Whats Blood Sugar Got To Do With It
Men with diabetes are twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction as men without the disease. Diabetic men also confront this problem at a younger age. Both forms of diabetes type 1 and type 2 increase the risk. Sometimes ED is the first sign that a man has diabetes.
Studies have also shown that damage to the endothelium, the thin layer of cells that lines blood vessels, plays a role in ED. Malfunctioning endothelial cells seem to interfere with the production of NO, but other cells continue to produce PDE5 and other enzymes that break down cyclic GMP. That limits the ability of vessels to dilate and admit the increased blood needed for an erection. Stress on vessels can also affect blood flow, the stiffness or elasticity of vessels, and the likelihood that blood platelets will stick to the endothelium, further restricting blood flow.
Low Testosterone And Cholesterol: Is There A Connection
Posted: December 9, 2020
Low testosterone and high cholesterol often go hand-in-hand. Both these conditions can put your health at risk. High cholesterol can increase your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Fortunately, research suggests that testosterone replacement therapy may help bring your cholesterol and triglyceride levels back into healthy ranges.
Low testosterone can affect many aspects of your health, like your energy levels and libido. Testosterone may even impact your cholesterol levels!
S To Lower Cholesterol And Risks Of Related Diseases
A few simple changes can lower your cholesterol and cut your risk for conditions linked to high cholesterol.
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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.
An Observational Descriptive Analytical Crosssectional Study
The study was initiated at primary care in the area of Albacete county , in rural area as well as in an urban area. Three health centres participated in total.
The enrolled participants included in this study were those who visited the health centres.
In accordance with the cardiovascular risk diseases incidence in the basic health regions of the study area , sample size was calculated with a 95% confidence interval and an alpha error of 0.005, which resulted in a sample of 210 people, of which 30 finally did not complete the study for various reasons . The sample was chosen from the population in the basic health regions of the study area with CVR diseases.
Adequate awareness and diffusion tasks were carried out in the study population by means of:
Awareness talks: Three awareness talks were organised on ED to the population of Albacete.
Letters: A standard type letter was given to patients which explained the importance of sexual health, and they were asked to an appointment with the DUE survey taker.
The questionnaire was devised by the research group and was conducted by a trained DUE survey taker.
A letter of presentation was sent by the research team informing about the work project to be conducted in the provinces of Albacete and Cuenca.
A second letter was sent inviting people to an appointment at their respective health centre on a given date and at a given time.
Questionnaires were conducted in the time and manner agreed upon for their analysis.
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What The Research Says
The most common cause of ED is atherosclerosis, which is a narrowing of the blood vessels.
Many things can lead to atherosclerosis, including high cholesterol. Thats because high levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. That, in turn, can narrow these blood vessels.
Assessment And Treatment Of Erectile Dysfunction
The link between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease strongly suggests that men who complain of erectile dysfunction should undergo cardiovascular risk assessment . Obviously, other causes of erectile dysfunction such as hormonal derangements or neural damage, have to be excluded.
Medical assessment should include clinical examination, measurements of blood pressure, fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, lipid panel, waist circumference, thyroid function and measurement of testosterone. Further workup will depend on the clinical situation.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction should primarily aim at modifying cardiovascular risk through lifestyle intervention. Smoking cessation, regular physical exercise, and healthy dietary choices are of crucial importance.
There is some evidence that herbal supplements containing extracts from Tribulus Terrestris may improve impotence.
Also Check: How To Bring Down Cholesterol Naturally
Erectile Dysfunction May Predict Coronary Artery Disease
Erectile dysfunction has long been ascribed to a normal aging process. Therefore, patients presenting with erectile dysfunction often had their symptoms ignored. Searching for an underlying cause was believed to be of limited clinical value, also, partly because treatment options were limited.
As erectile dysfunction often precedes other symptoms of cardiovascular disease, a man with erectile dysfunction and no other symptoms of cardiovascular disease should be considered a vascular patient until proved otherwise .
In 2001, two reports suggested that erectile dysfunction might indeed be a marker for silent coronary artery disease . It was found that the onset erectile dysfunction may pre-date the symptoms of coronary artery disease. Hence, the presence of coronary artery disease should be considered in men who present with erectile dysfunction.
