October 21, 2017

Warning: Erectile Dysfunction Onset May Indicate Major Health Problems

Let’s talk about erectile dysfunction onset and what it means for you. You know years ago, comedian Norm Macdonald once remarked that “I don’t think an old man should have erectile function. I don’t like the image of an old man with a big hard c*ck.” Of course it was a comedy routine and just for laughs, but it was actually in reference to Bob Dole’s notorious 1990s Viagra commercial. Bob Dole famously endorsed Viagra—a drug that specifically allows men with ED to have erections by way of improving blood flow through nitric oxide.

In hindsight, Norm’s jokes were predictably caustic but Bob Dole’s courage was truly remarkable. Imagine being senior aged and still proud to say that you enjoy sex. Think of the self confidence the man had to have had–the passion he felt towards his wife.  And then…the ability to laugh at himself and take all those jokes in stride. That’s the sort of unsung hero you don’t hear about too often. A guy with balls of steel that never gives up on the finer things in life.

It’s all the more important to think about stuff like that, especially considering how many senior-aged men today avoid sex altogether. Maybe they figure that their erectile dysfunction is just a natural part of aging and that they ought to accept that their sex life is over. It’s embarrassing for a senior to want sex, right?  Doesn’t a man’s sex drive dry out between the ages of 40 and 55?

This is simply not true! Men in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and onward can enjoy sex and should be able to have sex on a regular basis. Now it is true that older men experience a significant drop in testosterone. But this drop does NOT bring on impotence. It should not make having erections and ejaculating a chore or an unpleasant experience.

Age discrimination is an unfortunate stigma of our society and perhaps it always has been to some extent. Youth is associated with virility, while older men are supposed to be grandfathers, sexless patriarchs who go to church and read novels. But statistics suggest that older men do want to have sex, and since the baby boomer (hippie) generation is now turning 70, now more than ever, old people are getting laid. And more power to them.

Now comes the issue…if erectile dysfunction is not normal and older men should be having more sex, what does this imply? It means that erectile dysfunction is usually indicative of a physical or mental condition that is causing the issue. When that problem is physical it could literally be a matter of life or death.

According to WebMD, men do experience ED at some point in their life, with as many as 40 percent reporting ED in their 60s, 26 percent in their 50s, and 4 percent in their 40s. Two percent of men even reported having ED below the age of 40 which may have come as a total shock to them.

But here’s an interesting statement from the same article that reveals a lot: “Men with a healthy lifestyle and no chronic disease had the lowest risk for erectile dysfunction…

men who exercised at least three hours per week had a 30% lower risk for ED than those who exercised little.”

This puts it in very clear terms. Erectile dysfunction is oftentimes a physical symptom of an even greater problem and that problem is NOT aging.

The problem is with blood flow and that implies a possible heart condition. Now that should get your attention!

Erectile Dysfunction Onset May Mean Serious Risk of Heart Attack

erectile dysfunction and heart attack medical research

Only recently has mainstream medicine verified the connection between ED and heart disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, erectile dysfunction and heart disease may happen for similar reasons. If you have exceedingly high levels of cholesterol you start to build up plaque in your arteries. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. Plaque buildup in the arteries may reduce blood flow to the penis making an erection difficult. If this is the case, it would be evident in ED first, and then noticeable heart disease symptoms later on.
The alternative theory in medicine is that endothelial dysfunction may be what causes ED, which means that the inner lining of the blood vessels and smooth muscle can’t function and so inadequate volume of blood is sent to the heart, which results in erectile dysfunction first and then more pronounced atherosclerosis symptoms later.

This means that yes, literally, your ability to make love or masturbate may be a matter of life and death. If you have heart disease and don’t know about it, you run the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Complaining about your ED may save your life.
Now that doesn’t mean that all cases of ED are heart-related. It’s just that a doctor works through a process of elimination. If there’s no evidence of physical trauma, and no psychological condition that could explain the problem, heart disease or diabetes might be a likely culprit.

Erectile dysfunction onset also shares some risk factors with heart disease. These include obesity, overindulgence in alcohol, tobacco use, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Diabetes can also damage blood vessels and for many it is an inherited disease.
Now it is true that men ages 50 and over are at a higher risk of developing ED and heart disease and may experience a drop in testosterone, which would cause problems with blood flow. But this slight threat does not mean that a man’s sex life ends or that his erections become uncomfortable. The better health he has, the more aggressively he can tackle the problem.
Another point of interest for our ED investigation: did you know that younger men are experiencing erectile dysfunction at higher percentage numbers than ever before? According to Health Line, ED is becoming more prevalent in men under the age of 40 and sometimes as young as their twenties. Twenty-six percent of men under the age of 40 reported ED symptoms and worse yet, half of them reported severe instances, implying total impotence or very weak erections on a regular basis.

A story at Mic.com states that while older men have the notorious reputation of ED, many younger men underestimate the threat and ignore symptoms—and that puts them at a slightly higher risk than older men, who would be more inclined to talk to a doctor. An estimated 30 million men report symptoms and according to a Vanity Fair piece, many younger men on Tinder are apparently confessing their erectile dysfunction symptoms to dates.

Dr. Irwin Goldstein was interviewed and gave this warning to young men who notice the symptoms. “When it’s persistent and consistent, it’s extremely likely to have biological factors, regardless of age.”

