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Can Cholesterol Medicine Cause Ed

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Cholesterol Drugs and Erectile Dysfunction

HealthDay Reporter

SATURDAY, March 29, 2014 — Anti-cholesterol drugs known as statins may help impotent men have stronger erections, a new evidence review suggests.

But typical effects appear to be much smaller than those caused by Viagra-like drugs, and it may be barely noticeable to many men, an expert said.

Still, the findings — which need to be confirmed in future studies — raise the prospect that statin drugs may become more appealing to men with erectile dysfunction, according to the researchers. Many people fail to consistently take the cholesterol-lowering medications, which can cause side effects such as joint pain.

“This could be another reason to not stop the statin drugs, a kind of additional incremental benefit,” said report lead author Dr. John Kostis, director of the Cardiovascular Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. However, he cautioned that men with normal cholesterol levels shouldn’t take statins, and should rely on existing drugs for erectile dysfunction if needed.

Statins, which include well-known medications such as Lipitor and Zocor, are immensely popular in the United States. However, about half of men who take the drugs stop them after a year or two, Kostis said.

The drugs reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, potentially lowering the risk of heart attack.

Does Crestor Sap A Man’s Sex Drive

  • PEOPLE’S PHARMACY Joe and Teresa Graedon

Q. I am a very active Army physical training instructor. I am 45 years old and have always had a great sex drive until I started taking Crestor six months ago to lower my cholesterol. My sex drive has totally disappeared. I am unable to maintain an erection and feel tired all the time. It has been causing me a great deal of stress and anguish. Is Crestor causing my erectile dysfunction and libido problems?

A. Sexual side effects have been reported with some statins, such as lovastatin, pitavastatin and simvastatin. The official prescribing information for Crestor, however, makes no mention of low libido or erectile dysfunction.

There is reason to believe that all statins may have a negative impact on sexual function by lowering testosterone levels . Cholesterol is a building block for testosterone, so it is not surprising that cholesterol-lowering drugs might have an impact on this hormone. Results from French research suggest that such drugs may trigger or worsen erectile dysfunction . Ask your doctor if there’s another way to control cholesterol. If not, a test for testosterone or an ED drug might be helpful.

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Another reader agrees with you: “To avoid blisters, put antiperspirant on your feet. Wear double-layer, wicking socks.”

High Cholesterol And Blood Flow

The build-up of high levels of LDL cholesterol within the arteries can narrow blood vessels. High cholesterol can result in atherosclerosis and a high density buildup of fats within the penile vasculature which can restrict blood flow. High cholesterol resulting in the build-up of cholesterol plaque is one of the leading causes of vasculogenic erectile dysfunction. The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis as well as the build-up of cholesterol involves plaque propagation, which can result in plaque rupture and the impediment of blood flow . The inadequate circulation of blood as well as the narrowing of arteries is a result of arterial plaque or the accumulation of fatty deposits caused by high cholesterol.

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Can High Cholesterol Cause Ed What You Need To Know

Did you know that an estimated 5% of men that are over 40 years old suffer with erectile dysfunction?

Can high cholesterol cause ED?

While many of us understand that having high cholesterol levels is extremely unhealthy, not many people are aware that one of the effects of high cholesterol can lead to the development of erectile dysfunction.

Weve created a quick guide to help you better understand if youre looking to learn more about the connection between high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction. Keep reading to learn more!

Heart Disease High Blood Pressure And High Cholesterol

Can High Cholesterol Medications Cause Erectile ...

Erectile dysfunction actually has an interesting relationship with a mans heart health. Its been known for a while that things like high blood pressure and high cholesterol can cause ED. However, recent research has actually shown that when healthy men develop erectile dysfunction, many of them end up being diagnosed with heart disease less than 5 years later. So, if you are experiencing ED and have had no other health issues, you may want your doctor to take a look at your heart. You might be able to prevent the development of heart disease by catching the warning signs early.

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Medications That Decrease Testosterone

You may not realize it, but several medicines decrease your testosterone levels and low testosterone levels are associated with problems keeping it up. Antiandrogen therapy used to treat prostate problems is one of the more common examples. Testosterone stimulates prostate growth so blocking testosterone using antiandrogen drugs stops this. Examples of antiandrogens include drugs like flutamide and leuprolide , which are used to treat prostate cancer. Another member of this class is finasteride , a drug commonly used to treat enlarged prostate as well as male pattern baldness. Other medications that may decrease testosterone include opioid drugs, like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine. Also, corticosteroids can lower testosterone levels, too .

Oral Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors

What are oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors?

The common PDE5 inhibitor drugs approved in the United States are sildenafil , vardenafil , tadalafil , or avanafil . All of the currently approved PDE5 inhibitors work in the same way. They differ in the number of available doses, how quickly they work and last in your system, the dosing, and to some extent in the side effects. However, they generally share the same indications and contraindications. Currently, tadalafil is the only medication that patients can take on a daily basis and is approved for the treatment of both ED and BPH .

How do oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors work?

Who should not use oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors?

