Being Overweight May Lead to Erectile Dysfunction
Posted: March 23, 2022
Erectile dysfunction is a serious condition that affects many men. An estimated 30 million American men experience erectile dysfunction (ED). There are many risk factors for ED, including age. However, research suggests being overweight or obese may also be a major risk for ED. In this article, we’ll discuss erectile dysfunction, the connection between ED and extra weight, as well as treatment options for men with weight-related ED.
What is Erectile Dysfunction? When Should I Talk to a Doctor?
As you may know, erectile dysfunction is a condition where you are unable to achieve or maintain an erection hard enough for sex. There may be many causes of ED, including underlying physical and psychological conditions. However, many men experience occasional issues getting and sustaining an erection for sex. The question is, when is it a problem and when should you talk to one of our providers?
It’s common from time to time to not be able to get an erection. On the other hand, if you have problems getting and sustaining an erection regularly, then you may have ED. ED is often chronic and can be a sign of more serious health problems. Our men’s health care providers can help you identify potential causes and find erectile dysfunction treatment options that work well for you if you think you have ED.
Being Overweight or Obese Increases the Risk for Erectile Dysfunction
Now we’ve talked about what erectile dysfunction is and when you should talk to a doctor, let’s discuss what ED has to do with weight. Being overweight or obese can actually increase your risk for developing erectile dysfunction. In fact, carrying around extra weight can double your likelihood of experiencing ED. There may be several ways to explain this added risk. Some explanations include inflammation, other health conditions, and hormone problems associated with being overweight or obese.
Obesity Increases Inflammation & Reduce Blood Flow
One way being obese or overweight can increase the risk for erectile dysfunction is through inflammation and reduced blood flow throughout your body. Excess weight can cause many issues for your cardiovascular system. Many people who are obese or overweight actually have a high level of inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can extend to the lining of the blood vessels, causing them to narrow and restrict blood flow. In addition, being overweight makes your heart work harder to pump blood throughout your body, which adds stress to your entire cardiovascular system.
The result? It could reduce the amount of blood flow to the penis. This is a physical issue that can make it difficult to get an erection. Erections rely on a healthy amount of blood flow to keep the penis hard enough for sex. This may explain one reason why being overweight or obese can increase your risk for ED.
Obese & Overweight Men Have Higher Risks for Conditions Commonly Linked to Erectile Dysfunction
Being overweight or obese can also lead to health problems that may increase your risk for ED. For instance, diabetes, heart disease, atherosclerosis (hardening of your arteries), and high cholesterol. All of these conditions can cause issues that may lead to erectile dysfunction, such as limited blood flow. Therefore, excess weight can indirectly increase your risk for ED by causing health problems commonly connected to sexual dysfunction.
Testosterone Levels Decrease as Weight Increases
It’s also important to note that being overweight or obese can decrease testosterone levels. Testosterone deficiency can also be responsible for erectile dysfunction. Low testosterone levels can decrease your sex drive, which can lead to difficulties getting or maintaining an erection for sex. Many studies show that as your weight increases past healthy ranges, testosterone levels often decline. Low libido from testosterone deficiency can cause many similar symptoms to ED. It can also cause other symptoms like fatigue and mood changes that may also negatively impact your sex life.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment: What to Do About Weight-Induced ED?
It’s a common misconception that erectile dysfunction is simply something you must suffer through, or that is only treatable through one or two methods. In fact, there are many erectile dysfunction treatment solutions that may work well for you.
Weight Loss May Reverse Erectile Dysfunction
If you are overweight or obese and have ED, our providers may recommend losing weight as part of your erectile dysfunction treatment plan. Studies have found that weight loss can restore sexual function for many men. One study looked at the effects of weight loss on erectile dysfunction. In the study, some men were treated with a weight loss program while the others were not. The weight loss group lost on average about 15% of their body weight over a 2-year period and one-third of the men regained erectile function after they lost weight. By contrast, only 5% of the men who didn’t lose weight recovered from their ED. Therefore, weight loss may help reduce your ED symptoms. Plus, there’s often an added benefit of improving your health and confidence.
Of course, losing weight can be hard. Our providers can help you design a plan that suits your lifestyle. Most weight loss programs include reducing the number of calories you eat, increasing the amount of physical exercise you get, and also changing what you eat to help you feel more energized and fuller longer. There is a healthy way to lose weight and keep those extra pounds off and our providers can help you develop a healthy weight loss plan.
Men’s Health Management Solutions for Your Cardiovascular Health May Help ED
As we mentioned, cardiovascular issues can limit blood flow to the penis and lead to erectile dysfunction. Therefore, our providers may also recommend improving your cardiovascular health. This can help increase blood flow to the penis and may help with your ED symptoms.
Strengthening your cardiovascular system may look different for each person, though it often includes losing weight healthily as we discussed above and making other lifestyle changes. For instance, you may need to quit smoking, increase the amount of aerobic exercise you do, reduce stress levels, or eat more heart healthy foods.
Consider Erectile Dysfunction Medications
Of course, sometimes ED is persistent even after making lifestyle changes. Therefore, our health care professionals may also recommend taking medications for erectile dysfunction treatment. There are several different medications that may work well for you.
ED pills like sildenafil and tadalafil are common options for treating erectile dysfunction. These are generally PDE5 inhibitors, which help relax the blood vessels leading to the penis to allow for more blood flow.
Another common option is PT-141 peptide therapy, which provides you with the PT-141 amino acid that affects your nervous system and increases arousal and sexual desire in the brain.
For persistent ED that doesn’t respond to PDE5 inhibitors or PT-141 therapy, we may recommend TriMix injections, which are a combination of three powerful medications that can help increase blood flow to the penis to help you achieve and maintain an erection.
As you can see, there are many medication options to help our providers customize your treatment plan to you and your needs. Our team can discuss pros and cons of each type to help you find a treatment that works well for you.
Custom Treatment Solutions for Erectile Dysfunction at Low T Center
Our team at Low T Center offers men’s health management solutions individualized to you. If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction, our providers can help you find underlying causes and create custom treatment plans based on your needs and lifestyle. We believe in taking a holistic approach to health care for men, which means we work with you to find treatments that work, including lifestyle changes and medications. Get more convenient, affordable, and personalized care at our clinics. Make an appointment now to take the first step toward feeling better.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.