Hypercholesterolemia In Men: Can High Cholesterol Cause Erectile Dysfunction
To better understand the relationship between hypercholesterolemia and erectile dysfunction, its important to understand the risk factors and the causes of the latter. The link between high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction is still being studied, as the research results revealed so far are somewhat contradicting each-other, and are considered inconclusive. Even so, high cholesterol does have a more indirect impact on erectile dysfunction.
Can High Cholesterol Cause Erectile Dysfunction
This question was answered in a study published in the journal Nature. The investigators evaluated the lipid profile of healthy patients and others with erectile dysfunction .
They reported that people with ED symptoms are more likely to have high LDL cholesterol levels. They suggested that hyperlipidemia should be fixed along with erectile dysfunction for a complete recovery of erections .
Over the years, scientific findings continue suggesting that many cases of ED are caused by atherosclerosis. One of the most recent pieces was also published by the journal Nature.
It evaluated a fraction of the electrocardiogram called QRS waves. They found abnormalities in the QRS waves in patients with ED, indicating that erectile dysfunction is linked to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular problems.
Moreover, the authors recommended including electrocardiogram studies in ED patients before prescribing PDE5 inhibitors, even if they dont have heart issues because ED is considered an early predictor of atherosclerosis .
The relationship also works in reverse. Male patients with cardiovascular, endothelial dysfunction, and atherosclerosis are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Blood Pressure Diet Exercise And Ed
You may have much more success treating erection problems if you manage blood pressure first. Eating well and exercising regularly will help prevent and treat high blood pressure.
If you need help managing your blood pressure, try the DASH diet. This can lower blood pressure in as little as 2 weeks. In general, the DASH diet emphasizes eating whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and low-fat dairy products while limiting salt, fat, and sugar.
You should limit sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day. That’s only about two-thirds of a teaspoon of table salt.
That can be a hard target to hit if you eat a lot of processed foods . Your best bet is to favor fresh foods that have no added preservatives or fats. Also, read food labels to check on how much sodium is in a serving, and don’t add any extra salt.
Burning calories through exercise helps you tone your body and lose weight. Being overweight makes erectile dysfunction more likely.Many studies have shown that exercise also fights depression, which has a major impact on sexual function. With a leaner, toned body and a better sense of well-being and self-esteem, you’re more likely to feel sexually confident.
When it comes to exercise, you don’t have to follow any intense workouts. Just find a way to get your body moving and your heart rate up with 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week.If youâre a smoker, look into quit-smoking programs, and get support from your doctor, family, and friends.
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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
Erectile Dysfunction Can Be An Early Warning Sign
One of the first stages of coronary heart disease is endothelial dysfunction, a condition in which the blood vessels cannot dilate properly. Endothelial dysfunction often affects the blood vessels of the penis first. In many cases, ED might be the first clue that something is amiss. Erectile dysfunction is often a hint of underlying heart disease, Blaha says.
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Vascular Disorders And Ed
Chien CV, Schwarz ER. Erectile Dysfunction: Risk Factor or Manifestation of Cardiovascular Disease? International Journal of Impotence Research 2007 19:44647. PMID: 17786155.
Foresta C, Palego P, Schipilliti M, et al. Asymmetric Development of Peripheral Atherosclerosis in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction: An Ultrasonographic Study. Atherosclerosis 2007 E-publication. PMID: 17854814.
Kaya C, Ergelen M, Ilktac A, Karaman MI. Impaired Elasticity of Aorta in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction. Urology 2007 70:55862. PMID: 17688916.
Kaya C, Uslu Z, Karaman MI. Is Endothelial Function Impaired in Erectile Dysfunction Patients? International Journal of Impotence Research 2006 18:5560. PMID: 16049523.
Erectile Dysfunction And Statins
Statins are a type of medication prescribed to treat high cholesterol problems. During a 2017 study, researchers have discovered that atorvastatin cholesterol treatment can improve erectile function. Whats even more interesting that the actual reason for this improvement was not the lower cholesterol level, but rather healed endothelium .
Another study conducted in 2009 showed that men who stopped taking statins recovered from erectile dysfunction. The matter is still being tested, as researchers are wary of giving a final verdict on a potentially direct impact that high cholesterol may have on erectile dysfunction.
