Erectile Dysfunction: Can Lifestyle Help?

Even though you know that it’s common for men to develop erectile dysfunction (ED) as they age, when it happens to you, it can feel like the end of the world. And, in a sense, it is. It’s the end of the world in which you could easily and effortlessly achieve an erection and engage in intercourse without stress or worry.

A happy, healthy sex life is an important part of well-being, which is why urologist Dr. Alex Lesani treats ED in the privacy of his office in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Lesani prefers to turn first to holistic treatments that optimize your health. That’s why he often advises lifestyle changes to help you regain consistent erections.  

Treat health conditions

Many health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, can have a negative impact on your ability to achieve an erection. Diabetes, for instance, damages your blood vessels and makes them stiff and inflexible. Your penis must have healthy, pliant blood vessels in order to accept the influx of blood that sexual excitement brings, and to keep the erection from fading too quickly.

Part of your ED consultation consists of a thorough and comprehensive medical examination. Dr. Lesani asks you about your medical history and also inquires about any medications you’re currently taking. Some medications affect your blood pressure, which may impede your erections.

If Dr. Lesani determines that you have an underlying health condition, he designs a customized treatment plan. Ideally, once the underlying condition responds to treatment, your ED resolves too. If not, Dr. Lesani then recommends other options. 

Lose weight

If you’re obese or even overweight, you probably have a higher proportion of fatty tissue to muscle mass. Fatty tissue produces an excessive amount of the hormone estrogen, which then throws off your hormonal profile and causes you to have lower than optimal levels of testosterone (T). 

Healthy men and women have both of these important hormones. However, women should have higher estrogen levels, which help create feminine physical traits such as breasts and curves. Men should have higher T levels, which help create masculine traits such as facial hair and a deep voice. 

Although you can replace T with hormone therapy, it’s best to first lose the excess weight so that your estrogen levels decrease naturally. Losing fatty tissue raises your T, which makes it easier to put on muscle mass through weight lifting and other resistance exercises. The higher your muscle mass, the faster your metabolism is, and the better you can burn fat to keep estrogen low and T high.

Replace the vices

While you may enjoy alcohol, cigarettes, and recreational drugs, they’re not only bad for your health (especially in excess), they’re bad for your erections too. Dr. Lesani recommends quitting smoking to improve both your overall health and the health of your blood vessels. He may refer you to a program to help you break your addiction.

While you may resist the idea of letting go of old habits, Dr. Lesani encourages you to develop healthy new habits that make you feel even better. He may recommend steps such as:

Habits take a while to change, so you need to be patient with yourself. You’ll also have a team member to help you stay on track, because Dr. Lesani has you check in regularly.  When you have to measure your progress, you’re more likely to continue with a healthy habit until it becomes part of your everyday life.

Treat depression

Whether you’ve started feeling low because of ED, or you’ve had problems with depression or anxiety in the past, Dr. Lesani refers you to specialists who can give you relief. Sometimes ED occurs because of traumatic events from your past, including sexual abuse. Sometimes it’s caused or exacerbated by current relationship problems.

Finding a way to talk about your anxieties and fears helps you reframe them so you can handle stress without its impairing your health or sex life. Counselors teach you new strategies that allow you to move through life with greater ease. And when you’re relaxed, erections are easier, too.

If lifestyle measures fail, you won’t have lost anything because you’ve gained your health. And you’re not out of options, either. Dr. Lesani may recommend other effective therapies, such as medications, penile injections, or penile implants.

To get help with ED, contact Dr. Lesani today by calling our friendly office staff at 702-470-2579 or by booking online.

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