Some men should not take PDE5 inhibitors. They can cause hypotension when given to patients who are taking nitrates . Therefore, patients taking nitrates daily should not take any of the PDE5 inhibitors. Nitrates relieve angina these include nitroglycerine tablets, patches, ointments, sprays, and pastes, as well as isosorbide dinitrate and isosorbide mononitrate. Other nitrates such as amyl nitrate and butyl nitrate also are in some recreational drugs called “poppers.”

What are side effects of oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors?

Doctors have not tested the PDE5 inhibitors in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, an eye condition that affects the retina and can cause blindness, and so caution is recommended if you have this health condition.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Erectile Dysfunction

According to the NIH, erectile dysfunction is also a symptom that accompanies many disorders and diseases.

Direct risk factors for erectile dysfunction may include the following:

  • Prostate problems

  • Many chronic diseases, especially renal failure and dialysis

  • Smoking, which exacerbates the effects of other risk factors, such as vascular disease or hypertension

Age appears to be a strong indirect risk factor in that it is associated with increased likelihood of direct risk factors, some of which are listed above.

Accurate risk factor identification and characterization are essential for prevention or treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Can Atorvastatin Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Confusion About Cholesterol, Erectile Dysfunction, Heart Disease & Statin Drugs

Tens of millions of American men take a statin every day: atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin and rosuvastatin, to name just a few. Do drugs like atorvastatin cause erectile dysfunction? This reader wants to know.

Q. I am 43. My cholesterol was elevated to 290, so my doctor prescribed atorvastatin.

My wife is 39 and very sexy. People usually think shes in her 20s. I have normal sexual urges, but when we have the chance to make love, getting an erection is super difficult.

She thinks I am losing interest in her or that there is someone else. Neither has happened in our 20 years together and certainly isnt true now. So, my erectile difficulties are causing problems in our marriage.

I recently had my cholesterol checked again and it has dropped all the way to 111. I plan to STOP taking this drug and maintain the lower levels by eating better. Would that restore my ability to get an erection?

A. The effects of statins on libido and sexual performance have been controversial for years. There is evidence that these cholesterol-lowering drugs lower testosterone levels

Although testosterone is linked to sexual desire and performance, a recent meta-analysis involving nearly 70,000 men did not find an association between statin use and erectile dysfunction .

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The Chicken Or The Egg: Clogged Arteries Cause Ed

It is true that clogged arteries can cause ED but it is also equally true that clogged arteries in the penis can be a symptom of heart disease which means clogged arteries in the rest of the body. According to Harvard Health they are a warning signal of heart disease.

The path to erectile dysfunction often starts at the heart, which pumps blood through arteries to all areas of the body. Erectile dysfunction often occurs when these pathways are blocked by plaque, a condition known as atherosclerosis. So, clogged arteries can cause ED.

Cholesterol builds up on vessel walls, which causes them to narrow and slow down blood flow. If left untreated, flow can come to a screeching halt. Clogged arteries can cause ED and this condition can also cause angina, heart attacks, strokes, and claudication . In some cases, erectile dysfunction could be a warning sign that a heart attack or stroke may happen down the road.

What Doctors Treat Erectile Dysfunction

The type of medical specialist who treats ED will depend on the cause of the problem. Based on your family’s medical history, as well as your own medical history and current health, your doctor may treat you with oral medications .

If these options fail, you may be referred to a urologist who can assist with other non-surgical options such as vacuum device or injections or surgical treatment options. If needed, your doctor may also refer you to a psychologist specializing in sexual dysfunction.

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How Do Statins Interact With Ed

Statins alteration to the regulatory pathway of cholesterol causes measurable and benefician differences in those that are treated. With few negative side effects it may seem like statins are too good to be true.

The impact of statins may come to a surprise as statins can actually improve erectile dysfunction. Because statins reduce the amount of plaque buildup in the circulatory system and improve circulation, statins can greatly assist with vascular ED.

Vascular ED is caused by a reduction in the blood supplied to the penis. This restriction can pose a physical limitation to your ability to attain an erection. An erection is achieved through a chemical cascade that signals the structure known as the corpus cavernosum to fill with blood. Cardiovascular issues can limit the body’s ability to allow this process to occur and can eventually lead to ED.

ED medication can help, but ultimately the underlying cardiovascular disease and inhibited blood flow needs to be handled if you want to retain natural erectile function. The utilization of statins can greatly aid in the reduction of arterial plaque and can help restore natural flow to the penis.

Other Reports Of Statins And Ed:

Can Cholesterol Cause Erectile Dysfunction ...

We have heard from many other men who, like you, believe that statins contributed to their sexual problems. Most health professionals reject such anecdotes. And we must agree that a meta-analysis of clinical trials involving tens of thousands of men is quite convincing.

Then again, it is possible to miss embarrassing side effects if you dont specifically ask about them. Some adverse reactions are slow to manifest, as this reader suggests:

Anthony in New South Wales, Australia offers this report:

Neat in the UK presents a female perspective:

My husband is taking artovastatin and ramipril. He has lower libido and ED. Like men can be, he will not talk about it. I worry that I am not attractive to him anymore, which is possibly causing ED. I am very understanding of this situation but he just turns away when I suggest anything sexual. How can you approach someone like this? I love him very much and want to help.

