Exercise and Good Diet can help Erectile Dysfunction

November 12, 2012

Exercise and Good Diet can help Erectile Dysfunction

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has highlighted that erectile dysfunction may be an early warning sign for the onset of heart problems. It says that the warning period may be as great as five years.

The study researcher, Stephen L. Kopecky, MD, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. points out that, “The risk factors for narrowing of the heart arteries and erectile dysfunction are really almost exactly the same: lack of exercise, being overweight or obese, diabetes, smoking, high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and eating a poor diet”. Leading on from this he says, “You can treat your heart with lifestyle changes, and these same changes will benefit erectile dysfunction”.

The researcher recommends that men in their thirties to fifties who have erectile dysfunction problems should include a check up for the heart too. He believes that it is possible to see indications before heart attack or stroke.

It has been understood for a long time now that lifestyle is associated with heart disease and stroke. Having a healthy lifestyle, eating fruit and vegetables and avoiding fat, whilst doing regular exercise reduces your risk of heart disease or stroke. Too much fat and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk. However this study indicates that positive lifestyle changes do not only help the heart but also improves erectile dysfunction (ED).

The study involved 740 men with an average age of 55. They were broken down into six studies and lifestyle changes recorded and changes to condition observed. The studies included men who had taken medication and others who had not. The medications taken included cholesterol lowering drugs. Those who made positive lifestyle changes, with or without medication, recorded an improvement in their erectile dysfunction.

Additional benefits of Healthy Living

The Albert D. Kaiser Professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York is Thomas A. Pearson, MD, PhD, MPH. He is co-author of an editorial related to the study. He points out that the thought of cancer or heart disease does motivate many men to change their lifestyles, but comments that to some men sexual function is far more important. He says doctors must identify the important issues to the patient and comments, “It’s about reaching men and women where they live. Often, a man or woman will have a benefit that really engages them and the skillful clinician will find that issue and use it to change the person’s unhealthy habits into healthy benefits”.

Because the cost of the drugs and treatment for erectile dysfunction is so expensive, the benefits possible from changing to a healthier lifestyle should be reason enough adopt healthy habits.

Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, is an attending cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and agrees that erectile dysfunction may be a very early signal of increased risk of heart disease. She advocates taking a healthier diet and regular exercise with the aim of reducing weight as a way to reduce the symptoms associated with erectile dysfunction. This also reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease. But also says of erectile dysfunction, “It is one of the warning signs that says there may a larger problem with the heart”.

She then proposes that the thought of growing old and remaining virile is the perfect driver for men to make positive changes to their lifestyles.

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