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All You Need to Know About Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease

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All You Need to Know About Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease

Sexual health has a fundamental role in overall health and well-being, and a healthy and dynamic sex life may significantly contribute to a good quality of life. Sexual dysfunction, especially erectile dysfunction in men, is persistent in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction have similar risk factors, such as endothelial dysfunction, low plasma testosterone levels, and inflammation.

Studies show that erectile dysfunction is an independent and early predictor of future cardiovascular disease, providing a significant warning to initiate preventive measures.

Therefore, detection and diagnosis of erectile dysfunction are vital for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease because erectile dysfunction assessment offers an easy and low-cost predictive tool that is an alternative to other cardiovascular biomarkers.

In addition, erectile dysfunction is a significant driver of interruption or poor adherence to cardiovascular therapy. Cardiovascular drugs have varying effects on erectile function; for example, diuretics and β-blockers have the worst. On the other hand, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors and nebivolol are the best.

Drug treatment of erectile dysfunction has an equivocal effect on cardiovascular disease risk, suggesting a complex interaction between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease medications.

There is an evident strong connection between erectile dysfunction and heart disease. Various studies demonstrate that if a man has erectile dysfunction, he may have an increased risk of heart disease. Having erectile dysfunction is as much a threat component for heart disease as a smoking history or a family record of coronary artery disease.

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION OR IMPOTENCE

Impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is the incapacity to obtain and maintain an erection adequate for sexual intercourse. That situation is not considered normal at any age. Premature ejaculation, infertility, or low sexual desire are not the same as erectile dysfunction, although one or more of these conditions may have a connection with it.

HOW BAD IS THE PROBLEM OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?

Erectile dysfunction is estimated to affect approximately one in ten adult men long-term. However, a more typical problem affecting most men at some time is the occasional failure to obtain an erection.

Occasional failure may occur for various reasons, such as excessive alcohol or extreme fatigue.

It is not unusual to obtain an erection less than twenty percent of the time, and the individual rarely needs treatment. However, failure to achieve an erection more than fifty percent of the time usually means a psychological or physical problem (or a combination of both), and that problem requires treatment.

IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION A NORMAL PART OF GROWING OLD? OR NOT

No, Erectile dysfunction does not necessarily have to be a part of growing old. Although older men may require more stimulation (such as touching and stroking) to obtain an erection, they should still be able to accomplish an erection and enjoy sex.

WHAT CAUSES ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?

Next, we will list three conditions that must occur to achieve an erection:

  • The nerves of the penis must be functioning properly
  • The blood circulation to the penis must be adequate
  • There must be stimulation from the brain

If anything interferes with any or all these conditions, you may not achieve a full erection.

Medical conditions or illnesses that frequently cause erectile dysfunction include the following:

 

  • VASCULAR CONDITION: Vascular diseases are those that affect the blood vessels. These conditions include the following:
  • Atherosclerosis (stiffening of the arteries)
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).

These diseases, accounting for seventy percent of the physical causes of erectile dysfunction, restrict blood flow to the heart, brain, and in the case of erectile dysfunction, the penis. Atherosclerosis alone accounts for fifty to sixty percent of cases of erectile dysfunction in men over sixty years old.

 

  • DIABETES: Diabetes may cause artery and nerve damage that can make it difficult to get an erection; between thirty-five and fifty percent of men with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction.
  • KIDNEY DISEASE: kidney disease may cause chemical changes that impact hormones, circulation, nerve function, and energy level. These changes may decrease sex drive (libido) or sexual ability. Medications used to treat kidney disease may also cause erectile dysfunction.
  • NERVE AND BRAIN (NEUROLOGICAL) DISEASES: The nervous system plays a crucial part in accomplishing and maintaining an erection. Men commonly experience erectile dysfunction with conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injury.

The above is due to a disruption in the flow of nerve impulses between the brain and the penis.

  • PROSTATE CANCER: Prostate cancer does not cause erectile dysfunction on its own, but treatment for prostate cancer may cause erectile problems.

Other possible causes of erectile dysfunction include the following:

  • Penile injury
  • Psychological drivers, such as stress, performance anxiety, and depression
  • A chronic disease
  • Certain medicines
  • Peyronie’s disease (a condition where there is scar tissue on the penis)
  • Surgery of prostate, bladder, and colon cancer
  • Venous leakage: when the veins in the penis cannot stop blood from leaving the penis during an erection, the erection cannot continue. We know this event as venous leakage, which may result from injury, stress, or illness.
  • Alcohol abuse, tobacco, or drug use: these three substances may damage an individual’s blood vessels or prevent blood flow to the penis, causing erectile dysfunction. Smoking plays a role in causing erectile dysfunction in individuals with atherosclerosis.
  • Prescription drugs: there are more than two hundred types of prescription drugs that may cause erectile dysfunction.