It’s true that ED does happen to every man occasionally and it can be entirely psychological. If a woman insults your manhood, or if you’re worried about how Game of Thrones is going to end, you’re going to have a bad night. It’s nothing to write home about, it happens to every guy—just like your partner assures you. No big deal.

But when there’s a pattern, there’s reason to be concerned. Dr. Goldstein went on to say that with younger men, ED can be caused by physical trauma, such as a sports injury, or even a biking injury—even a sexual injury! Woman-on-top sex injuries are surprisingly common and men really can get hurt by an over excited lover. Drug use, alcohol indulgence and smoking also play a part in compromising erection quality.

The doctor also said that younger men are casually discriminated against when they report ED symptoms. “They get, ‘’Oh, it’s just in your head,’ or ‘Find the right woman and it’ll all be perfect’.” Imagine how flippantly a young man now takes the potential risk of heart disease…how seriously could it be if even his doctor says it’s nothing to worry about!

heart attack risk and ED

Lifestyle Changes

The question is, what is the doctor going to recommend if he finds evidence of a physical problem?

This is the most common advice because it’s really the most conservative treatment. Besides, if the heart issues are not critical, a healthier lifestyle can only help a man’s already thriving libido. There’s simply no downside to eating healthier, exercising, staying hydrated and sleeping at least 7-8 hours every night. Good health promotes blood flow and even some healthy foods can naturally assist in producing nitric oxide.

Exercise gets the blood pumping and also has a beneficial effect on mood, helping men de-stress and get a rush of feel good endorphins—a great treatment for mild depression.

Don’t be surprised if your doctor actually brings up the subject of impotence at your physical checkup, since he may think it cautious to ask men over the age of 45 how their sex life is going and whether ED is a continuing problem, suggesting heart disease. If after diagnosis and testing, you’re not in critical condition, then he will likely recommend that you diet and avoid damaging foods that could clog your arteries over the long-term.

This new regimen might include cutting out processed foods, high-sugar dessert foods, high carb and fat meals, and excessive consumption of meat. The doctor’s main goal will be to see you drop weight (losing 10 percent of your body weight should immediately improve your erection quality), stop smoking or constant binge drinking, and exercise regularly. If your arteries are damaged and lack of blood flow is approaching a critical stage (but not yet requiring surgery) then the next step is prescribing cholesterol controlling medication.

Using Prescription Drugs to Treat Onset of Premature Ejaculation

Viagra is the fast alternative, although it’s not a long-term solution like losing weight and staying in shape. If taken cautiously, and of course when cleared by your doctor, it can be a relatively harmless sex booster. Viagra is a PDE5 inhibitor that works by suppressing the PDE5 enzyme, which interferes with nitric oxide production and efficiency. Viagra, and other similar drugs like Cialis and Levitra, opens the blood vessels, allowing for much easier blood flow.

And you know what good circulation does. Schwing!

Viagra isn’t always ideal because it does sometimes cause painful or risky side effects, such as headache, stomach ache, nasal congestion and muscle pain. It can also cause painful interactions if you’re on heart medicine. Priapism may also occur IF the erection persists for over four hours. Failure to seek medical attention for an erection that won’t die is serious business—penis amputation!

Granted, these are rare side effects, but many men are just squeamish when it comes to taking powerful drugs. That brings us to two other options: vacuum devices that use a cylinder and suction mechanism to preserve the erection, as well as cock rings (or c-rings, as your granny might call them).

Cock rings and suction devices are examples of short-term solutions, since they literally “trap” the blood inside the penis thanks to constriction/suction. But once again, be careful in keeping these devices on for a long period of time. Anytime your penis is erect due to physical manipulation for over 30 minutes, you risk developing a painful and threatening priapism. Use the cock ring responsibly and remove it immediately if you start to feel numb, cold, or otherwise uncomfortable.

Erectile dysfunction onset may persist in rare cases and if you’re at the end of the road and desperately want to feel hard again, there are surgical options. There are penile prostheses that can be implanted in the penis and allow for a firm erection through manual bending up and down or even by filling the implant with silicon fluid inside.

But take heart, the worst case scenario is unlikely to happen to you. According to US News, even sex therapy has resulted in a 50 to 70 percent success rate, though taking Viagra has a higher success rate of 60 to 80 percent. Still according to Medical Daily, many men do not like the side effects of Viagra and will stop taking the pill, choosing instead to seek other long-term solutions.

The best option is the most conservative in the long run. Focus on getting healthier and improving blood circulation so you can minimize the need for more radical solutions. This may be an embarrassing problem to discuss with your partner or with a doctor, but the end results are hard to argue with.

Not only will be open to discussion help you detect major heart problems, but you will also take steps to improve communication in your relationship, intensify your sex life, and show your partner that you love her and will always be her Romeo, ready to please.

Now and until your final days on this earth – you know, when you’re an old man with a healthy, functional and effing huge erection – you will win this battle and overcome ED once and for all.

Sources

http://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/news/20030804/erectile-dysfunction-common-with-age http://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/young-men#overview1 https://mic.com/articles/127496/why-do-so-many-younger-men-have-erectile-dysfunction#.ZwBycqzWm https://health.usnews.com/health-conditions/sexual-health/erectile-dysfunction/treatment http://www.medicaldaily.com/viagra-and-other-erectile-dysfunction-drugs-vary-effectiveness-side-effects-328360

Mark Meyers

Mark is founder and sexcoach at Sexual Improvements. "Anyone can have an awesome sexlife with the right information!"

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