Instead of turning to expensive drugs like Viagra that carry with them the risks of side effects and are now being linked to dangerous melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, why not try prevention instead of treatment. Men don’t have to relinquish themselves to the idea that erectile dysfunction is a normal part of aging, says Dr. Charles Wilson in an article for the Great Falls Tribune. He gives readers lifestyle tips that, put into practice earlier in life, can protect against the unintended harm men may have been doing to their sex life by making poor choices.
Dr. Wilson explains the importance of diet in protecting against erectile dysfunction. “Diets that include red meat and very few fruits and vegetables along with lots of fatty, fried and processed foods can contribute to decreased blood circulation throughout the body. Blood flow is absolutely necessary for the penis to become erect. A high waist circumference indicates higher levels of harmful visceral fat and visceral fat is linked to lower testosterone and more inflammation, both factors that can hurt your sex life,” he said.
In addition to healthy eating, aerobic exercise has been shown to prevent erectile dysfunction. However, Dr. Wilson warns that those with a history of erectile dysfunction should avoid sports such as bicycle riding, which puts excessive pressure on the perineum.
Chronic heavy drinking can cause conditions that disrupt the balance of male hormones and cause erectile dysfunction. Drinking in moderation is recommended.
Dr. Wilson also warns that over-the-counter and prescription drugs can also contribute to sexual dysfunction and men should discuss this with their doctor if they are having problems.
Of all of the doctor’s warnings, the strongest was against smoking. Dr. Wilson shared the statistic that men who smoke are 51 percent more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men who do not. Many men could see improvements in their sex life within just one year of quitting smoking.
Dr. Wilson encouraged men to manage their stress and get plenty of quality sleep at night. Five hours or less would result in low testosterone levels, he said. Seven or eight hours of sleep is ideal.
He concluded, “men who have tried a variety of lifestyle changes and treatments for erectile dysfunction with no success or who have severe erectile dysfunction may be candidates for penis surgery. There are many different options that can be assessed. Talk to your doctor for more information regarding your options.”