It can feel humiliating or shameful to suffer from erectile dysfunction – despite the fact that it affects half of the male population in the UK between the ages of 40 and 70.
But experts have now revealed the condition may have darker implications, manifesting as a possible symptom of serious conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure.
Dr. Hussain Alnajjar spoke to FEMAIL about the possible underlying issues that could lead to erectile dysfunction (or ED), explaining the potential reasons behind it.
He also spoke about the importance of being seen by a medical professional, even though many feel embarrassed to seek help.
Dr Hussain Alnajjar spoke to FEMAIL about the possible underlying issues that could lead to erectile dysfunction, explaining the potential reasons behind it (stock image)
The consultant uroandrologist and erectile dysfunction expert also outlined steps that can be taken to treat erectile dysfunction, ranging from medication to lifestyle changes.
Rebecca Porta, CEO of the Urology Foundation, said it was essential to address any concerns men might have about getting screened.
She said: “Many men are eager to see a doctor if needed, so it is important that we try to combat unnecessary stereotypes around the disease.
How common is erectile dysfunction?
Dr Alnajjar said that “erectile dysfunction is much more common than you might think”, explaining that one in 10 men will suffer from it during their lifetime, with the problem being more common in men over 40.
He added: “It is important to put your health first in these cases and although these conversations can be uncomfortable, it is important not to delay seeing a healthcare professional because they may find a treatment that right for you and identify if your condition is a sign of something more serious.
“Erectile dysfunction is easily treatable and there are different forms of treatment that can be offered to men with this condition.”
What are the possible causes of erectile dysfunction?
Dr. Alnajjar explained that there are a variety of conditions erectile dysfunction (ED) could be a symptom of, due to the connection between male arousal and the different bodily systems it affects.
He says, “Male sexual stimulation is a complex process that involves the brain, emotions, nerves, hormones, muscles and blood vessels.
“ED can result from a problem with one or a combination of these.”
Meanwhile, he said erectile dysfunction can be a cause of everything from obesity and diabetes to heart and neurological disease.
According to Dr Alnajjar (pictured), erectile dysfunction can sometimes manifest as a symptom of more serious issues as blood flow is affected.
“Erectile dysfunction can be identified if a man is unable to achieve or maintain an erection suitable for satisfying intercourse.
“It may be associated with low libido in cases where low testosterone is the cause.”
How does erectile dysfunction appear as a symptom of something more serious?
According to Dr. Alnajjar, erectile dysfunction can sometimes manifest as a symptom of more serious problems because blood circulation is affected.
“In many cases, erectile dysfunction can be a sign of other underlying health conditions, such as: atherosclerosis (hardening or blockage of the arteries), heart disease, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar due to diabetes, especially if the disease recurs,” he explained. .
“Such conditions often accompany reduced blood flow or a problem with the nerves to the penis due to diabetes, which can affect a man’s ability to have an erection, hence why erectile dysfunction can be an early warning of a more serious illness.”
How should people seek help for erectile dysfunction?
Dr. Alnajjar emphasized that despite many feeling the push and pull of the stigma around the disease, it is important to seek help from a medical professional.
He explained: “A lot of men find it embarrassing and difficult to talk about this matter.
“There is still a huge stigma attached to erectile dysfunction, which is why many men are afraid and reluctant to seek medical help.
However, he stressed that it was essential to overcome any qualms about asking for help.
Botox to overcome erectile dysfunction! Injections directly into the penis ‘can help impotent men’
It might be known to smooth out wrinkles.
But scientists have said that Botox could also ease erectile difficulties in men.
Injecting impotent men directly into their penis relaxes the organ, allowing blood to rush into it.
Belgian urologists said the treatment showed “clear benefit”, although further studies are needed.
The jab only seemed to work for three months.
NHS doctors are currently not allowed to give Botox to impotent men, despite studies suggesting it helps.
Instead, they are usually given drugs to lower blood pressure or statins, as the difficulties tend to be caused by circulatory problems.
“ED can have a significant mental impact on men and can affect their perception of manhood, particularly if it impacts their fertility or their intimacy with their sexual partner,” he explained.
“While these conversations can be uncomfortable, it’s important for men to see a medical professional if this is a persistent issue they’re dealing with.”
When are over-the-counter drugs like Viagra enough?
“Over-the-counter medications are a quick fix for many men, and that means they can avoid having what they might consider ’embarrassing’ conversations with healthcare professionals,” explained Dr. Alnajjar.
He continues: “Oral medications are commonly used, are generally safe, and are an effective form of treatment for many men.
“They increase a natural chemical (nitric oxide) in your penis that relaxes muscles, causing increased blood flow and an erection in response to sexual stimulation.”
He also pointed out that the drugs will affect people differently depending on a number of factors, adding: “The drugs don’t work for everyone, and certain conditions may make them less effective, such as after pelvic surgery or in people with bad diabetes. controlled.”
The doctor said lifestyle changes should be “the first step in treating erectile dysfunction”, including long-term solutions such as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, weight loss, regular aerobic exercise, stopping illicit drugs and a Mediterranean diet.
Dr. Alnajjar also said it was crucial that men with erectile dysfunction were seen by a professional to avoid future problems.
“It’s essential that men with erectile dysfunction see a doctor so they can be evaluated and treated by a medical expert,” he said.
“This approach will help many men avoid serious future health problems such as heart attack or stroke.”
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