What other medical issues are linked to erectile dysfunction?

The most common sexual condition that men report to their doctor is erectile dysfunction or ED. It can affect up to 30 million men. ED is described as difficulty obtaining or maintaining a firm enough erection for sex. Though it’s not uncommon for a man to have erection issues now and then, ED that is progressive or occurs often with sex is not natural and should be handled. Erectile dysfunction (ED) does not have to be a part of growing older. Although some older men may need more stimulation, they should still be able to get an erection and enjoy sexual activity.


Many Malaysian men experience erection failure on occasion, which can be caused by several factors like excessive alcohol consumption, stress, relationship issues, or severe exhaustion. It’s not uncommon to have trouble getting an erection less than 20% of the time, and it usually doesn’t need treatment. Failure to obtain an erection more than 50% of the time, on the other hand, usually indicates that there is a problem and that care is needed. It’s a men’s health issue that Malaysian men should look into more seriously.


Conditions associated with erectile dysfunction


Cardiovascular disease

It is becoming increasingly clear that erectile dysfunction is caused by blood vessel problems. Hypertension (high blood pressure) and ischaemic heart disease (insufficient blood flow through the heart) are two conditions that affect the way blood is distributed through the body (including the penis), and both are often linked to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. These diseases, including erectile dysfunction, are caused by endothelial dysfunction, which regulates blood flow through the body by controlling the opening and closing of blood vessels.


Erectile function is essentially regulated by two main blood flow systems; arterial and venous penile blood flow. (i.e. blood flow into and out of the penis). Since the arteries of the penis are so tiny compared to the rest of the body’s arteries, they may be the first to be impacted by endothelial dysfunction. As a result, erectile dysfunction can appear before other signs and symptoms of vascular disease. The most common cause of erectile dysfunction is vascular disease, and the two conditions often coexist.


Erectile dysfunction is also linked to a higher risk of heart disease. Men who have erectile dysfunction are around 1.5 times more likely to develop cardiovascular (heart) disease in the future than men who can get erections. Erectile dysfunction raises the risk of cardiovascular disease in the same way as smoking, having a family history of heart attack, or having dyslipidemia (abnormalities of blood lipids such as cholesterol) do, all of which are significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease.



Diabetes and metabolic syndrome

Erectile dysfunction and diabetes mellitus are often comorbid (occurring at the same time), and erectile dysfunction is the first sign of diabetes in about 20% of men who acquire it. Erectile dysfunction affects 20 percent to 85 percent of diabetic men, with the incidence increasing with the severity of their diabetes and their age.


Erectile dysfunction is the most common concern among diabetic men, as well as men with metabolic syndrome (a disease that often progresses to type 2 diabetes mellitus and includes many co-occurring metabolic and vascular abnormalities, such as elevated blood glucose levels and high blood pressure) or symptoms of the disorder. According to an American study, a large percentage of men with erectile dysfunction had at least one metabolic abnormality associated with metabolic syndrome (e.g. 31 percent had high blood pressure). When compared to healthy men, a substantially higher proportion of men with metabolic syndrome also had erectile dysfunction, according to an Italian survey.



Erectile dysfunction is also linked to dyslipidemia (abnormal blood lipid concentrations). In certain men, mild cases of dyslipidemia, which do not need treatment, maybe the main cause of erectile dysfunction. In these cases, treating mild dyslipidemia will help improve erectile function. Both conditions are often found together. According to various studies, 40–70%of men with erectile dysfunction also have dyslipidemia, and men with dyslipidemia are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction.



High blood pressure

Erectile dysfunction and hypertension are often found together. Hypertensive men account for 40% of men with erectile dysfunction, while erectile dysfunction affects 35% of hypertensive men.



Endocrine disorders

Hyper- and hypothyroidism (over and underproduction of thyroid-secreted hormones), hyperprolactinemia (excessive prolactin concentrations in the blood), and hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency) are examples of endocrine disorders (i.e. disorders of the body’s hormone-production system) that can cause or exacerbate erectile dysfunction.


Thyroid disorders cause sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels to become unbalanced, affecting the amount of bioavailable testosterone throughout the body. This affects erectile function. As a result, in the absence of other therapies, treating these conditions can improve erectile function.


Hyperprolactinemia, or high levels of prolactin, may reduce testosterone output by suppressing the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is needed to trigger testosterone production. Since erectile dysfunction and testosterone deficiency are linked, disorders that impair testosterone production can also affect erectile function.


Hypogonadism is characterized by a lack of testosterone, which results in a decrease in libido. Obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and depression are all linked to it, as are many of the same risk factors as erectile dysfunction. Men with low libido don’t feel like having sex by design, so they don’t need to get an erection. As a result, many testosterone-deficient men don’t have erectile dysfunction. Men with decreased libido may still want to have sex on occasion in some cases of hypogonadism; in these cases, testosterone deficiency may adversely affect erectile function and its response to treatment with PDE-5 inhibitors. Combining testosterone and PDE-5 inhibitor therapy could be more successful for certain men than either medication alone.



According to some research, there is a clear connection between current erectile dysfunction and depression. A major study from the United States, on the other hand, found that being depressed did not increase the likelihood of erectile dysfunction. This may indicate that the connection between erectile dysfunction and depression discovered in other studies is because erectile dysfunction induces depression rather than the other way around.


Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation affects up to a third of men with erectile dysfunction. Having both conditions has a greater negative effect on one’s quality of life and sexual pleasure than having one of them alone.


Lower urinary tract disorders

Erectile dysfunction is slightly more common in men who have lower urinary tract disorders than in men who do not. Depending on the man’s features, studies have found a 2–9 times increased risk of erectile dysfunction among men with lower urinary tract disorders. According to studies, the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.


Benign prostatic hyperplasia

While the risk of erectile dysfunction may increase as a result of lower urinary tract symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia or surgical treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, there is little evidence to suggest a direct link between erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Although evidence indicates that more men’s erectile dysfunction improves after surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia, a large number of men (20%) have more serious erectile dysfunction after surgery. More extreme prostate symptoms of the lower urinary tract are associated with an increased probability of erectile dysfunction, according to a study of erectile dysfunction in Nigerian men with benign prostatic hyperplasia-related lower urinary tract disorders.


It’s clear that there’s a whole host of variables and factors from numerous related medical issues that can be linked to erectile dysfunction. Getting to the source of the problem on a case-to-case basis might be hard at first, but with guidance and expert help, anyone facing ED can treat and possibly even overcome it.


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