What Causes Erectile Dysfunction

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Erectile dysfunction has been one of the most common relationship killers amongst most couples and if not dealt with, can lead to infidelity which in turn ruins your relationship. This condition usually attacks men who are over 40 years old simply because of their low levels of testosterone due to aging.

Definition: Erectile Dysfunction is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. It is also sometimes referred to as impotence. Occasional ED is not uncommon. Many men experience it during times of stress. However, frequent ED can be a sign of health problems that need treatment.

Before we move further into prevention and cure, lets learn about some of the most common causes of ED. Chris Regal of Health Central lists down some of the 8 most common causes of ED:

1 – Heart disease

Men who have experienced ED are at a greater risk for angina, heart attack or stroke. In effect, ED can act as a warning sign for a more serious heart-related condition. It is estimated that 40 percent of men with ED have hypertension, and the drugs used to treat these conditions can exacerbate the situation.

2 – Diabetes

Abnormal arteries and nerve damage are both common complications of diabetes. Damaged blood vessels or nerves can lead to erectile dysfunction. Between 30 and 50 percent of men with diabetes report some form of sexual difficulty. As with heart conditions, ED can serve as a warning about diabetes.

3 – Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes obesity and abdominal fat, unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance — is also a risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men older than 50 years.

4 – Neurological conditions

Conditions that affect the central nervous system, including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or stroke, can also cause erectile dysfunction. These diseases interfere with nerve functionality, which could affect sexual performance.

5 – Hormonal conditions

Low levels of testosterone can be a contributing factor to ED, but this is in about 5 percent of men. More often, it is a combination of risk factors, of which low testosterone plays a role. Abnormalities in the pituitary gland can also cause excessive production of the hormone prolactin, which is likewise associated with ED. Thyroid and adrenal gland problems can also contribute to ED.

6 – Prescription medications
Some prescription medications can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. High blood pressure medications, heart and cholesterol medications, depression and bipolar medications, medications for GERD, chemotherapy and hormone drugs can all have an influence on sexual performance. If you have concerns about the side effects of a medication, consult with your doctor.

7 – Psychological causes

Anxiety, stress and depression are conditions that need consideration when addressing the causes of ED. Due to the very nature of ED, undiagnosed psychological underpinnings can lead to a vicious cycle, where ED becomes a greater issue as a man becomes anxious or depressed about his inability to perform.

8 – Lack of vitamin D

While vitamin D deficiency may not play a direct role in erectile dysfunction, it is a risk factor for a number of other conditions, like heart disease, which has been linked to impotence. To get more vitamin D, simply expose yourself to a few more minutes of sunshine each day. If your levels are extremely low, speak to your doctor about supplements.

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