The Effects of Disease States and Drugs on Erections
Cardiovascular Disease is the most common cause of ED and is due to endothelial dysfunction. Studies have demonstrated that two million people have heart disease but have no symptoms, and one out of four men with no risk factors will die suddenly of a cardiovascular event. Other studies indicate that ED may be present for 2-3 years prior to the diagnosis of heart disease.
Smoking is one of the greatest health enemies and is responsible for over 400,000 deaths per year. Smoking causes endothelial dysfunction, which causes ED. I firmly believe that if manufacturers added a warning to cigarette labels that smoking will make erections go away, no man would smoke.
Diabetes is the most common cause of sexual dysfunction in men. It has been estimated that up to 50-75 percent of diabetic men have erectile dysfunction, because diabetes causes endothelial dysfunction. Diabetics must pay attention to diabetic neuropathy - the loss of vibratory sensations of the lower extremities. With this disease, there is always the possibility of peripheral neuropathies. Other diseases that are associated with peripheral neuropathies include chronic renal failure, carcinomas, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, herpes zoster, anemias, breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as a long list of hereditary neuropathies.
Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions. HTN is the second most prevalent disease in men with ED. HTN causes endothelial dysfunction, which leads to ED. However, the treatment of HTN can also cause ED.
Enlarged Prostates or BPH can be the cause of ED as well. Treatment of the prostate disease can reverse ED but cause ejaculatory disorders.
Prostate Cancer as well as the treatment of prostate cancer can lead to ED.
Dyslipidemia or abnormal concentrations of lipids in the blood. These high concentrations of bad cholesterol will cause endothelial dysfunction, which leads to ED.
Stroke and alcoholism create a very high risk because of damage to the testicles and the resulting decrease of testosterone in the body.
Aging is a common risk for erectile dysfunction, often related to a decrease of male hormones and endothelial dysfunction. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study indicated that 50 percent of men age 40-70 have a minimal, moderate or severe degree of erectile dysfunction.
Chronic renal insufficiency is another potential factor. Many drugs used to treat the type of high blood pressure associated with chronic renal insufficiency can cause erectile dysfunction, and many drugs are, by themselves, the culprit.