High Cholesterol and Erectile Dysfunction: What’s The Link?

Erectile dysfunction is a common condition that affects over 30 million men in the United States. Men with erectile dysfunction face a tough time attaining and maintaining their erections.

For some men, erection problems occur occasionally. You are said to have ED if you consistently have this trouble.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused due to several factors, including poor heart health. High cholesterol levels can significantly impact your heart health and lead to erectile dysfunction.

So, does receiving treatment for high cholesterol help recover symptoms of ED? Research says that it may have a slight effect.

The Research

One significant cause of erectile dysfunction is the hardening of blood vessels(called atherosclerosis). Many different things can contribute to atherosclerosis, including high cholesterol. That’s because high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream lead to the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries, which narrows down blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.

Researchers have found a link between high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction and thus believe cholesterol-lowering drugs might help improve erection problems.

Statins and Erectile Dysfunction

Statins are effective cholesterol-lowering medications. One study conducted on rats found that there was a significant improvement in sexual function after the treatment of high cholesterol with atorvastatin. The lipid levels remained unaltered.

The scientists discovered that the enhanced sexual function wasn’t because of decreased cholesterol levels but instead an improvement in the endothelium, which is an interior surface of the blood vessels. However, more comprehensive research is required to understand the link between statins and erectile dysfunction.

Diet, Cholesterol, and Erectile Dysfunction

Eating foods rich in cholesterol doesn’t necessarily increase your blood cholesterol levels. However, whatever you eat can still have a significant impact on your erectile function. Some studies have revealed that a Mediterranean diet can actually help improve your ED symptoms. A Mediterranean diet includes the following foods:

  • fish and other seafood, including shrimp and oysters
  • fruits, including grapes, apples, avocados, and strawberries
  • vegetables, such as broccoli, tomatoes, onions, and spinach
  • whole grains, including barley and oats
  • healthy fats, including olives and extra-virgin olive oil
  • nuts, including almonds and walnuts

Some foods you need to avoid are:

  • foods made with added sugar
  • certain vegetable oils, such as canola oil
  • foods high in trans fats, like frozen pizza, margarine, and fast food
  • processed meats and other foods

Other Risk Factors For Erectile Dysfunction

Some other risk factors for erectile dysfunction include:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • obesity
  • smoking, drinking or using certain drugs
  • mental or emotional stress
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • plaque buildup in the penis
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • surgeries for bladder cancer
  • injuries to the penis, spinal cord, bladder, pelvis, or prostate
  • injuries caused by treatment for prostate cancer

Certain medications can also lead to erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • antidepressants
  • blood pressure medications
  • appetite suppressants
  • prostate cancer therapy
  • ulcer drugs
  • prescription sedatives

When To Consult A Doctor?

You need to visit a doctor’s clinic as soon as your erection problems become consistent. Erectile dysfunction is sometimes an initial sign of an underlying medical condition, and hence, it becomes essential to get the problem diagnosed.

Watch for the following symptoms of ED:

  • You are not able to get an erection at all
  • You are unable to get an erection during sex, but you can obtain an erection at other times, such as masturbation
  • You are able to achieve an erection but cannot keep it for long enough to have sex

High cholesterol doesn’t cause any specific symptoms. The only possible way to confirm the diagnosis of high cholesterol is through a blood test. Please make sure you have routine physicals so that the underlying cause gets diagnosed and treated in its initial stages.

Your healthcare provider might also order a testosterone level test and a psychological exam to confirm the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction.

What Treatments Are Available?

There are various ways to manage ED ranging from lifestyle modifications to daily medications to surgery. The cause and severity of your symptoms help your doctor decide the best treatment for you. Some treatment alternatives for erectile dysfunction are:

  • Talk therapy
  • Couples counseling
  • Switching to a different medication if a particular medication seems to be responsible for your symptoms
  • Penis pump
  • Testosterone replacement therapy

You can also take medications to manage your ED symptoms. These medications include:

  • Sildenafil 100mg (Viagra)
  • Tadalafil (Cialis)
  • Avanafil (Stendra)
  • Vardenafil (Levitra)

Which Is The Safest ED Medication?

All the above-listed medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are known to be very safe. If you are looking for a medication with the least side effects, you can take sildenafil 100mg. If you are looking for a medication with extended effects, you can choose to take tadalafil. The effects of one tadalafil pill last for nearly 36 hours. Consult your healthcare specialist to determine the appropriate dosage of the medication you should take.

Sildenafil 100mg: What Should You Know?

Sildenafil 100mg is the standard dosage of the medication which is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men. Sildenafil is also available in a variety of strengths, including 50 mg, 120 mg, 150 mg, and 200 mg. The doctor will help you find out the lowest possible dosage you should take for the desired result.

Sildenafil 100mg is available as Viagra, which is a branded medication. The popular generic forms of sildenafil 100mg are Cenforce and Fildena. The generic medications cause similar effects at fairly low prices and are hence preferred by most men. Don’t forget to obtain a doctor’s prescription because any legitimate pharmacy doesn’t offer sildenafil 100mg without a prescription from a licensed doctor.

Take one sildenafil 100mg tablet with adequate water for at least 30 minutes before engaging in sexual activity. The effects of sildenafil 100mg last for about 4 – 6 hours.

Most ED patients don’t experience any side effects from sildenafil 100mg. Those who experience may develop the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Impaired vision
  • Hearing problem
  • Increased sensitivity to light

If you develop any of these symptoms, kindly talk to your doctor and take adequate measures on time.

Natural ED Treatments

In addition to medical treatments, following lifestyle changes can also help reduce your cholesterol levels and improve ED.

  • Stay physically fit
  • Walk more
  • Perform Kegels

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