Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease

I’m not saying that if you have Erectile Dysfunction you should panic about heart disease, but you should be aware of how the two conditions are correlated.  iTriage posted an interesting article yesterday, “How Erectile Dysfunction Might Just Save Your Life.”  The article is about a man who saw a doctor for his erectile dysfunction, and after several tests they discovered the man had coronary artery disease and had to have a five vessel coronary artery bypass procedure.

After reading this article by iTriage I was reminded how important it is to understand the cause of your impotence. Erectile Dysfunction is a result of narrowed blood vessels and poor blood flow to the penis, and narrowed blood vessels are a result of heart disease.  The arteries that supply blood to the penis, called the internal pudendal arteries, are very small and are often blocked before the more vital coronary arteries.  So erectile dysfunction and impotence can be a warning sign for a serious heart disease and life threatening heart attack.  Therefore all men with ED, and all men in general, should see their doctor and request an EKG to make sure that you are free of heart disease and lower your risk of heart attack.

As I said before, you shouldn’t worry too much about having a heart condition if you are impotent.  There are several causes other than heart disease for impotency.  Some other causes of impotency include:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis (clogged blood vessels)
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Injuries
  • Prostate cancer
  • Certain medications – diuretics, high blood pressure drugs, anti-depressants, anti-anxieties, anti epileptic drugs, antihistamines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Parkinson’s drugs, antiarrythmics, muscle relaxants, prostate cancer drugs, histamine H2-receptor antagonists, chemotherapy drugs
  • Low testosterone
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple sclerosis