How obesity affects erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a frequent complication of obesity. Obesity, and in particular central obesity, is associated with both arteriogenic ED and reduced testosterone (T) levels which cause erectile dysfunction.

Obesity-associated hypogonadism and increased cardiovascular risk might partially justify the higher prevalence of ED in overweight and obese individuals. Conversely, the psychological disturbances related to obesity do not seem to play a major role in the pathogenesis of obesity-related Erectile Dysfunction(ED). 

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What is Obesity?

The World Health Organization defines overweight and obesity as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair overall health. The usual definition of obesity is based on body mass index (BMI), a simple index of weight-per-height (a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his/her height in meters, kg m−2).

In Western countries, people are considered obese when their BMI exceeds 30 kg m−2 and overweight when it is below this value, but equal to or higher than 25 kg m−2.

What is central obesity?

Central or abdominal obesity is a type of obesity that takes the accumulation of visceral fat into account.

 Alternative measures that reflect abdominal adiposities, such as waist circumference (WC), waist-hip ratio, and waist-height ratio, have been suggested as being superior to BMI in predicting cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

How obesity affects erectile dysfunction?

Obesity doubles the risk of Erectile Dysfunction and shows the negative, stepwise relationship between increasing grades of waist circumference and total testosterone (TT).

Obesity-associated hypogonadism(Low testosterone) justifies the higher prevalence of ED in overweight and obese individuals. 

Not only low testosterone due to obesity but also obesity itself is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction as in some patients even after restoring the testosterone levels they feel problems with proper erections. 

For every 1 cm increase in the waist circumference the chances of erectile dysfunction increase by 3%. This is observed in patients with good levels of testosterone and no smoking habits as well.

The severity of reduced spontaneous erection and loss of libido are positively associated with increased waist Circumference, while premature ejaculation showed an opposite trend, being less prevalent in abdominally obese individuals.

In the old- and middle-aged subjects, increased Waist Circumference significantly contributed to the organic component of ED, while relational factors did not play any significant role. A mild, but significant, contribution of psychological disturbances were apparent in older individuals, but not in the youngest ones.

From the above data, it is clear that not only low testosterone due to obesity is responsible for but also the waist circumference and obesity directly affect erectile dysfunction and it affects the middle and old aged men psychologically which in turn affects their erectile dysfunction.

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Obesity can be controlled by lifestyle and diet changes. It is proved that PDE 5 inhibitors like Viagra and Cialis worked well in treating erectile dysfunction caused due to obesity so consulting a doctor will surely help in curing erectile dysfunction due to obesity.
Many men are reluctant to discuss erectile dysfunction with their doctors. But don’t let embarrassment keep you from getting help. Just taking this step will get them on their way to recover not only their sex life but their relationship as well. They need not worry about their privacy as clinics like “The ED Clinic”  take full care to make sure all privacy details are just that- Private.

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