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How Do I Check My Cholesterol Levels
The only way to test your cholesterol levels is with a blood test. One of the easiest blood tests you can use to measure your cholesterol is the At-Home Health MOT. It can be taken in the comfort of your own home, and includes a complete blood lipid test to assess your cholesterol and triglyceride levels .
The At-Home Health MOT is biannual .
At-Home Health MOT : a twice-yearly blood test that allows you to track your cholesterol and blood lipid levels throughout the year.
Because cholesterol levels can fluctuate depending on your diet and level of activity, its recommended that you regularly monitor your cholesterol levels with the At-Home Health MOT . As its a recurring blood test, you can track the impact of lifestyle changes you make over the course of the year to help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
The At-Home Health MOT also tests for a range of other important health indicators . Whats more, the MOT includes a free phone consultation with a UK doctor who will talk you through your results and give personalised health advice based on the outcome of your test.
How Can You Prevent High Cholesterol
Its important to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. A healthy cholesterol level depends on your level of HDL cholesterol ratio with your level of LDL cholesterol. Its essential to take into account risk factors for heart disease, age, activity and current health conditions when considering your healthy cholesterol level.
Healthy life-style changes for the prevention of high cholesterol can include:
- Eating a low sodium diet which emphasizes vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising and engaging in daily physical activity
- Managing stress
- Quitting smoking
Boston Medical Group offers a comprehensive set of treatment options for patients with erectile dysfunction stemming from high cholesterol. Boston Medical Group offers treatment options thatwont interfere with current lipid lowering medications our physicians recommend the best course of treatment for erectile dysfunction after a comprehensive assessment. Give us a call and we can help you set up an appointment today!
This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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High Blood Pressure And Other Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
High blood pressure is a major cause of erection problems. A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that about 49% of men ages 40 to 79 with high blood pressure had erectile dysfunction.
High blood pressure keeps the arteries that carry blood into the penis from dilating the way they’re supposed to. It also makes the smooth muscle in the penis lose its ability to relax. As a result, not enough blood flows into the penis to make it erect.
Men with high blood pressure may also have a low testosterone level. Testosterone is the male hormone that plays a big role in sexual arousal.
High blood pressure by itself can lead to erectile dysfunction. But some drugs for treating high blood pressure can actually be the cause as well.
Diuretics — or water pills — and beta-blockers are the high blood pressure drugs most commonly linked to erectile dysfunction.
Diuretics may cause erectile dysfunction by decreasing the force of blood flow into the penis. They may also decrease the amount of zinc in the body. Your body needs zinc to make testosterone.
The power to take control of your blood pressure and sexual health is in your hands. By living a healthy lifestyle and working with your doctor, there’s a chance you’ll once again be able to have normal sexual function.
Cholesterol And Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is when a man canât achieve or maintain an erection during sex. Over the long term, high cholesterol seems to trigger a narrowing of the smaller blood vessels of the penis when they should be stretching to allow more blood for an erection . In addition, when you have too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in arteries and then join with other substances to form plaque that hardens and narrows further blood vessels . The result can be less blood flow to both the heart and the penis, which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
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When Should I See My Doctor
Many men experience erection problems from time to time. But if the problems continue, see your doctor. Diagnosing and treating causes like diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol can prevent or delay erectile dysfunction, or stop problems from getting worse.
Figure : Anatomy Of The Penis
As the arteries relax, the thousands of tiny caverns inside these cylinders fill with blood. Blood floods the penis through two central arteries that run through the corpora cavernosa and branch off into smaller arteries. The amount of blood in the penis increases sixfold during an erection. The blood in the corpora cavernosa compresses and then closes off the openings to the veins that normally drain blood away from the penis. Temporarily trapped, the blood filling the arteries sustains the erection.
Bloating And Digestive Issues
The main reason for increased cholesterol levels is overeating fatty and fried food affects our liver and produces bad cholesterol in the body. If you are facing high cholesterol, then you may feel bloated even after eating significantly less.
Your stomach makes you feel heaviness and disinterest in appetite. The excess flow of lipid substance directly affects the metabolism and triggers the digestive system in your body, and you feel bloating and heaviness.
If you are constantly feeling these issues, then you must go for a lipid profile test.
