What is erectile dysfunction

  • What is erectile dysfunction
  • Causes and aggravating factors of erectile dysfunction
    • Cardiovascular diseases
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Anxiety and depression
    • Pharmacological treatments
  • How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed

The most obvious symptom of erectile dysfunction is the inability to have an erection for a prolonged time.
Some men have occasional problems getting or maintaining an erection, which can be considered normal.
If this problem becomes frequent or lasts for a long time, you should see your doctor.
The causes of erectile dysfunction are many. Sometimes the culprit may be another disease or ailment that you are not aware of.
Knowing the symptoms and what can cause erectile dysfunction is the first step towards achieving a better sex life.
Erectile dysfunction sufferers may experience:

  • Problems getting an erection
  • Trouble maintaining an erection for a long enough period of time
  • Reduction of sexual desire;
  • Feelings of embarrassment or guilt
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Symptoms of other sexual disorders.

Some sexual disorders are related to erectile dysfunction and can cause symptoms similar to erectile dysfunction, such as:

  • Premature ejaculation;
  • Inability to have an orgasm after sufficient stimulation;
  • Delayed ejaculation (when ejaculation takes too long).

Causes and aggravating factors of erectile dysfunction
As mentioned, many diseases can cause erectile dysfunction. The main defendants are cardiovascular diseases, but also diabetes, anxiety, neurological diseases, radiotherapy; Sometimes even taking certain medications can cause erectile dysfunction.
An erection, as we know, occurs when blood rushes to the penis. Normally, when a man becomes sexually aroused, blood vessels, muscles, nerves and hormones work together to create an erection. Symptoms of erectile dysfunction can present themselves if this process is stopped.
Some men experience symptoms only occasionally. For others, the symptoms are constant and interfere with their sexual relationships.
Erectile dysfunction is a complex disorder and can be caused by a variety of factors. Often the causes are different and, when combined, they cause a problem that may seem unsolvable, but which in reality can be treated in different ways.
The causes can be:

  • Heart disease or atherosclerosis;
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity;
  • Diabetes;
  • Stroke;
  • Metabolic syndrome;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • Injury to the brain or spinal cord
  • Chronic kidney disease;
  • Nervous disorders;
  • Ipogonadism;
  • Peyronie’s disease;
  • Sleep disorders.

But let’s see in detail why these diseases can cause erectile dysfunction. Cardiovascular disease
Erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease are two common, and apparently unrelated, health problems, but studies show that there is a clear link between the two. The erection is generated by the bloodstream, so cardiovascular disease could cause erectile dysfunction.
Research has shown that if a man has severe erectile dysfunction, this could be a marker for an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, or even death within three to five years of being diagnosed with erectile dysfunction.
Any person presenting with heart disease has probably already experienced hardening of the smaller arteries and vessels. Generally, anyone with heart disease probably has some component of erectile dysfunction.
Hardening of the arteries is a normal part of the aging process, especially when combined with an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.
Erectile dysfunction can be a primary symptom of cardiovascular disease, which means it can be one of the first signs of a problem. Even a person who has no other problems but finds it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection may have found the first sign of cardiovascular disease. Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes and erectile dysfunction are both very common conditions and are also closely linked.
Men with diabetes are about three times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men without diabetes, and both conditions become more common as they age.
In fact, according to statistics, half of men with diabetes develop erectile dysfunction.
Although diabetes can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction, erectile dysfunction is treatable in 95% of cases, even for men with diabetes. Lifestyle changes and medications can help better control diabetes while addressing the condition. Anxiety and depression
Erectile dysfunction, as we have seen, can have several potential triggers: some physical causes, others psychological. One of these psychological causes is stress.
Stress can cause a ton of physical symptoms that affect a range of parts of the body: headaches, stomach problems, depression. Chronic stress can even weaken the heart and immune system. It is therefore not surprising that stress can affect the quality of your erections.
An erection occurs when blood flow moves into the penis in response to signals from the brain. But stress can interrupt the signals between the brain and the body. You may be psychologically aroused, but for one reason or another, your brain isn’t getting the message to produce an erection.
Stress caused by work problems often contributes to erectile dysfunction in middle-aged men.
Certain events, such as financial or relationship problems, can contribute to erectile dysfunction at any age.
Anxiety and depression can cause erection problems, but depressed people often aggravate these problems with unhealthy coping mechanisms that can make erectile dysfunction worse. These include tobacco use or alcohol intake. Pharmacological treatments
Reptile dysfunction can be a common side effect of a number of prescription drugs. These drugs can cure a disease or condition, but at the same time they can affect a man’s hormones, nerves or blood circulation, resulting in erectile dysfunction or increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction.
If you think a drug you are taking may be causing your erectile dysfunction, ask your doctor to prescribe another medicine.
Common medications that have erectile dysfunction as a potential side effect include:

  • Diuretics;
  • Antihypertensives;
  • Antihistamines;
  • Antidepressants;
  • Parkinson’s disease medications;
  • Antiarrhythmics;
  • Tranquilizers;
  • Muscle relaxants;
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • Histamine H2 receptor antagonists;
  • Hormones;
  • Chemotherapy drugs;
  • Prostate cancer drugs;
  • Antiepileptic drugs.

How is erectile dysfunction
diagnosed To diagnose erectile dysfunction, your doctor may need to ask just a few questions and perform a physical exam.
But if other conditions are causing erectile dysfunction, you may need to do some tests, such as:

  • Blood test: A blood sample can help your doctor look for signs of diabetes, heart disease, low testosterone, or other problems such as liver or kidney disease.
  • Urinalysis: A urinalysis may indicate markers of diabetes.
  • Ultrasound / Doppler examination: allows the doctor to understand if there are problems with the blood supply to the penis.
  • Psychological exam: Your doctor may suggest a specialist checkup for depression or other disorders that could be linked to erectile dysfunction.

When talking to your doctor, be honest about your symptoms, not forgetting to tell him about the medications you are taking.
Remember to communicate information on:

  • Medicines taken;
  • Pathologies;
  • Habits that can be harmful such as alcohol or tobacco.

Don’t forget to report any life changes or stressors that could affect you, such as a job change or personal problems.

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