The Link Between Obesity and Erectile Dysfunction

While it’s a very delicate subject, the truth is that erectile dysfunction affects millions of men, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a problem faced by older men. In North America, for example, this affects about 20.7-57.8% of men with the numbers increasing with age.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by many emotional, hormonal and physical factors. Among them is obesity. Obesity can cause many different health problems if left unchecked. In fact, if you’re obese and have erectile dysfunction, it may be a sign of other obesity-related health problems.

Whatever the cause, Dr. Craig Herman and the Urology Center of Florida have decades of experience helping with erectile dysfunction and other urological needs.

Understanding erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction refers to being unable to get and maintain an erection strong enough for sex. Erectile problems affect most men on occasion, depending on a person’s emotional and physical state. For example, you may have trouble getting an erection if you’ve had too much to drink, or if you’re too stressed to focus on sex. However, it’s only erectile dysfunction if it happens often enough to interfere with your sex life.

A number of physical and emotional problems can cause chronic erectile dysfunction. These can include:

Erectile dysfunction may have multiple causes. For example, the underlying cause may be physical, and worsen because you feel panicked and stressed about your sexual difficulties. Our doctors can help pinpoint the cause of your erectile dysfunction and help you work through it.

How obesity affects ED

Many of the physical causes of ED have some relationship with obesity. Often, ED results from conditions that interfere with blood flow, such as:

By themselves, these issues can contribute to erectile dysfunction and other complications. In fact, simply being obese increases your likelihood of ED. These problems tend to worsen as you get older if you don’t get the treatment you need.

Remember that, all other things equal, ED increases with age. That’s why it’s especially important for your sexual health to keep your weight and any related health problems under control. 

What you can do about obesity and ED

Many of the health risks associated with obesity improve with dietary changes and increased physical activity. Losing excess weight tends to improve obesity-related health conditions, including ED.

A study that looked into the relationship between weight loss and erectile function found that weight loss alone helps restore function to over 30% of men, who lost an average of just 33 pounds in a 2 year period. Though weight loss may seem daunting, supervised diet and exercise plans can make a dramatic difference. You’re likely to see positive changes even if you set modest weight loss goals. 

Though it’s important to treat underlying issues contributing to ED, especially for your overall health, you may get the best results when you combine this approach with treatments specially for ED. Medications and other treatments available include oral medications (Viagra™, Cialis™, Levitra™, nitrate drugs, etc), self injections, suppositories and hormone replacement therapy. These treatments make achieving and sustaining an erection easier. 

Our experienced urologists tailor treatment for ED to your individual needs. We know that ED is a delicate, personal problem, and we strive to make our practice a safe, comfortable environment. So if you’re suffering from the effects of erectile dysfunction, make an appointment with Dr. Herman at the Urology Center of Florida.

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