Erectile dysfunction warning: illness can signal two life-threatening conditions

One in five men aged 40 or over are said to suffer from erectile dysfunction, yet discussions around it remain a social taboo.

Impotence can take a huge toll on a man’s well-being and self-confidence, as well as potentially being detrimental to maintaining a healthy sex life with their partners.

Many men who suffer from erectile dysfunction for these reasons prefer not to reach out and seek professional help, but this may prove to be extremely dangerous considering that the condition could be an indicator to a much worse problem.

Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, could be a system of two possibly life-threatening conditions – heart disease and diabetes. Men who do not seek help for erectile dysfunction could therefore be putting their lives at risk.

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According to online pharmacyChemist Click , heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes can all impact blood flow to the penis, leading to erectile dysfunction.

Superintendent pharmacist Abbas Kanani said: “It is vitally important to keep an eye on the frequency of ED [erectile dysfunction] because this could help prevent serious cardiovascular problems.”

Findings by the British Association of Urological Surgeons show that 90 percent of men who suffer from impotence have at least one underlying physical cause for their problem.

In 40 percent of cases, the problem is caused by cardiovascular disease, while 33 percent of the time the cause is put down to diabetes.

Impotence could also be a sign of neurological conditions such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, where the transfer of nerve impulses from the brain to the penis are disrupted.

Erectile dysfunction itself can be treated, with sildenafil (sold as Viagra in pharmacies) often being recommended by doctors via the NHS. Other treatments include a medication called Tadalafil Daily, which comes recommended by Mr Kanani.

The pharmacist says: “Tadalafil has a continuous window of action, so there is no need to schedule doses before sex. This allows for a spontaneous sex life.”

Simple lifestyle changes such as improving one’s diet, increasing levels of exercise and reducing stress can all help to improve erection problems longer term when there are no underlying health issues present, the pharmacist added.

The NHS also recommends that men who cycle more than three hours a week should avoid the activity for a while if they are experiencing impotence, while men are also advised to keep their alcohol intake to under 14 units a week.

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