By Alane Stieglitz, ND, CNC
Men with erectile dysfunction, even mild symptoms, and inflammation may face the risk factors of developing the signs of cardiovascular disease in the future. ED and heart disease can have early warning signs that should not be ignored.
Not all men with ED have poor heart health or are at risk of heart attack and stroke. But men with erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, chest pains, etc., should be checked further. ED and heart disease can make maintaining an erection difficult. It may be a warning sign of a more severe heart health issue.
“Among men with no history of cardiovascular disease, an estimated six per 1,000 men per year who did not have erectile dysfunction went on to be admitted to the hospital for coronary heart disease. This compares with eight per 1,000 men per year with moderate erectile dysfunction and nine per 1,000 men per year among those with severe erectile dysfunction.”
“Among men with a history of cardiovascular disease, an estimated 20 per 1,000 men per year of those without erectile dysfunction went on to be admitted to the hospital for coronary artery disease. This compares with 28 per 1,000 men per year with moderate erectile dysfunction and 34 per 1,000 men per year with severe erectile dysfunction.”
What does inflammation have to do with ED and heart disease? Possibly everything! The most foundational aspect of an erection is endothelial health. It turns out that endothelial health has everything to do with inflammation (or the lack thereof).
Here are some inflammation levels to look at:
hs-CRP (C-Reactive Protein)
So how does chronic inflammation affect the endothelium in such a negative manner? First of all, it lowers nitric oxide availability. This has been observed in several populations. One of the most notable is apnea sufferers, who have elevated inflammation for chronic sleep interruptions. One of the ways inflammation controls nitric oxide is by affecting eNOS, the stuff of Viagra. Yes, inflammation is the ultimate anti-Viagra in this sense.
Affecting NOS negatively is potentially dangerous in the long term because nitric oxide decreases the damage done to arterial walls. So as chronic inflammation turns off your nitric oxide, additional damage occurs to the endothelium, which in turn leads to decreased nitric oxide and so on.
The bottom line: to avoid erectile dysfunction, you have to get this Enemy #1 in control. Remember, this will decrease your cancer and cardiovascular risks as well. ED and heart disease are linked, unfortunately.
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