A meta-analysis of 12 prospective cohort studies published 2011 suggested that erectile dysfunction significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, and all-cause mortality, and the increase is probably independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors .
Another systematic review and meta-analysis showed that erectile dysfunction was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. The relative risk associated with erectile dysfunction was higher at younger ages .
Cholesterol And Coronary Heart Disease
The main risk from high cholesterol is coronary heart disease, which can lead to death from a heart attack. If your cholesterol level is too high, cholesterol can build up in the walls of your arteries. Over time, this buildup — called plaque — causes hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. Arteries that feed the heart can narrow in certain areas and slow blood flow to part of the heart muscle. Or cholesterol plaques break off and float to smaller blood vessels and cause a partial or total blockage. Sometimes inflammatory cells might go to the broken plaque area and cause a narrowing there as well. Reduced blood flow can result in chest pain called angina, or in a heart attack if a blood vessel gets blocked completely.
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Some Medications Can Exacerbate Ed
If statins for high cholesterol can help with erectile dysfunction, can other drugs for cardiovascular conditions help too? Not necessarily. For example, erectile dysfunction is more common in men who have high blood pressure. Whats more, many of the drugs that treat high blood pressure, including beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers, can also worsen ED.
In fact, a number of medications taken by men with cardiac issues can worsen ED, including diuretics, antiarrhythmics, and even ordinary nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . The bottom line is you should take heart drugs as recommended by your doctor, and if they worsen erection problems, discuss possible remedies with your doctor. Many men with heart disease are able to safely take medications designed to treat ED.
Cholesterol And High Blood Pressure
Though high blood pressure appears linked to cholesterol levels, doctors continue to study exactly how. High cholesterol seems to trigger inflammation and the release of certain hormones that causes blood vessels to tighten or âconstrictâ and so raises blood pressure. Doctors call it âendothelial dysfunction, when blood vessels behave this way.
High blood pressure is also linked to heart disease.
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Are There Any Natural Treatments For High Cholesterol And Erectile Dysfunction
For those who are more interested in natural treatments for both high cholesterol and ED, theres more good news. Some simple lifestyle changes can combat both at the same time. These include:
You may read through that list and realize that the suggestions above are fairly obvious, right? This is even more reason to get started on them today. Plus, each of the above also can help combat low testosterone levels and the most common low testosterone symptoms. However, there are also some additional, more specific tips and tricks that could help .
The Modifiable Risk Factors
Smoking, diabetes, lipid disorders, obesity, hypertension, lack of physical exercise, poor diet, excess alcohol consumption psychological stress and depression are examples of modifiable risk factors shared by erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Modifying these risk factors may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction.
Diabetes mellitus is associated with both erectile dysfunction and increased cardiovascular risk. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study showed that the prevalence of erectile dysfunction was higher in men with diabetes compared with non-diabetics . In another study of 365 diabetic patients, 75% had erectile dysfunction by age 65 years .
Studies have suggested a relationship between obesity and erectile dysfunction 62632-3/fulltext?refuid=S0025-619661516-4& refissn=0025-6196#cesec30″ rel=”nofollow”> 6). However, this relationship may be difficult to comprehend because of the close association between obesity and diabetes. Central obesity is inversely related to levels of circulating testosterone, which may contribute independently to the development of erectile dysfunction. Physical inactivity also correlates with erectile dysfunction, obesity, and overall cardiovascular health.
Erectile dysfunction is associated with insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome . The metabolic syndrome is characterized by central obesity, high blood levels triglycerides, low levels of HDL-cholesterol, high blood glucose and hypertension.
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Can Lifestyle Changes Improve Erectile Dysfunction
A systematic review and meta-analysis published 2011 addressed the question how lifestyle interventions and pharmacotherapy for cardiovascular risk factors affect the severity of erectile dysfunction .
The study found that lifestyle modifications and drug therapy aimed at modifying risk factors were associated with significant improvement in sexual function. The results confirm that healthy dietary habits and increased physical activity improve quality of life in men by improving sexual health.