Is Cardiovascular Disease A Cause Of Erectile Dysfunction
You may have heard there is a link between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease now you are wondering if it is true.
The answer to that question may scare you. Especially if you suffer from ED.
Research shows there is a strong link between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. The results of several studies show men who have ED have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.
In fact, you may be surprised to learn men who have ED face a similar level of risk as men who smoke or have a history of heart disease in their family.
Of course, ED doesnt cause heart problems, it just indicates a problem may be imminent or already there.
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Erectile Dysfunction And Heart Disease Are Connected
ED is a common phenomenon among men who have coronary heart disease, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael J. Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.
Coronary heart disease occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart and impairing the functioning of blood vessels. Healthy blood flow is also necessary for erectile function. In addition, some medications to treat high blood pressure can contribute to ED.
Statins And Erectile Dysfunction
Statins are drugs used to lower cholesterol levels. In a 2017 study on rats, researchers noted improved erectile function following the treatment of high cholesterol with atorvastatin . Lipid levels remained unchanged.
The researchers concluded that better erectile function was not the result of a decrease in cholesterol levels, but rather an improvement in the endothelium. The endothelium is an interior surface in the blood vessels.
An earlier literature review from 2014 also found evidence that statins may improve ED over time.
On the other hand, a 2009 study found evidence suggesting that lipid-lowering medications may cause or aggravate ED. In more than half of the identified cases, men recovered from ED after they stopped taking statins.
A 2015 cohort analysis didnt find an association between statins and an increased risk of ED or sexual dysfunction. ED is also not listed as a common side effect of statins. More research is needed to better understand the connection between statins and ED.
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What Is Erectile Dysfunction And What Causes It
For a healthy young man, erectile dysfunction is typically not a problem. As you age, however, you may notice some changes. Maybe it takes more coaxing for you to get erect than it used to. Sometimes, it may take more direct stimulation of the penis, whereas merely a daydream or the suggestion of sex was once enough. Or maybe your erection isn’t quite as firm as it once was, but it’s still good enough. These are normal changes.
When should you seek help? Here are a few scenarios:
1. You come home one evening after a long, stressful day at work. Your partner wants to have sex. You think you’d like to also, but you have a problem getting an erection. The next time you try, everything is fine.
In this case, your problem probably doesn’t need medical treatment as long as it happens rarely. If it starts to happen more often, you may want to talk to your doctor about it.
2. Sometimes, when you try to have sex, you get only partially erect. Your erection isn’t rigid enough to enter your partner.
In the most severe cases of erectile dysfunction, a man isn’t able to get even slightly erect. But there are degrees of this condition. Even mild erectile dysfunction is worth discussing with your doctor.
3. You can get a good erection during foreplay, but after you start to have intercourse, you lose it.
An estimated 80% of erectile dysfunction is due to physical causes, often high blood pressure
Side effects of drugs cause up to 25% of erectile dysfunction cases.
- Seizure drugs
Can You Treat High Cholesterol
With proper treatment and diet and lifestyle changes you can get your cholesterol back to a healthy level. On the other hand, if high cholesterol remains untreated you could develop coronary artery disease , peripheral arterial disease and/or suffer a heart attack, stroke or transient ischemic attack . There are many secondary issues that can arise from high cholesterol, such as PAD. 20% of people with PAD suffer a nonfatal heart attack within 5 years.
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What Causes High Cholesterol If I Eat Healthy Can It Be Genetic
If you eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise but still have high cholesterol, your DNA may be a bigger factor than your lifestyle. About 1 in 250 people in the United States live with familial hypercholesterolemia , a life-threatening inherited disorder that causes high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of people who have it dont know it, according to the FH Foundation, a national nonprofit organization based in Pasadena, California. Screening for high cholesterol is the only way to identify people who have FH. Because of this, all children should have a cholesterol screening once between ages 9 and 11, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If your LDL is above 100, its already considered high. If its higher than 190, you may have FH, according to leading heart groups, such as the AHA, the American College of Cardiology, and the National Lipid Association. If a parent has FH, their child has a chance of having it, too. Finding out if you have FH and getting treated if you do is vital, because having FH means your risk of heart disease is 20 times higher than that of people who dont have inherited high cholesterol, according to the FH Foundation.