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Erectile Dysfunction: Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

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There are now a number of studies that suggest a link between erectile dysfunction and obesity. By maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, you may be able to prevent erectile dysfunction or improve the condition.

Recent studies have shown that overweight men with excess fat in the stomach and waist have lower male sex hormone levels than men who are not overweight. Men with excess body fat break down male hormones faster than do leaner men. This may be another reason why obese men suffer from ED at higher rates than lean men.

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When Is It Erectile Dysfunction?

To a healthy young man, erectile dysfunction (ED) may seem unthinkable. You can probably remember times (think back to high school) when you wished it wasn't so easy to get an erection. But as you age -- and especially when you have diabetes -- you may notice some changes. Maybe it takes more coaxing to get erect than it used to. Sometimes it may take more direct stimulation of the penis, whereas merely a daydream or the suggestion of sex was once enough. Or perhaps your erections aren't quite as...

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Here are some tips to get you started. If obesity is a serious problem for you, talk to your doctor about a more rigorous treatment plan.

  • Eat a healthy diet. A diet that limits saturated fat intake and includes several portions of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can benefit men with ED.
  • Reduce cholesterol. High cholesterol can harden, narrow, or block the arteries (atherosclerosis) leading to the penis. Men can lower cholesterol through diet, exercise, and medication.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise may reduce the risk of ED. Choose exercises that you enjoy. In addition to reducing the risk of ED, exercise also can help you manage stress. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Charles E. Jennings, MD on September 12, 2013

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