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Constance Tambakis Odom, MD graduated in 1987 with her Doctorate of Medicine from the New York Medical College, and was an Anesthesiologist Resident from 1988 to 1991 at the Brookdale Medical Center PGY II (CA-I)-PGY IV (CA-III). She is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology since 1998 and American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine since 2002. Constance Odom, MD is affiliated with the American Medical Association, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, American Society of Anesthesiology, Georgia Society of Anesthesiology, Hellenic Medical Society of New York, North Carolina Society of Anesthesiology, and Society of Ambulatory Anesthesia.
Erectile dysfunction affects an estimated 40% of men over age 40, and the number goes up with age. Just because it's common doesn't mean it's harmless, though. While there are a lot of jokes in popular culture about the treatments and the motivations behind them, proper reproductive function is an important part of everyone's health. In addition to the mental and emotional benefits that can come with treating this condition for many men, it often starts because of another health issue, some of which are very serious. Even when the cause isn't a serious illness, it can indicate changes to blood pressure and other vital signs that elevate your health risks. Here are five reasons to care about this condition even if you don't have an active sex life.
1. It's an Indicator of Prostate Health
One of the biggest causes of this condition in men overall is an enlarged prostate, which can be an early risk factor for prostate cancer. Treating ED often involves using products that stimulate the blood flow while encouraging a hormonal balance that is in line with both a more normalized prostate size and improved sexual function. In some cases, the patient self-reporting issues with having erections has been the catalyst for an important early cancer screening. Ignoring this symptom often means missing the chance to screen for other issues early. Prostate enlargement is only one of many serious health conditions that can be linked to this symptom, though, so while it is common, it's not safe to assume it's the problem before checking for everything.
2. It's Also Related To Your Blood Pressure
Another vital sign that often goes out of the healthy reference range alongside the onset of erectile dysfunction symptoms is blood pressure. Problems with sexual function can be caused by both high and low blood pressure. On the high end, other negative side effects include an increased risk of heart attack and disease, especially during strenuous activity. On the low end, it can mean dizziness, loss of stamina and strength, and difficulty getting through one's daily routine if it's left unchecked.
3. Symptoms Are Closely Linked to Type II Diabetes
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels, leading to a loss of function in important tissues. In many cases where an enlarged prostate is not the cause of the symptom, untreated diabetes is often present. Talking to your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms means getting the help you need before any of these conditions escalate further. In the case of diabetes, that can mean preserving limb function or even eyesight.
4. Coronary Heart Disease Is Also Common
Arterial blockage and hardening can both contribute to problems with erectile function, which is why coronary heart disease is a frequent cause on its own and in conjunction with other major disorders like diabetes. Treating arterial blockage is a highly effective way of recovering circulatory function and health, and again, it only happens if you talk to a professional right away whenever you have issues with ED.
5. Lifestyle Changes Can Help
In many cases, permanent lifestyle changes can address both the underlying cause of the symptom and its impact on daily life. That, in turn, often helps with a patient's emotional health. While some people need continued medication support for a full return to function, a lot depends on the individual's case and the specific underlying conditions causing the issue. Even in cases where lifestyle changes alone are not enough to reverse symptoms, they support a healthy lifestyle that makes it easier for medication to work. Getting help with those changes means doing the work to discover why this is happening, though.
Learn About Your Options
If you need help with the symptom while you look for the underlying condition, you've never had more options. There are new formulas out there that include proven medications that have been safe for decades along with extra hormonal support to help you reach a natural restoration of function. To find out the best formula for you, it's a good idea to have a talk with your doctor. Of course, not every doctor knows every medication option, so you should definitely do your research and hear feedback about how different formulas will work for someone with your overall health. There's no reason to be embarrassed when the number of men with ED rises 10% with every decade of life, reaching 70% at age 70. Talk to your doctor today, and take charge of your health so you can get back to doing everything you love, whenever you feel like doing it.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.