Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as an inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Although ED is a medical disorder all in itself, medical experts now recognize ED as a symptom of other serious health conditions. If you happen to suffer from ED, talking to a physician about your problem will not only help you manage ED, but you may also get the chance to see if you suffer from an underlying medical condition. In case you wanted to know what disorders could be the potential cause of ED, here are the 7 serious health conditions linked to this common male sexual problem:
An estimate of 30 million men in the U.S. suffers from ED. While the underlying causes of ED are varied, the most common causes of ED in middle-aged and older men are vascular disorders such as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a serious and life-threatening condition that, if left untreated, can lead to a heart attack or stroke. In fact, many studies have now found that ED is a possible risk factor for having a heart attack in the next 5 – 10 years following initial diagnosis.
Cleveland Clinic reports that between 35 and 50% of men with diabetes experience ED. Diabetes is a serious medical condition characterized by persistently high blood sugar levels. The condition can lead to damage of nerves and blood vessels which can manifest among other things as ED. For a normal erection, nerves and blood vessels need to function properly, and any damage to these systems can cause sexual problems in both men and women. Unfortunately, people with diabetes are often ashamed to talk about their sexual problems and fall the risk of becoming depressed and developing relationship problems as a result.
Around 30% of men with hypertension complain of erectile dysfunction. Both diseases a result of problems with the blood vessels, and growing evidence shows that ED could be an early sign of hypertension in some men. Successful treatment of hypertension can also help men with erectile and other sexual disorders, but it can also prevent the development of serious conditions such as atherosclerosis.
4. Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
Chronic kidney disease leads to ED in 80% of all cases according to an article published in the World Journal of Nephrology. Kidney disease usually develops as a result of another serious medical condition such as diabetes and high blood pressure both of which account for two-thirds of CKD cases. The disease is characterized by a gradual loss of kidney functioning over time which leads to a buildup of waste material in the blood making a person feel seriously ill.
5. Multiple sclerosis
Men with multiple sclerosis (MS) may also experience ED either as a result of the disease itself or as a side effect of their medication. Although men with MS may turn to top male enhancement pills to treat their ED, the likelihood of such treatment providing any real benefits is low. This is because MS most likely causes ED by damaging nerve pathways. Other causes of ED in MS patient are mood disturbances, fatigue, and paralysis.
6. Pituitary tumors
Pituitary gland tumors are a rare but possible cause of ED in some men. In such cases, ED is a result of elevated levels of prolactin levels which is a type of hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Lowering prolactin levels through medication, surgery or combination of the two bits of help shrink the tumor and helps establish a hormonal balance that can reverse ED. Men with this type of tumor also usually present with abnormally low testosterone levels which also contributes to the development of ED.
Alcoholism is a psychological disorder characterized by a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol which disrupts a person’s functioning and overall health. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 72% of men with alcohol dependence had one form of sexual dysfunction which also included ED. Sexual dysfunction from alcohol abuse is usually a result of the depressant effect of alcohol, alcohol-related diseases or psychological problems that develop as a result of chronic alcohol abuse.
While erectile dysfunction is a problem in itself that needs addressing, it could also be an indicator of underlying serious health conditions. Men who experience problems with achieving or maintaining an erection are often ashamed of their condition. However, these men could greatly benefit from addressing their problem. Turning to commercially-available ED treatments such as Zyalix may help with their sexual problems, but they don’t address the underlying cause of ED in more serious cases. This is why it is important to discuss any sexual problems you might be facing with your doctor to check for underlying medical conditions and to treat the problem.
David Gomes completed his M.S Professional degree in California Institute of Technology. He lives in Oakland, California, USA. He loves to write on a variety of topics such as joint health, weight loss, beauty and skin care for blogs and on-line publication sites. He also loves latest technology, gadgets. You can connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.