Fact: Your mind and emotions are important components affecting your sex life. In fact, 10 to 20 percent of erectile dysfunction cases are because of emotional issues, such as depression, stress and performance anxiety.
What happened to the other 80 to 90 percent of ED cases? Most of the time, ED, or the inability to obtain or sustain an erectionis a result of a physical issue. Keep in mind that erections rely heavily on blood flow. Anything that will block or clog the arteries could restrict proper blood flow in your area down south and prevent you from getting or maintaining an erection. What are these physical conditions that could ruin your sex life? Here is a list of the most common ones:
1. Cardiovascular Diseases
Here is another fact: the healthier your heart is, the better your sex life will be. Erections are a combination of many factors, such as stimulation, sense of touch and arousal. However, there is one crucial factor to ensure continuity inside the bedroom – blood flow.
Did you know that 70 percent of physical-related causes of ED are because of vascular diseases? In fact, erection issues are often a sign of a heart condition.
Cardiovascular diseases,such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries, canaffect the blood vessels and restrict proper blood flow in important areas, including your brain and your man down there.
In particular, high cholesterol means a deposit of excess bad cholesterol in the arteries. Together with other substances, these excess deposits form a sticky plaque in the blood vessels, which leads to atherosclerosis. The plaque will also narrow the passageways, thereby delivering less blood down south.
Is your blood sugar always on strike? If yes, then this could be the reason why you are also having issues down there. In fact, ED is four times more common in men with diabetes compared to those without.
Diabetes is one of the major risk factors for erectile dysfunction. Poorly controlled blood sugar levels cause artery and nerve damage.
Damage to the nerves and blood vessels also impairs sexual stimulation and response and leads to reduced blood flow. This could make achieving erection difficult or more challenging.
3. Kidney Disease
Did you know that kidney diseases, such as acute kidney failure, kidney infections and renal disease, and erectile dysfunction are two conditions that go together?
Regardless of the type of kidney disease you have, these conditions cause chemical changes in your body and disrupt proper communication between your brain and penis.
This affects blood circulation, hormonal balance, energy level, and nerve function, which are all important to sexual health. These changes could lower your sex drive, sexual ability, or response to stimulation. That’s not all. Medications to treat kidney conditions often affect your ability to get it up. Talk to your doctor about switching drugs to lower the risk of ED.
4. Prostate Cancer
One of the most common types of cancer among men is prostate cancer. This type of cancer occurs in the prostate or the small walnut-shaped gland responsible for producing seminal fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm.
Prostate cancer itself is not the cause of ED. In fact, this condition has nothing to do with the inability to get it up. However, the treatments associated with prostate cancer are what cause erectile dysfunction.
Treatments such as radical prostatectomy or the removal of prostate, hormone therapy, and radiation therapy could impair your ability to sustain an erection. The good news is ED may not be permanent. With the help of pills or injections and after allowing yourself to recover, you may be able to get your groove back in bed.
5. Neurological Conditions
Neurological disorders are a type of injury or disease of the nervous system, your body’s primary communication system. This includes a head injury, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and spinal injuries, among others.
Just like prostate cancer, neurological conditions themselves are not the main cause of ED. The interruption in the transmission of nerve impulses, which transmits communication between the brain and your man down south, is the reason why you are having a hard time getting it up.
Sex, erection, and arousal could be an issue if you are suffering from any of the neurological conditions. Thankfully, there are enhancement drugs, which you can use to treat ED. Just make sure you get your doctor’s clearance before trying any of them.
6. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease, which leads to progressive joint destruction due to chronic synovial inflammation. Did you know that rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammation issues are also linked to ED?
This disease causes inflammation in the small blood vessels, which interferes with blood flow. However, it doesn’t end there.
You might experience pain and difficulties inside the bedroom, also known as sexual disability. Psychologically, you might experience depression, diminished sex drive, anxiety and an altered body image. Taking anti-inflammatory medications could minimize inflammation and help reduce erectile dysfunction.
7. Gum Disease
Who would’ve thought that not brushing your teeth three times a day could lead to problems down there? According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine,
men with ED are three times more likely to have a gum disease called chronic periodontitis, than those who don’t have erection issues. The reason for this is inflammation. Gum disease leads to gum bleeding and damage to your teeth’s bone structure.
When this happens and if left untreated, your body will activate immune cells to launch an attack against pathogens on your mouth. Otherwise, the bacteria from your mouth will invade your bloodstream and damage your blood vessels. This could impair proper blood flow and lead to erectile problems. That’s not all. Various studies link chronic periodontitis with diabetes and vascular diseases, which are also risk factors for ED. So, if you don’t like brushing your teeth, here’s a good reason to start brushing more often.
8. Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is a type of neurological disorder characterized by pulling, creeping, throbbing and other unpleasant sensations in your legs. It also comes with uncontrollable and at times, overwhelming urges to move them. This usually happens at night when you are trying to sleep.
Based on a recent study published from Harvard University, men who experience this kind of condition are also more at risk of ED.
The reason for this is the impaired transmission of dopamine signals from the brain. This could disrupt your sleep, and lead to low testosterone levels and depression. There are medications and neurological drugs available, which provide relief for restless leg syndrome.
9. Sleep Apnea
How are you sleeping? If you are having hard time breathing or snoring incessantly while you sleep and notice some issues down there, then you should consider being screened for obstructive sleep apnea.
A recent study from Mount Sinai Medical Center showed that men with sever ED are at a higher risk for sleep apnea.
It seems harmless on the onset, but abnormal periods of breathing could increase your risk of high blood pressure, chronic fatigue and heart disease. Any of these conditions could impair blood flow and affect your erection capabilities.
Don’t worry. There are several treatments available to help you get over sleep apnea and eventually get your groove back. Continuous positive airway pressure therapy or CPAP, and medications could improve both sleep apnea and ED.
Being chubby and cuddly at five is okay. However, if you are unable to get rid of extra pounds by the time you reach puberty and adulthood, then you might have issues down there. According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, obesity has a significant impact on male sexual health.
Aside from the extra fat in your body, obesity could lead to other conditions, such as hypertension and heart disease – both known to wreck your man down there. It also leads to low testosterone, which could impair your reproductive health. Obesity also affects your mental health and makes you self-conscious about your body. This could get in your head and affect your performance inside the bedroom.
Tips to Help Men Fight Back
Given these medical conditions, is there something you can do about it? The answer is yes. This includes making the following lifestyle changes suchas:
- Kick any bad habits you have, such as smoking, excessive alcohol and eating junk foods.
- Eat healthy by adding more fruits, vegetables, fish and poultry in your daily diet.
- Get regular exercise. You don’t have to run a marathon, just start moving and increase slowly.
- Control your blood sugar to lessen damage to your nerves and blood vessels.
- Get enough sleep and take time to relax, too.
- Learn how to manage your stress levels with meditation, journaling and Yoga.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Ask your doctor for help if you struggle with this.
- Observe proper dental hygiene. Gum disease and ED are two conditions that go together, hence, brush your teeth regularly, and don’t forget to floss.
- Seek professional help as soon as you can. This way, you will be able to address your condition before it gets worse and prevent ED from becoming a permanent condition.
The bottom line is to take care of your heart. A happy heart equates to a happy sex life. Take note of these tips on how to prevent chronic illnesses from ruining your sex life, and you will surely be in good hands.