Lifestyle and Erectile Dysfunction – Week 2
In last week’s blog, I opened conversation regarding the prevalence of erectile dysfunction. If you missed Erection at the Dysfunction Junction, you may read it here.
This week I want to focus on lifestyle habits that support a strong body and mind, which in turn leads to improved erectile response and sexual pleasure. The ball is in your court so to speak!
- Maintain a healthy weight – being overweight contributes to lower testosterone levels and decreases nitric oxide in the blood vessels.
- Routine physical exercise that includes cardiovascular and muscle strengthening work – check out the American Heart Association recommendations here https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
- Limit alcohol intake. I can’t say it any better than the author of this article https://www.everydayhealth.com/erectile-dysfunction/why-boozing-can-be-bad-for-your-sex-life.aspx
- Stop smoking. Men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily had a 60% higher risk of erectile dysfunction, compared to men who never smoked.
- Healthy food consumption. Check out the Mediterranean plans that includes lean proteins, limited processed foods, healthy oils, fruits, and grains. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan#foods-to-eat
- Evaluate your intimate relationship. If your relationship has become disconnected emotionally &/or physically your brain may not fully engage in the sexual response cycle.
- Manage your mental health. Unmanaged depression, anxiety, and chronic stress interrupt the brains typical sexual response system and chemical production.
- Medications. Many medications can impact sexual desire and the erectile response. If you noted erectile changes following the start of a new medication, please speak with the prescribing provider about the concern and see if there is another medication that might work just as well without the sexual side effects. We
- Sleep. Our bodies internal computer system reboots all programs during cycles of deep sleep, this includes the sexual body system. Lack of sleep leaves us with low battery levels! Check out this info https://www.goodrx.com/conditions/low-libido/how-lack-of-sleep-impacts-sex-life-libido-fertility
- Manage your chronic health conditions. Some of the top offenders of health conditions that impact erectile function include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, low testosterone, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and prostate/bladder/rectal cancer and treatment.
Lifestyle habits are hard nuts to crack! Many of the habits that we have developed began as coping mechanisms for innumerable life stressors (eating, alcohol, smoking, recreational drugs). Other habit changes require us to prioritize our physical and mental health (weight, exercise, stress/anxiety/depression management, sleep, chronic health conditions).
As always, you can find out more information about Intimate Pathways Center for Sexual Health at our website, www.intimatepathways.mhcstaging.com. If I can be of assistance to you, please take the opportunity to schedule a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation.
Next week we will look at some of the interventions available, both non-prescriptive and prescriptive, that can help you optimize erectile function.