It’s well known that Erectile Dysfunction is the inability to get – or keep – an erection. However, research is making it clear that this isn’t just an issue for the bedroom, finding that it can also be an early indicator of potential heart disease.
The effects of Erectile Dysfunction are already wide-reaching. It often causes anxiety or stress, and places increased strain on relationships as well as overall self-confidence: women love a man with confidence.
Recent studies have also found that men with Erectile Dysfunction are twice as likely to be hospitalized and die from cardiovascular disease than those without. With heart disease being the leading cause of death in America, it’s important to address impotence as soon as possible and potentially extend or even save your life.
The Connection Between Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease
Research continues to prove that erectile dysfunction and heart disease are irrevocably linked. This is mainly due to the fact that both can be caused by blocked arteries, and share many of the same risk factors.
The buildup of plaque in the arteries of your body is called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. In the coronary artery, atherosclerosis can cause angina or a heart attack while in an artery in the brain, atherosclerosis can cause memory loss, dementia, or stroke.
Plaque build-up in the arteries of the penis are the first to become clogged due to the smaller blood vessels. The reduced blood flow to the penis makes getting an erection difficult, often leading to erectile dysfunction or impotence.
This means that if you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction, atherosclerosis in the arteries of the penis may be the cause. If so, this could be an early indicator of potentially life-threatening heart problems, which is why it’s important to check-in and check-up on a regular basis.
Combating erectile dysfunction to protect your heart
Both erectile dysfunction and heart disease share similar risk factors, such as:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Low testosterone
- Age (especially if you’re under 50 years of age).
Dealing with – and treating – the shared risk factors by making improvements to your lifestyle can help to protect both your heart health and relieve issues with impotence. Here are a few ideas that will really get your blood pumping, so to speak:
Changes to Make in Your Life to Reduce Erectile Dysfunction and Improve Your Heart Health
There are numerous good reasons to stop smoking, and all of them relate directly to its now well-known negative impact on your health. In addition to respiratory problems and lung cancer, smoking tobacco is a major cause of coronary heart disease so it may well be time to ditch the smokes for good.
Increased alcohol consumption, smoking, a lack of exercise and consuming a poor diet are the typical coping mechanisms for either dealing with – or as a result of – stress, which often leads to high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
In this way stress is intrinsically linked with most of the factors that increase the risk of heart disease and cause erectile dysfunction.
Studies also link stress itself directly to changes in the way blood clots, which increases the likelihood of a heart attack.
Mitigate stress in your life by saying ‘no’ to commitments that cause overwhelm. Instead, focus on reducing habits that affect your quality of sleep, introduce deep breathing techniques, and incorporate yoga or meditation into your daily routine.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The ‘fuel’ for your body – the food you consume – plays a significant role in both your heart, and sexual, health. The ultimate goal for overall well-being is to consume a diet that lowers blood pressure and blood sugars, while also reducing bad cholesterol and aiding weight loss.
Research shows that eating more heart-friendly foods is key to a nutritious diet. That means adding more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and protein-rich foods like kale and spinach to your menu.
Limit your consumption of red meat and high-fat dairy products that are high in cholesterol while you’re at it, and eat healthy carbs such as brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes.
Oh, and avoid sugary and salty foods.
Boost Testosterone, Naturally
Optimum testosterone levels play a vital role in heart health, as well as reducing the occurrence of impotence. In fact, one of the major causes of erectile dysfunction and a lack of libido is low levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone.
Testosterone helps the heart by lowering blood pressure and dilating the aorta and coronary arteries. Studies indicate taking natural testosterone boosters or stimulating your testosterone production can even reverse the buildup of plaques, so the heart remains oxygenated and strong.
Exercise, along with a healthy diet, are the essential elements to addressing the risk factors associated with heart disease and erectile dysfunction. Studies highlight the fact that if you’re physically active, your heart disease risk is likely to be half that of those who don’t exercise.
Your heart needs exercise just like any other muscle in your body in order to grow stronger and healthier. According to the American Heart Association, exercising for just 30 minutes a day, five days a week reduces your risk of heart disease.
In this case, exercise includes any physical activity that moves your body and burns calories; from walking, swimming, biking to playing sports.
Make the Change for a Healthier Heart and Reduced Erectile Dysfunction
If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction, adjusting your exercise regime, diet, stress and supercharging your testosterone levels won’t just help you in the bedroom, they’ll also protect your heart for a longer and more satisfying life.