Tony in Ontario, Canada shares his atorvastatin experience:

Im 60 and have high cholesterol. My doctor prescribed atorvastatin. After taking it for a week, I couldnt have an erection anymore. Before, I used to have sex with my young wife about 3 to 4 times a week.

I now have ED. Im going to stop taking this and look for alternatives.

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What Are Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms And Signs

Signs and symptoms of erectile dysfunction may include the following:

  • Penile erection occurs, but the penis does not remain hard enough for completion of sex.
  • Penile erections are not hard enough for penetration.
  • There is an inability to obtain a penile erection.
  • One can still achieve an orgasm and ejaculate with erectile dysfunction.

Dangers Of Statin Drugs: What You Havent Been Told About Popular Cholesterol

Hypercholesterolemia is the health issue of the 21st century. It is actually an invented disease, a problem that emerged when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. High cholesterol exhibits no outward signsunlike other conditions of the blood, such as diabetes or anemia, diseases that manifest telltale symptoms like thirst or weaknesshypercholesterolemia requires the services of a physician to detect its presence. Many people who feel perfectly healthy suffer from high cholesterolin fact, feeling good is actually a symptom of high cholesterol!

Doctors who treat this new disease must first convince their patients that they are sick and need to take one or more expensive drugs for the rest of their lives, drugs that require regular checkups and blood tests. But such doctors do not work in a vacuumtheir efforts to convert healthy people into patients are bolstered by the full weight of the US government, the media and the medical establishment, agencies that have worked in concert to disseminate the cholesterol dogma and convince the population that high cholesterol is the forerunner of heart disease and possibly other diseases as well.

The drugs that doctors use to treat the new disease are called statinssold under a variety of names including Lipitor , Zocor , Mevacor and Pravachol .

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How Do Couples Cope With Ed

Erectile dysfunction can cause strain on a couple. Many times, men will avoid sexual situations due to the emotional pain associated with ED, causing their partner to feel rejected or inadequate. It is important to communicate openly with your partner. Some couples consider seeking treatment for ED together, while other men prefer to seek treatment without their partner’s knowledge. A lack of communication is the primary barrier for seeking treatment and can prolong the suffering. The loss of erectile capacity can have a profound effect on a man. The good news is that ED can usually be treated safely and effectively.

Feeling embarrassed about sexual health problems may prevent many men from seeking the medical attention they need, which can delay diagnosis and treatment of more serious underlying conditions. Erectile Dysfunction itself is often related to an underlying problem, such as heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, or other medical conditions.

Since ED can be a forewarning symptom of progressive coronary disease, doctors should be more direct when questioning patients about their health. By asking patients more directly about their sexual function through conversation or a questionnaire during a checkup, doctors may be able to detect more serious health conditions sooner.

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How To Handle Side Effects

? Erectile Dysfunction and Cholesterol Levels – What Your Doctor Wont Tell You

Donât stop taking your cholesterol drugs even if they donât make you feel great. Instead, talk to your doctor. There are a few ways they might be able to help you feel better:

Take a brief break. If you have muscle pain, your doctor may tell you to stop taking your drug for a short time and then start it again within a month. The time off can show if your medicine is causing the pain or if itâs due to another problem.

Check your other meds. If you take cholesterol drugs and other medicines, you might be more likely to have side effects. Tell your doctor about everything you take, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter meds, and supplements.

Get a lower dosage. Your doctor may try to reduce how much of your medicine you take. You might also be able to take a pill every other day instead of daily.

Switch treatments. If your side effects are too hard to handle, you might be able to try a different statin such pravastatin and rosuvastatin , which are less likely to cause muscle aches.The cholesterol drug ezetimibe may allow you to take a lower statin dose and thereby help relieve your muscle pain, for example.

Consider OTC treatments. Statins may lower levels of a substance in your muscles called coenzyme Q10, and that can cause pain. You may try taking CoQ10 supplements to get relief. Another option, L-carnitine, might help, too. But always talk to your doctor before you start taking any medicine, even ones you buy without a prescription.

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Diet Cholesterol And Ed

Eating foods high in cholesterol wont necessarily affect your blood cholesterol levels. That said, what you eat can still have an effect on your ED. Recent studies suggest that eating a healthy diet, the Mediterranean diet in particular, can lead to improved symptoms.

Staples of the Mediterranean diet include:

You should visit your doctor as soon as you notice any erection problems. ED is usually a sign of an underlying health issue, so its important to identify the cause before it becomes more serious.

Watch for ED symptoms such as:

  • the inability to get an erection when you want to have sex, even if you can get an erection at other times
  • getting an erection, but being unable to maintain it long enough to have sex
  • the inability to get an erection at all

High cholesterol doesnt cause noticeable symptoms, so the only way to diagnose the condition is through a blood test. You should have routine physicals so that your doctor can diagnose and treat any health conditions in their early stages.

Your doctor may also request certain laboratory tests, such as a testosterone level test, and a psychological exam to diagnose your ED.

There are different ways you can manage ED, from everyday lifestyle changes to daily medications. Treatment options for ED include:

  • talk therapy or couples counseling
  • switching medications if you suspect a medication is causing ED



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