Can Your Lifestyle Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction (ed) or impotence is more common than you might think, despite the stigmas and embarrassment that are often attached to the medical condition. With erectile dysfunction, you may struggle to achieve an erect penis during sexual situations, or you may find that your penis is erect in some circumstances – but not when you need to ‘perform’. An erection involves psychological processes, hormones and nerves in the body, including blood vessels that supply the muscles in the penis.
We’ve found the most common reasons why you may be struggling to have an erection, and offer suggestions on how you can work towards making lifestyle changes that are necessary to help you treat your erectile dysfunction. These ed treatments can be as simple as eating better. However, Erectile Dysfunction can actually be an underlying symptom of a deeper health issue, and so knowing whether it is your lifestyle causing your Erectile Dysfunction is important in identifying whether there are problems happening with your health.
The most common cause behind Erectile Dysfunction, especially in the 40% of under 40-year-olds who suffer from the issue, is mental health conditions. Psychological issues such as stress, depression and anxiety, are often linked to the reason behind your erectile dysfunction – particularly when this dysfunction is temporary or intermittent, and an erection can be achieved but not maintained.
You’ll need to determine what psychological issues or feelings are happening when you are unable to achieve an erect penis. You can do this by recording the time, circumstances and how you felt, after you fail to have an erection despite being stimulated sexually, or wanting to perform. This reflection diary allows you to connect parallels and similarities across these experiences so that you can identify what exactly is causing you to be unable to achieve an erection. It is common for the loss of sexual desire and inability to have an erect penis to be linked to an unsatisfactory relationship with your sexual partner, stress, depression or performance anxiety.
In particular, if you are experiencing a stressful period followed by a time where you are on holiday or no longer under pressure, you may be able to achieve an erect penis. This allows you to view your Erectile Dysfunction as a result of stress, and you should therefore work towards developing healthier coping mechanisms that allow you to reduce the physical toll that this stress is having on your health and ability to achieve an erection. Even excessive use of pornography can have a psychological impact on your mental health and contribute towards your Erectile Dysfunction as you get used to unrealistic sexual experiences and require excessive or increasing physical stimulation to achieve results.
It may seem surprising, but the amount of food or diet that lacks the correct nutrition, as well as excess weight, drug consumption and alcohol abuse can actually impact your ability to achieve an erection, even when you are sexually stimulated and you have not lost your sexual desire. In turn, this inability to achieve an erection can cause psychological issues like performance anxiety, which can further fuel Erectile Dysfunction. Therefore, if you are suffering from Erectile Dysfunction, you should first look towards improving your physical health, so that you can work on any emotional or psychological issues that are impacting and preventing you from having an erection.
You should look at your diet and exercise regime to ensure that you lose any excess weight, fuel your body with the nutrients that it needs, and ensure your bodily functions have the right energy or conditions to be carried out. This aims to create the ideal conditions so that your body is not placed under unnecessary stress and does not need to disregard its ‘non-essential’ activities in favour of its vital bodily functions.
Monitor your alcohol consumption and avoid taking any ‘legal highs’ or drugs, because these substances can alter your body’s internal environment on a short-term or even permanent basis. Over time, excessive consumption of drugs can actually change the way that your body carries out its processes and alter your internal organs, hormones or blood vessels. Blood vessels and hormones are particularly important for achieving an erection.
Medication and ED Treatment Plans
If you have done everything you can to make sure that your lifestyle isn’t causing your erectile dysfunction, there are different medications available that can help you, such as this ed treatment plan. Manual are working towards destigmatising the normal problems that men often feel they have to sweep under the carpet, and offer licensed medications to help men treat their ‘taboo’ issues.
However, it is important that you consult your GP if you have been suffering from Erectile Dysfunction for a long period, as the medical condition has been linked to heart disease. In fact, heart disease patients have reported their Erectile Dysfunction 3-5 years before being diagnosed with their heart condition and before other symptoms have even appeared. You should also consult your GP if you are planning on taking any medication that they have not prescribed to you directly because it could interfere with your other existing health conditions or prescriptions, especially if you are going to be taking this medication on a longer-term basis.
Given the intimacy and emotional layers attached to an Erectile Dysfunction condition, it can be difficult to be open about your problem with your penis – especially when men are expected to fulfil a certain role and persona. However, the moment that you regard your lack of ability to achieve an erection as a medical condition, and treat it as one, you are one step closer towards finding a solution to your problem. This could involve lifestyle changes by committing to looking after other areas of your physical or emotional health, and by following a treatment plan. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are not alone in suffering from this issue and there is a range of support available to help you begin and maintain your journey towards having an erection and healthy sex life once again.