Although erectile dysfunction has several causes, atherosclerosis is the most typical reason. Cholesterol buildup in the blood walls causes blood flow to decrease, and additional blood flow to the penis is essential for obtaining and maintaining an erection.

People usually associate atherosclerosis with heart attacks, but the condition is not only about the arteries supplying blood to the heart. Instead, it affects blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the penis, where the condition frequently appears years before heart problems occur.

Some studies reveal that men with erectile dysfunction had more cardiovascular problems, including heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke than men without erectile dysfunction. So we could say erectile dysfunction is an early alert sign of heart issues or problems elsewhere.

UNDERSTANDING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION AND HEART DISEASE

There is an evident and powerful connection between erectile dysfunction and heart disease. Various studies show that if a man experiences erectile dysfunction, he has a higher risk of heart disease.

For example, in a study, fifty-seven percent of men who underwent bypass surgery and sixty-four percent of men hospitalized for a heart attack experienced, at least one time, erectile dysfunction.

When a man is experiencing erectile dysfunction, he will likely have heart disease symptoms within five years. Indeed, experiencing erectile dysfunction is as much a risk element for heart disease as having a history of smoking or family records of coronary artery disease.

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION TREATMENT OR MEDICATION

The erectile dysfunction medications function by increasing the presence of nitric oxide in the cavernous smooth muscle of the penis. This process allows the smooth muscles to relax and increases blood flow to the penis. Some of these medications include the following:

  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)

 

When you have erectile dysfunction, the first step is to talk to your healthcare provider to work together to find the cause.

If it is atherosclerosis, you will get advice about our diet and exercise, the basis of atherosclerosis treatment. And if you smoke, quit or seek help since smoking contributes to atherosclerosis. Your healthcare provider will prescribe medication if these self-help remedies are not enough.

As for erectile dysfunction, the most frequent treatment besides lifestyle changes is one of the advertised pills on TV. The medications help dilate the blood vessels that distribute blood to the penis.

This medication is safe with most other medicines and blood pressure pills, but you should not take it with nitrate medications such as nitroglycerin.

Another option is stenting if, in addition to erectile dysfunction, you have a blockage of the blood vessels in the pelvis that supply the buttocks, which are also the main vessels to the penis. A blockage in that spot frequently causes more symptoms than just erectile dysfunction. In addition, stenting can stop the need for chronic medicines.

It is essential to know that erectile dysfunction does not necessarily mean you will have heart disease, but it is a sign that it is time to see your physician. Getting help for your erectile dysfunction and starting to modify your cardiovascular risk factors will pay off with years of good health in the future.

Modern Heart and Vascular Institute intends to provide you with information but not attempting to replace the medical advice of your healthcare provider or physician. Consult your healthcare provider for advice or suggestions on a specific medical condition.

It is our priority to keep you well these holidays! Visit one of Modern Heart and Vascular Institute’s locations for high-quality primary care close to home. Call 832-644-8930 to schedule your appointment today.

At Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we feel privileged to respond to crucial questions about circumstances that could affect your heart. As a result, our expert cardiologists may help you manage, foresee, and treat all aspects of your cardiovascular condition.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.

Higher Blood Pressure

When carrying extra pounds, your body requires more oxygen, which pushes your cardiovascular system to work harder. Unfortunately, this additional workload puts more pressure on artery walls, leading to hypertension.

Hypertension does not cause symptoms, and it develops gradually. Therefore, you should ensure your blood pressure is under control since you may have had hypertension for years without knowing it. In the meantime, the disease is progressively damaging your blood vessels. Unfortunately, the first symptom of hypertension is often a serious threat to your health, such as a heart attack or stroke. If your hypertension reaches life-threatening levels, you may experience headaches, confusion, dizziness, and chest pain.

Cardiologists work closely with each patient to create personalized treatment regimens to prevent and deal with hypertension. The first course of treatment starts with a lifestyle program to change the danger factors that promote hypertension. After a doctor assesses your overall health and lifestyle, your treatment may include a diet and exercise plan, guidance to manage weight loss or help to find ways to reduce your stress.

Patients with mild to moderate hypertension may only need lifestyle changes, like losing weight, to reduce their blood pressure to a safe range. However, suppose your blood pressure is dangerously high, and lifestyle changes and weight loss are not lowering it enough, your doctor will have to prescribe one of several possible medications to reduce your hypertension.

If you need your blood pressure monitored, or require assistance controlling hypertension, contact your doctor, schedule an appointment, don’t let time pass and take control of your heart health.

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CARDIOVASCULAR CENTERS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS

Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.

Contact us online to learn more and book an appointment. If you’d like to learn more about our practice, read our providers’ bios.

This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.

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