Can Clogged Arteries cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Overall male physical health can play a key role with a man’s ability to get an erection. Blood flow around the body plays a direct impact on this, so ED (erectile dysfunction) could be a sign that one or more arteries are clogged.
Clogged arteries is caused by plaque. Doctors and medical professionals call this “atherosclerosis,” whereby a build-up of plaque and a hardening of this plaque can cause arteries to block and narrow.
When that happens, the long-term consequences can be serious, including an increase in the possibilities of people suffering heart attacks and strokes. Erectile dysfunction is one potential outward sign that overall health, fitness and diets can be improved, because this issign that blood isn’t flowing freely to the penis, making it more difficult to get an erection.
Is Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and Atherosclerosis linked?
Doctors and scientists have been looking more closely into the connection between the two.
A study published this year in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found a definite link between those who had Atherosclerosis and ED.
The study was conducted on 437 male patients with prostate cancer, with an average age of 67. In this study, doctors from several hospitals and schools used fluorine-18 sodium fluoride PET scans to detect whether Atherosclerosis could be found in the penile arteries.
All of these patients were already suffering from blocked arteries, to a greater or lesser degree. It is a symptom of not getting enough exercise, poor diet and lifestyle choices, sadly, which can either make worse other health conditions, such as cancer, or play a causal role in someone getting other health conditions as they get older.
As the study found, erectile dysfunction was one consequence of being overweight and having Atherosclerosis.
Cardiology Today Editorial Board Member Jagat S. Narula, MD, associate dean for global health at Icahn School of Mount Sinai, said “When we looked at the scans, we saw something striking.”
Dr. Narula went on to say that: “If there is some form of atherosclerosis in these arteries, there will be a narrowing, and if there is a narrowing, the blood flow will be reduced, and there will be less blood in the cavernous areas that should be filled with blood to maintain an erection.”
The study found, in that cohort of 437 men, who already had clogged arteries, 76.9% had prevalent erectile dysfunction. 13.7% suffered from it more often than a healthy male normally would, and only 9.4% only had what is called ‘normal’ erectile dysfunction. What this means is, the majority of men with some form of Atherosclerosis are likely to also suffer from ED.
This isn’t the first academic study to suggest this link. There have been others, but this was the first time using a fluoride PET scan to visually identify what and where arterial blockages are having a direct impact on the ability to get an erection.
How can the link between Atherosclerosis and ED be cured?
Firstly, let’s look at the causes of Atherosclerosis.
If, as this and other studies suggest, that erectile dysfunction is a symptom of a wider more damaging health problem, then it makes sense to look at what causes Atherosclerosis and how to prevent it.
Some of the causes for Atherosclerosis include:
- Obesity (an overweight or obese body mass index (BMI) can cause Atherosclerosis;
- So can a family history of Atherosclerosis or heart conditions;
- High blood contributes to Atherosclerosis;
- High cholesterol levels are another outward sign;
- Diabetes is another one;
- Smoking can also cause Atherosclerosis
Taken together, a combination of a poor diet, not enough exercise, and being overweight can kill. It’s one of the most serious health concerns in the developed world right now and it’s something that governments are only starting to take seriously and tackle.
For men who’ve started to feel they are having problems when it comes to getting and keeping erections, it’s worth thinking about your overall health. Is this only to do with getting erections? Or are there other signs?
Are you feeling out-of-shape?
Do you get out of breath more often?
Have you always struggled with weight and diet and exercise?
Asking yourself these questions, being honest with yourself, even if it might be difficult is the first step on the road towards improving overall health and with it, sexual health and stamina too.
Will erectile dysfunction medicine help?
Getting fitter and healthier, and making lifestyle and dietary changes, are big steps. And they take time. Changes won’t happen overnight, and depending on how healthy you are and whether there are other ongoing health concerns will determine whether you need more support, such as help from a doctor or dietician.
In the short-term, if you have recently suffered from a few incidents of erectile dysfunction, then medicines can help with this.
Erectile dysfunction can reduce confidence and have a negative impact on a man’s mental health. In turn, that could make it more difficult to improve fitness and overall health. So taking pills in the short-term should have a positive impact on mental health and happiness, which should make it easier to continue to make lifestyle, fitness and dietary changes that should prevent the need for pills to get an erection naturally.
Erectile dysfunction are worth investing in, to regain a certain amount of sexual confidence. This should also help motivate a man to improve his health to reduce risk factors than can contribute to a man getting Atherosclerosis. By doing this, you reduce the risk of Atherosclerosis, which should also reduce the chance of long-term erectile dysfunction.