Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is a condition in which a man is unable to get an erection. The condition affects people of all ages, and the risk may go up as you age. Usually, impotence is a result of different factors, including trauma, medications, some medical problems and external factors.
The inability to get or sustain erection is the main sign of erectile dysfunction. Although temporary, it does have a negative impact on a man’s sex life and self-esteem. The condition may cause psychological symptoms as well, and may even lead to depression. In rare cases, diabetes or other medical conditions can cause impotence, so it will occur as a symptom in addition to the diseases’ symptoms.
Main causes of impotence
Experts say that all men will experience impotence at least once in their life. If it isn’t caused by an underlying condition, the problem can appear due to heavy drinking or drug abuse, stress, fatigue, anxiety and other causes. Although it does affect young men, erectile dysfunction is more common in older men.
Atherosclerosis, the fatal cardiovascular condition, is often the culprit for impotence. Due to the plaque buildup in the arteries, the blood flow through the body is obstructed, resulting in less blood being delivered to the penis and causing impotence. The causes can also be insomnia, thyroid problems, obesity, kidney problems, damage to the blood vessels, smoking, high cholesterol levels, low testosterone levels, nerve damage and frequent use of diuretics and antidepressants.
Diagnosing erectile dysfunction
Impotence is diagnosed by a physical exam and by going through your medical history. You should always share details about your medical conditions with your doctor, as it can help them diagnose the condition on time. Furthermore, you need to tell your doctor if you’re on some medications, as they can obstruct proper blood flow to the penis.
The physical examination involves carefully inspecting the penis in order to determine external causes, which may come in the form of STIs, lesions or trauma. If your doctor suspects another problem, they might order some tests, including blood and glucose tests. These tests will show the exact levels of testosterone and lipids in your body and locate the problem. An electrocardiogram, ultrasound and urine tests may also be needed.
The treatment of erectile dysfunction depends on the cause. Your doctor should prescribe a proper therapy, which are usually pills such as Cialis or Viagra. However, these pills are not recommended for heart disease patients – in this case, you should look for alternative options.
As your lifestyle does play a part in the development of impotence, it’s important to change it if you’re facing the condition. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, stop smoking, exercise 3-5 times a week and eat a healthy diet in order to keep your blood flow and overall health in shape. You also need to learn how to relax – stress is one of the main causes of impotence, so it’s vital to put it under control. These lifestyle adjustments should help you regain your health, and with it, the problem of impotence should soon disappear.