Physical activity was significantly inversely associated with erectile dysfunction. Men who ran for nearly 90 minutes per week or did rigorous outdoor activity for 180 minutes per week had a 30% reduced risk of developing erectile dysfunction.
Another study demonstrated that lifestyle changes, including a reduced calorie diet and increased exercise, improve erectile function in obese men and resulted in about one-third of men with erectile dysfunction regaining sexual function after treatment. This improvement was associated with amelioration of both endothelial function and markers of systemic vascular inflammation .
Lifestyle measures targeted at modifying risk factors may not only improve erectile dysfunction but also reduce the risk of future cardiovascular events.
Lifestyle Changes For High Cholesterol And Ed To Support Medical Treatments
The need for physical fitness has already been established, but did you know there was one form of exercise you could do at any time of day, without a gym, and even while sitting down? They also specifically target those blood vessels and muscles responsible for getting and maintaining an erection. Theyre called Kegel exercises. These help strengthen your pelvic floor and tighten up your pubococcygeal muscles . 5-20 seconds worth of exercises 10 times a day will get you back on track in no time.
When it comes to what you put into your body to combat erectile dysfunction and high cholesterol, there are also plenty of distinct suggestions, including a diet consisting of foods that help to sustain stronger erections including:
- Fish, shrimp, and oysters
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The Take Home Message
Erectile dysfunction is a common disorder among adult men.
Erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease share the same risk factors.
Erectile dysfunction often precedes other clinical symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Hence, it has been proposed that erectile dysfunction may predict future cardiovascular events.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction should aim at modifying cardiovascular risk factors. A healthy diet, regular physical exercise and abstaining from smoking are all important.
Lifestyle measures aimed at modifying risk factors may not only improve erectile dysfunction but also reduce the risk of future cardiovascular events.
Treatment with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors often improves erectile function, sexual performance, and quality of life.
How Cholesterol & Triglycerides Affect Your Health
When the cholesterol in your blood becomes too high, it can increase your risk for heart disease. Thats why cholesterol screening and reducing your risk for high cholesterol is so important.
When we talk about high cholesterol, we are actually talking about high low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Also known as bad cholesterol, LDL cholesterol is the type that can build up and clog our arteries. This can increase the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Together, these two types of cholesterol make up your total cholesterol, which is the full amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood. Our doctors test these levels with a simple blood test to help screen for high cholesterol.
Another concern is high triglycerides. Like cholesterol, triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood. In fact, its one of the most common types of fat in your body. It stores any unused calories from the food you eat. High levels may contribute to being overweight or obese.
Because these levels are so important to your health, its vital to do everything you can to prevent high cholesterol and reduce cholesterol if you have high levels. Thats why research on the link between low testosterone and cholesterol is so interesting. Even more, studies suggest that testosterone replacement therapy to help with low testosterone may also be linked to healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Erectile Dysfunction And Heart Disease: Whats The Connection
Erectile dysfunction may be an early sign of cardiovascular disease
Even if your doctor has given you a clean bill of health, beware: problems getting or keeping an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse may signal trouble, especially cardiovascular disease, down the road.
The connection between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease isnt as far-fetched as it may seem. Both follow the same age-related trajectory and become increasingly common from age 45 onward. They even share common causes. A study of 570 middle-aged California men begun in 1972 shows that smoking, overweight, and high cholesterol or high triglycerides all risk factors for heart disease were linked with erection difficulties 25 years later. That report appeared in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2004.
To evaluate a possible link between the two conditions, researchers at the University of Texas examined data only on the 8,063 men who were taking a placebo and did not have a history of cardiovascular problems. After seven years, 65% of the men without ED at the start of the Texas study had developed erectile troubles, and many subsequently experienced recurrent chest pain, heart attacks, and stroke. In fact, older men with ED had nearly twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as those without it. Put another way, ED had about the same effect on CVD risk as smoking, having high cholesterol, or having a family history of heart attack.
Lifestyle Changes Can Help
If you make the effort to change your lifestyle habits to lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease, not only will your doctor be pleased, your sex life could improve as well. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and giving up smoking will help any medications youre prescribed work better. In fact, in men where the early cardiovascular disease is connected to ED, lifestyle changes are some of the best steps you can take, whether or not you take medications for ED.
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