The likelihood of erectile dysfunction tends to increase as men age, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable that you’ll have it when you’re older, or that you’re not at risk when you’re younger. Lifestyle adjustments like improved diet, increased exercise, and weight maintenance not only lower your risk of certain conditions like heart attack and stroke, but they may also help you lower the risk of erectile dysfunction. So let’s have a look at specific lifestyle changes that may help the condition, and what the role of medication is.
The following simple lifestyle adjustments may help you avoid erectile dysfunction, and they’ll likely be better for your overall health as well.
A healthy diet could boost a man’s ability to have erections, since diets that are good for blood flow in the coronary arteries are also good for blood flow to the penis. Incorporate plenty of fruit and vegetables into your diet, and avoid fatty, fried, and processed foods. Also make sure your diet is rich in foods like whole grains, heart-healthy fats, and fish.
Using the amino acid L-arginine as a supplement and eating plenty of watermelon (for Citrulline, the amino acid) could also be beneficial.
Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle could help you prevent or manage erectile dysfunction. Do some aerobic exercise such as swimming and running on a regular basis, but avoid activities that strain the pelvic area and the perineum (between the scrotum and anus). If you enjoy something like biking, make sure you use a no-nose bike seat, wear padded pants, and take other protective measures.
Keep your weight within the healthy range as this can help with your erectile dysfunction. This is because chronic conditions associated with being overweight, like type 2 diabetes, could lead to nerve damage throughout your body. In turn, this could lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.
Chronic diseases are among the most significant causes of erectile dysfunction. As you age, you could be at greater risk of chronic conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes. Reduce your risk of these by living a healthier lifestyle and taking medications as directed by your doctor. Regular intercourse (at least once a week) could also lower the risk of erectile dysfunction in men aged 55 to 75.
Since emotional and mental stress can lead to or cause erectile dysfunction, it’s important to manage depression, anxiety, and any other mental conditions when they arise. Stress leads to increased production of adrenaline, which contracts your blood vessels and could impede blood flow to the penis. Talk to your doctor about treatment options, and look for strategies like deep breathing and meditation to help manage stress levels.
Mild and moderate alcohol consumption likely won’t contribute to erectile dysfunction, but excessive alcohol could have a negative impact. This is because heavy drinking can lead to liver and nerve damage, and it can also disrupt normal hormone levels, all of which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Smoking may damage your blood vessels, which in turn reduces blood flow to the penis and leads to erectile problems. Nicotine itself also makes the blood vessels contract and further impedes blood flow to the penis.
After 40 your testosterone levels begin to drop, and they can start falling dramatically when you reach the age of 50, even if you’re in great health. This could lead to lowered sex drive, moodiness, or reduced stamina. Get your level checked, and ask your doctor about possible treatment options.
Pelvic exercises could help you regain normal erectile function or significantly improve it. Kegel exercises, as they’re known, strengthen the bulbocavernosus muscle, and this allows the penis to engorge with blood during an erection.
Erectile dysfunction can sometimes result from penile injuries sustained during sex, so avoid risky positions that could lead to injuries. Talk to your doctor if you have any doubts about what not to do.
While treatment options like medication can help with erectile dysfunction, lifestyle adjustments can have a strong, positive impact as well. Stay active, eat well, and maintain a healthy weight, and if you have a chronic condition, have it treated. Ensure you find ways to manage stress and stay healthy mentally and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. By following these lifestyle strategies, you could support good erectile health or even prevent erectile dysfunction.
Doctors on Demand is dedicated to providing better, more convenient healthcare to all Australians. With a team of Australian registered doctors, we can give you the care you need at a time that suits. If you need someone to talk to about your erectile dysfunction and how you can help the condition through lifestyle changes,speak to a doctor now at Doctors on Demand.