Erectile dysfunction — the inability to get and/or keep an erection — affects about 52% of American males. If you’re one of them, you’re surely wondering if you have an underlying health problem to blame, and you might also be wondering if having ED can lead to problems with your overall health.
In this “chicken or the egg” scenario, it can be hard to tell which came first.
When you have questions about ED and its causes and complications, Dr. James Lee at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care in Woodstock, Georgia, has answers and treatments that can get your sex life and your overall health back on track.
You may think that getting an erection is a no-brainer, but it actually takes a concerted effort between your brain and your blood vessels, nerves, muscles and even your emotions. If any one of those is out of whack, it can cause ED.
If it happens every once in a while, you have nothing to worry about. If it happens frequently or all the time, it may be an indication that something else is going on behind the scenes.
Dr. Lee provides comprehensive men’s health services, including diagnostic testing, and advanced, evidence-based treatments. He can determine whether your ED is the result of an underlying health condition or the cause of one, and treat it either way.
What causes ED?
As we mentioned, getting and maintaining an erection is a complex reaction between several different body parts that must function together as a system. Any habit or health condition that hinders that system can bring on ED.
Illnesses can affect your ability to get an erection, so we may test you for:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Multiple sclerosis
- Metabolic syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Prostate cancer
- Low testosterone
Not only illnesses and medical conditions but other physical conditions can lead to ED as well, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Scar tissue in the penis (Peyronie’s disease)
- Sleep disorder
- Alcohol or substance abuse
Certain medications can also be responsible for ED. If any of these are causing your erection issues, Dr. Lee diagnoses and treats the underlying problem, and the ED resolves as a result.
When we said your brain and emotions play a role in your erections, we weren’t kidding. Depression, anxiety, and stress can all stop an erection in its tracks.
How ED affects your overall health
The flip side of all of these ED-inducing factors is that ED can cause a few problems of its own. Primarily, the complications that arise from ED are emotional and psychological — but secondary physical problems often follow.
It’s common for relationship problems and misunderstandings to occur when things don’t go smoothly in the bedroom. This leads to high levels of stress and anxiety, even depression, which in turn leads to various physical issues, such as:
- Chest pain
- Dry mouth
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Colds and infections
- Body aches
If left untreated, chronic stress can turn into serious mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues, and skin and hair problems.
Dr. Lee works with you to discover just what’s behind your ED, so you don’t have to worry about your overall health or your performance in bed.
If you have questions or concerns about ED or any other health problem, contact us by phone or online to book an appointment with Dr. Lee today, and get back on track.