How your lifestyle affects erectile dysfunction

An erection happens following a series of psychological and physical processes. Your body releases hormones that send signals to the brain when you are sexually stimulated. These signals help blood flow into the cavernous tissue once the muscles have relaxed. The blood vessels then become firm in order to maintain an erection until the end of sexual activity, before they and the muscles relax.

A man might experience problems getting an erection at some point in his life. We call this problem erectile dysfunction, and it is easily resolved in most cases over time, as long as the causes are not superficial. However, in some cases, erectile dysfunction is just a symptom of a bigger, more serious, illness. In this case, you absolutely need to see a doctor.

Erectile dysfunction can exist in a number of forms, because its underlying cause is still fairly unclear. The first question is whether another illness could be the cause, as it is one of the first symptoms of problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes. If you want a clear view of the situation you need to have a doctor’s consultation. If your erectile dysfunction is due to other illnesses, it is often advised that you take a medical treatment alongside other therapy in order to see the problem disappear over time, or at least to reduce symptoms. The support of a partner can also help to speed up the process. However, what can really help is adopting a healthy lifestyle, which can sometimes even be enough to completely rid you of erectile dysfunction.

The last couple of decades have seen the creation of famous erectile dysfunction treatments like Viagra and Cialis. These treatments have proven their effectiveness for millions of men as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor. They raise blood pressure and dilate the penile muscles in order to aid blood circulation towards to penis, which is essential for a good erection.

These treatments are definitely effective, but adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you cure your ED in the long term, according to a number of scientific studies. You can even adopt healthy habits when you are taking medical treatment to enforce their effects and improve your general state of health. Here are six recommendations to help you get rid of the symptoms of ED, that you can perform every day.

Reducing alcohol consumption

Alcohol is well known as a body relaxant that can help you gain some self-confidence. However, it also hinders your ability to get an erection according to some scientific studies. It was found in 2007 that out of 100 men consuming increased amounts of alcohol, 72 suffered from erectile dysfunction. Other causes of this problem were found to be high blood pressure and alcohol’s effect on the nervous system and testosterone production.

High blood pressure can cause atherosclerosis, which means bad blood circulation to the penis and hence bad erectile capabilities. Alcohol reduces the sensitivity of the pleasure receptors that are sent during sexual stimulation by affecting the nervous system, which in turn prevents blood from flowing to the penis. As for testosterone, when its levels are reduced there is a negative impact on male sexuality, according to a 2002 study. By reducing your alcohol consumption, you can increase your chances of avoiding erectile dysfunction. The World Health Organisation recommends a daily limit of 3 glasses. If you drink more than this amount, you ought to wait at least 48 hours before drinking again.

Stopping smoking

There is no doubt that tobacco seriously harms your health. It is one of the main causes of lung cancer. Other than this, it also affects vascular function and blood circulation.

When you smoke a cigarette you consume a number of chemical substances such as arsenic, tar and carbon monoxide, which are all harmful for the body. They tend to prevent nitric oxide from working, which is an important substance in relaxing the muscles. According to a study from 2004 by the British Urology Journal, there is a high probability that a man who smokes has erectile dysfunction. Also, most men suffering from erectile dysfunction found that it improved when they stopped smoking.

Banning stress from your life

Stress and anxiety are the main causes of erectile dysfunction in young men. When a man is stressed at work or in his personal life, this can lead to erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, or another illness. It is important that you inform the doctor if you suffer from episodes of stress whilst having erectile problems. You should also think about why you are stressed at work or in your personal life so that you can find a solution. As well as causing erectile dysfunction, stress can also cause other problems for your health.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle

An unbalanced diet is one of the causes of erectile dysfunction. When you consume too much saturated fat you are more likely to suffer from arterial congestion, which impacts blood circulation. According to several studies, men who follow a healthy diet have a higher chance of avoiding erectile dysfunction. Unlike those who opt for a diet that is rich in meat, men who follow a Mediterranean diet composed of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and fish, have a healthy body and hence healthy sexual function. It is important to rethink your dietary habits if you want to prevent impotence.

Practising sport

Exercise can bring your body many benefits. If you do not exercise at all, you are at risk of blood circulation problems or hypertension. According to a study in the Ethiopian Journal of Science from 2011, cardio-vascular exercise contributes to improving erectile dysfunction in men. Thus, it has been established that sport in general—and aerobic exercise in particular—positively influences erectile dysfunction.

This does not mean spending all your time in the gym, but rather doing at least 2 hours and a half of sport a week. As well as reducing the symptoms of ED, sport also contributes to keeping your healthy in general.

Avoiding recreational drugs

A number of medications can cause erectile dysfunction as a side effect. Your doctor will highlight these risks to you when you have an appointment. It is up to you to tell him about your symptoms. It is not advised to use drugs as these can have heavy consequences for your health. According to a 2009 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, taking heroin, methamphetamine and MDMA cause erectile dysfunction in 40% of cases.

It is important to tell a doctor or health professional if you notice any erectile problems.

Most men suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. It is estimated that around 23 million men worldwide take erectile dysfunction drugs. In some cases, these problems are transient and will disappear as soon as you start to lead a healthy lifestyle. In other cases, ED can be due to other illnesses, which means that you must consult a doctor. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of a health professional to learn more about your situation.

Fighting erectile dysfunction: is there a definitive solution?

Erectile problems will continue if you do nothing about it. Even men using medication find that its effects are limited in terms of time. Viagra works for 4 hours and Cialis for 36, and other drugs a lot less. These drugs have been found to work quickly. The best way to end your problems with erectile dysfunction is to change your lifestyle and adopt good habits.

Medical review on 7 August 2021 by Dr. Martin Trudeau


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