Practically all men experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. However, did you know it could be a sign of a more serious problem?
Erectile function is linked to cardiovascular disease, so it could be a warning sign that something isn’t right. Here, we will look at how erectile function and cardiovascular disease are linked, and what your treatment options are.
The link between erectile function and cardiovascular disease
Initially, experts believed that men experienced erectile dysfunction after suffering heart disease because of a build-up of plaque in the arteries. However, now experts think it could be more to do with a blood flow issue.
A dysfunction of the smooth muscle endothelial and inner lining of the blood vessels can restrict the flow of blood to the heart and the penis. It can also lead to the development of atherosclerosis. While erectile dysfunction doesn’t always link to heart issues, it is definitely something men should get checked out.
When there is no other explanation for erectile dysfunction to occur, it is a strong sign something else is going on.
What are the risk factors?
The risks factors for both erectile dysfunction and heart disease include:
- Smoking and excessive alcohol use
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Low testosterone
Smoking is known to increase the risk of vascular disease, as well as erectile dysfunction. Similarly, excessive alcohol use can trigger heart disease, as well as increase blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart problems. If left untreated, it can cause damage to the lining of the arteries. This can accelerate vascular disease, while medication to treat the problem can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Your age, weight, and testosterone levels can also be a risk factor. Older men are known to have natural issues with erectile dysfunction. So, if the problem is occurring in younger men, it is more likely to be an indication of a heart problem.
These are some of the main risk factors to be aware of. If you do develop erectile dysfunction and you think it might be related to a heart problem, there are treatments to help.
Treatment options available
The first step for seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction caused by heart troubles is to undergo a check-up. Your doctor will be able to get a clear picture of what is going on, ensuring they can provide the most effective treatment.
It could be that you simply need to make some lifestyle changes such as eating healthier, getting plenty of exercise, and cutting down on drinking alcohol. If you have more severe issues, further tests may need to be carried out before a treatment plan can be created.
To determine whether you have an underlying heart problem, book a consultation with Dr. Konrad Grosser today.