“Erectile dysfunction is estimated to affect more than 30% of men between the ages of 40 and 70. As a result of an improved understanding about the disorder and improved treatment options, an increasing number of men are going to the doctor with Erectile dysfunction concerns. In fact, many of these men are visiting their health care professional for the first time with ED as their primary complaint. Most of these men are unaware of the link between ED and cardiovascular disease (CVD).”1
Cardiovascular disease and Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is an independent marker of increased cardiovascular disease risk including cardiovascular disease mortality (fatal coronary events), particularly in men aged 30-60 years old.
Many doctors now use erectile dysfunction as a warning sign for cardiovascular disease as pointed out by clinical studies which have demonstrated that ED in men with no known cardiovascular disease often precedes a cardiovascular disease event by 2-5 years.
The connection goes further, erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease share common risk factors. One common denominator if not the main one is endothelial dysfunction (a problem with the inner walls of the arteries).
So when a man presents erectile dysfunction to his doctor, the doctor can identify a window of opportunity for cardiovascular disease risk management.2
It is not a pill – it is lifestyle
The problem in the doctor/patient relationship in treating erectile dysfunction is that men go to the doctor thinking that a single pill will cure all their ailments and restore normal libido and sexual drive. Unfortunately this is not always the case. The warnings on Viagra for instance clearly state that: “Do not take VIAGRA if you take nitrates, often prescribed for chest pain, as this may cause a sudden, unsafe drop in blood pressure…Discuss your general health status with your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough to engage in sexual activity. If you experience chest pain, nausea, or any other discomforts during sex, seek immediate medical help…Some men should take a lower dose of VIAGRA. If you are older than age 65, or have serious liver or kidney problems, your doctor may start you at the lowest dose (25 mg) of VIAGRA. If you have prostate problems or high blood pressure for which you take medicines called alpha blockers, your doctor may start you on a lower dose of VIAGRA.”
This eliminates a lot of men from using Viagra
As opposed to the single pill option of treating male sexual dysfunction, why not embark on a lifestyle change for improved health that will improve erectile function and sexual desire naturally? The first step is to make an appointment with us to assess your general health.
Among many things we are going to help you with is weight loss. You do not have to lose a lot of weight to see the benefits, even a weight loss of 5% can accelerated reversal of sexual and urinary problems within 8 weeks, together with continual improvements up to 12 months.3 In obesity, there may be excessive conversion of testosterone to estradiol, the powerful female hormone, and this contributes to erectile dysfunction.
Getting your testosterone checked can help with ED. In one study, researchers showed that men with metabolic syndrome (increased blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol level) have a significant decrease in total serum testosterone levels compared to aging, metabolically healthy men. This confirmed a well established association between erectile dysfunction and pre-diabetes/diabetes (particularly in obese pre-diabetic/diabetic patients) and its effects on hormones.4
Let us check for diabetes. Researchers writing in the Journal of Urology say that male dysfunction was “an observable marker of diabetes mellitus, strongly so for men 45 years old or younger and likely for men 46 to 65 years old.”5
Getting started: A Flavonoid-rich fruit and vegetable diet for ED and a healthy heart
In recent research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doctors show that eating foods that contain Anthocyanins (found in blueberries, cherries, blackberries, radishes and blackcurrant), flavanones and flavones (found in citrus fruits) were found to offer benefits in reduced risk of erectile dysfunction in men, with the greatest benefit in those under 70.
This same research also suggests that while it is already know that increased exercise can improve erectile function, eating a flavonoid-rich diet is also as good for erectile function as briskly walking for up to five hours a week.6
Weight loss, healthy diet, exercise, testosterone levels, and diabetes are among the important factors in ED.
1, Miner M, Kim ED. Cardiovascular disease and male sexual dysfunction. Asian J Androl. 2014 Dec 12. doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.143753. [Epub ahead of print]
2. Jackson G, Nehra A, Miner M, et al. The assessment of vascular risk in men with erectile dysfunction: the role of the cardiologist and general physician. Int J Clin Pract. 2013 May 28. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12200. [Epub ahead of print]
3. Khoo, J., Piantadosi, C., Duncan, R., Worthley, S. G., Jenkins, A., Noakes, M., Worthley, M. I., Lange, K. and Wittert, G. A. (2011), Comparing Effects of a Low-energy Diet and a High-protein Low-fat Diet on Sexual and Endothelial Function, Urinary Tract Symptoms, and Inflammation in Obese Diabetic Men. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02417.x
4. Kaplan SA, Meehan AG, Shah A. The Age Related Decrease in Testosterone is Significantly Exacerbated in Obese Men With the Metabolic Syndrome. What are the Implications for the Relatively High Incidence of Erectile Dysfunction Observed in These Men? J Urol. 2006 Oct;176(4):1524-8
5. Sun P, Cameron A, Seftel A, Shabsigh R, Niederberger C, Guay A. Erectile dysfunction–an observable marker of diabetes mellitus? A large national epidemiological study.J Urol. 2006 Sep;176(3):1081-5; discussion 1085
6. A. Cassidy, M. Franz, E. B. Rimm. Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2016; DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.115.122010