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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:13 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:08 am
Posts: 24

Erectile Dysfunction: A Warning Sign for Other Conditions
By Chris Iliades, MD | Medically reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD
ED could be more than a sexual health problem. It may be a men's health warning sign that shouldn't be ignored.

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Judging by the erectile dysfunction, or ED, ads on TV, you might think all those healthy-looking men need is a little blue pill. But a growing amount of research is telling us that impaired sexual health may not be the only or even the biggest men’s health problem related to erectile dysfunction

"Erectile dysfunction in an otherwise-healthy man in his forties or fifties could be a red-flag-type warning sign for diabetes, high blood pressure, and the narrowing of arteries that cause heart attack or stroke," says Daniel Shoskes, MD, a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

A recent study on erectile dysfunction published in the journal Circulation found just how significant that warning sign for heart disease is. For about five years, the researchers followed 1,549 men from 13 countries who were being treated for heart disease. At the beginning of the study, 55 percent of the men had erectile dysfunction, which is about double the rate of erectile dysfunction in the general population. By the end of the study, the men who had erectile dysfunction were twice as likely as those without ED to have died. The men with erectile dysfunction were found to be more likely to die of heart disease.

The Link Between Sexual Health and Other Men's Health Issues

What links erectile dysfunction to a host of other men's health problems is blood vessel disease. "The arteries that carry blood to your penis become gradually narrowed by vascular disease, just like all the other arteries in your body," explains Dr. Shoskes. "But because the penile arteries are smaller, they provide the first warning sign, which are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction." In other words, erectile dysfunction is like the canary in the coal mine.

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Men's health issues linked to both ED and heart disease include:

- Obesity
- Diabetes
- Smoking
- Physical inactivity
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol

With diabetes becoming an epidemic, it’s important to zero in on its link to ED. A study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research looked at 100 men between the ages of 35 and 50 with type 2 diabetes and found a significant relationship between diabetes control and erectile dysfunction The men who had the least control of their diabetes had a higher risk for developing erectile dysfunction

Beyond Viagra: Maximizing Your Office Visit

Don’t let embarrassment keep you from finding out whether your ED is the consequence of a more serious men’s health issue. "Many men have conditions commonly associated with erectile dysfunction but are too embarrassed to talk about ED symptoms with their doctor," Shoskes says. "These symptoms are too important to ignore." Also keep in mind that simply treating erectile dysfunction won’t correct the underlying cause of it. "Although there are no guidelines saying you need a complete workup to get a prescription for Viagra," Shoskes says, "it makes good sense for a man and his doctor to investigate ED symptoms in addition to treating them, especially when ED is an isolated symptom in a younger man."

Discuss with your doctor the value of having these blood tests for early detection of men’s health problems:

- Blood sugar
- Blood lipids, especially LDL (bad) cholesterol
- C-reactive protein (a blood test that measures inflammation and heart disease risk)

In addition to working closely with your doctor, some things you can do to lower the risks to your sexual health and general health include:

- Stop smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Get on a healthy diet

Erectile dysfunction is a warning sign that goes beyond sexual health - it could be the red flag that saves your life.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:28 pm
Posts: 1445
Related Topic:

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