors?
Besides sharing a coarse disease march, erectile dysfunction and heart disease besides contribution many risk factors, including :
- Diabetes. Men who have diabetes are at high risk of erectile dysfunction and heart disease.
- Tobacco use. Smoking increases your risk of developing vascular disease and can cause erectile dysfunction.
- Alcohol use. 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. Alcohol also impairs erections.
- 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.
- 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 than do men with normal testosterone levels.
What are the treatment options for erectile dysfunction caused by heart disease?
If your repair thinks you might be at risk of heart disease, consider making life style changes. Any life style change that improves heart health improves penis health, besides. Increase your physical natural process, maintain a healthy system of weights, stop smoking and drink alcohol only in moderation — or not at all. More-serious signs and symptoms of heart disease could lead to further tests or discussion.
If you have both erectile dysfunction and heart disease, talk to your sophisticate about treatment options. If you take sealed heart medications, particularly nitrates, it is not safe to use many of the medications used to treat erectile dysfunction .
Erectile dysfunction care at Mayo Clinic
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