Causes of erectile dysfunction

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on December 1st, 2017
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Health News of Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Source: Cory Couillard

Testosterone plays an important role in keeping your mind sharp and your body healthy-from the heart to muscles and bones to erectile dysfunction (ED). If youre middle-aged, your bodys testosterone levels have already begun to decline.

Testosterone is a hormone that is produced primarily in the testicles. It is essential in the development of masculine characteristics, muscle strength, fat distribution and sex drive. Testosterone peaks during adolescence and as you get older; your testosterone level gradually declines typically about 1 per cent a year.

Researchers have found low testosterone contributes to weight gain and obesity, elevated harmful blood fats, and insulin resistance each of which is a risk factor for the development heart disease, type 2 diabetes and ED.

Heart health concerns with testosterone include elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, thus increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to a UK-based study, having high testosterone isnt what makes men susceptible to heart issuesits having too little.

Weight gain, diabetes and alcohol use can lead to fat forming around the mid-section this contributes to the production of the female hormone oestrogen that counteracts the function of testosterone.

Other men produce testosterone but may be resistant to it, just like diabetics are resistant to insulin, says Dr Malcolm Carruthers, founder of The Centre for Mens Health in London.

Low testosterone has also been linked to changes in sexual function. This may include reduced sexual desire, fewer spontaneous erections, and infertility. Many men blame their age or their relationship for problems with their sex lives, but it could be due to a hormonal imbalance.

Emotional changes have been linked to low testosterone as well. It can contribute to a decrease in motivation and self-confidence while increasing depression, trouble concentrating and forgetting things.

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Causes of erectile dysfunction

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